A month or so ago, I indicated my frustration with Facebook and its many, many anti-customer approaches to business (you know, the ones that have been reported in the media where Facebook sees us as their product rather than treats us as if Facebook is the product). At the time, I decided to drop Facebook and see if I could move on. A couple of things happened that made that really difficult. So, I thought I would talk about my experiences and just kind of let you know what sort of things kind of happen.
- First, I didn’t drop them outright or completely. I discovered that was going to be difficult. Not because I really liked it, or that I wanted to sign in and see how Aunt Myrtle’s Frozen Fish collection is going, but because of simple logistics. Facebook has just gotten too involved in my life. My writing business has a presence on Facebook and because of that, even my mailing list is kind of tied into the service. And there are peripherals I use that want Facebook, like my Oculus Go VR headset. Turns out, the company that makes it is owned by Facebook. Yeah, I could go through a process of trying to detach it from Facebook, but honestly, why? And there is no end to the apps and sites I’ve gone onto over the years that allowed a Facebook login instead of signing up directly. So, ending Facebook wasn’t as beneficial to me as I thought it might be.
- Abandoning Facebook seemed the better alternative. Granted, it still gives them access to my data, and I know they’re constantly trying to track what I’m doing, but I don’t sign in. I went through and removed any type of thing that gives them access to my data, my location or anything else. I suspect they’re tracking my Oculus Go stuff, but I figure that unless they’re overly interested in my fascination with Hello Kitty, they’re going to get really bored, really fast. Over a month now, I’ve not signed onto Facebook once, and I kind of like that.
- Because I don’t sign on, I’m not seeing endless updates from people telling me about their kids, their pets, their dinner, their trip to the corner store, and how many times they’ve had a bowel movement. It’s amazing how much drivel comes across Facebook. Even from me. I originally signed up to Facebook, overjoyed to be able to keep up with friends over the years, but let’s be honest: They weren’t trying all that hard to keep up with me even after I found them. There’s a reason they disappeared from my life before Facebook. We parted ways for a reason. No matter how hard I tried to get their back, they weren’t coming back. Ever.
- Facebook has now turned into one of those clingy ex-girlfriends. Yesterday, I got 4 emails from Facebook, telling me that one of my “friends” has posted something, or included a photo, or had a bowel movement. And to play the whole bait and switch game, Facebook doesn’t give you enough information to even indicate if the post is worth signing onto them to read. It’s like: “Your hot supermodel friend Rebecca posted…” Yeah, you get the idea. Click bait from the gods of click bait. I also have 85 unread messages. 85. Oh noes.
- My real conclusion is that I’m not missing anything. I tried MeWe (another social networking site) to replace Facebook because it had better privacy policies, but I don’t even sign onto it either. Leaving Facebook showed me how little value Facebook has as a service. It was a nice little gimmick, but that was so 2000s. This is 2019. I have better things to do.
- This isn’t some kind of advocacy thing either. I don’t care if you do or do not use Facebook. I just know that I’m not going to be doing it. I suspect that eventually people are going to realize this as well, and if not, then you can all be as mindless as I was and continue to give it all of our data and information. Besides, there’s always Twitter, Instagram (also owned by Facebook) and Youtube. We’re never going to run out of things to steal…um, I mean, occupy our time.