A recent problem I had with my Facebook account and the lack of response from Facebook in effecting a solution led me to the decision to trash my account. But this was only the immediate trigger. The underlying reason was my realization that I could no longer deceive myself into thinking that my contract with Facebook was anything but totally asymmetrical and not worth the high price needed to be paid to the Facebook empire of data collection and behavior manipulation.
What do I miss by not being on Facebook? To be sure, Facebook does provide a convenient way of contacting people. But the costs are considerable, and include having to put up with the following:
- Narcissists who curate their perfect personas, documenting their every trendy event in detail for everyone to see;
- Narcissists totally lacking in intellectual integrity (I left one Facebook group to avoid just such a person, after she acted in a totally dishonest manner with respect to a comment I made; she needs to seek help);
- People documenting their reckless behavior during the corona pandemic;
- Unwanted ads for things my friends have “liked” on Facebook*;
- Other irrelevant ads*;
- Requests from Zuckerberg to help him place ads, referencing a specific customer of his*;
- Invitation to (ads for) events selling coaching, resulting from having Facebook friends who are interested in being coached*;
- Introductions to cult scams by friends who otherwise seem to be level-headed;
- Anonymous pages (that’s almost totally redundant, since almost all Facebook pages are anonymous, with no accountability);
- Introductions to people with anonymous or non-verifiable pseudonymous accounts (Facebook is not interested in identifying users, and has many millions of anonymous, pseudonymous, and fake accounts);
- Incessant attempts to manipulate behavior (by numerous of the above-noted items); and
- The total insincerity of a billionaire big-data siren server owner, who has constantly lied, including lying to government bodies, about what his company does.
(* Yes, I know that extra software on my laptop could block these things, but I used mostly my smartphone for Facebook, leaving my laptop for more important tasks.)
I could have continued to self-deceive to the effect that the above negative aspects are worth suffering for the convenience that Facebook provides. Countless Facebook users work that self-deception, look the other way, or rationalize their continued use of Zuckerberg’s platform, the folly of which I have discussed elsewhere. I opted not to take that path, choosing rather to escape back to the real world.
[People who think I have fallen off the end of the earth (although I’m not a flattard) should know that I am alive and well and reachable by numerous non-social media methods.]