Yep that’s right. Leaving, one month short of 10 years of membership. I still intend to continue to exist in real life though. Here’s an effort to pre-empt the inevitable questions, for anyone that cares in the least.
What the… Why!?
Facebook just isn’t useful, fun or rewarding enough for me any more, balanced against the time and attention it devours at regular intervals. Too much of the content I’m shown is just crap. It’s too high maintenance now and I usually regret any time I spend on it. Not using Facebook at all is better than being part of it, in the grand scheme of things.
But how will I get in touch with you in an Emergency?
You might have my phone number or my email address. I’ll be on WhatsApp (I know, it’s owned by Facebook) and Twitter - in a limited way for now at least. I might blog about the consequences, here. Or you might know my lovely wife who’s a Facebook and Instagram ninja/addict.
Aren’t you just fundamentally anti-social?
Hope not, but that’s for you to judge. Smiley winkyface emoji.
So what’s wrong with Facebook?
They’re clever people, and they drive engagement with their platform in subtle, insidious ways that aren’t necessarily healthy or beneficial for us.
Are you concerned about privacy?
Not too much, but kind of - and getting more so. There are stories every day in the media but we all make our own judgments based on our own evidence.
The government will sort out Facebook’s questionable practices though.
You’re kidding me, right?
Do I have to stop putting up photos of you?
I don’t care about that, do what you like.
Does this mean I’ll have to actually tell you about stuff, rather than rely on you being kept informed by Facebook?
Yes. Sorry about that.
You’ll miss out on a lot of fun stuff!
The rest of the Internet will still be there for me I suppose. If I want look at pictures of food, videos of small animals or people falling over.
Don’t you trust yourself to only use the good parts?
No. And it’s impossible to, it’s been deliberately designed like that.
What about contact with distant friends and family?
I’ll miss that the most. But you know I still love you all x. We’ll find other ways.
What will you do with all the time you’ll save?
Use it for the benefit of mankind, as a force for good, blah blah blah.
Can you give me a reading list?
Haha! No-one would really ask this question.
- Cal Newport is a computing science professor who writes books and blogs about using technology in healthier and more productive ways.
- A guide to deleting Facebook with a current Facebook in the news list.
- Delete your account: leaving Facebook can make you happier, study finds
- More recent Facebook-related articles from The Guardian - take your pick.