Deleting Facebook

I deleted Facebook for good a few weeks back. With the #DeleteFacebook hashtag trending and looming figures like Woz deciding to leave I figured I'd add my two cents.

Leaving Facebook is a two part story.

Part 1 - I didn't use it

For years I have been absent from Facebook. I truly mean I didn't get on. I used to only get on around my birthday when a flurry of notifications would make my phone buzz nonstop, but I eventually turned off those notifications too. Facebook just didn't provide value to me.

Years ago a quote in a comments thread somewhere summed up my thoughts on the platform perfectly.

Facebook is bad because it forces you to compare your everyday life with everyone else's highlight reel.

I'll admit I don't think that's actually a problem inherent to Facebook. I believe it's human nature to put your best foot forward. It's only the strongest among us that can openly discuss and admit to our shortcomings. I'm certainly not stating anything novel here. People don't post their ugly pics, that's just a fact.

As soon as you are resigned to that notion, the idea of scrolling through Facebook is an utter waste of time. And for me it was exactly that. Any utility in discovering information was largely redundant with other readily available sources. Reddit gave me news. Twitter let me follow industry people I didn't know, but greatly admired. Facebook just showed me what old acquaintances were comfortable sharing with the world and that's just not real. It's fundamentally uninteresting and largely narcissistic drivel that just makes you feel bad.

Part 2 - Okay, I did use it for one thing

Even though I left, I had yet to delete my account. Why? Because of my job. Intertwining with Facebook as a web developer almost seems unavoidable. Whether you're just talking about a like button, or incorporating OAuth to get people on board it seems like it's always a client requirement. And, to be honest, the eyeballs that Facebook can provide are substantial.

Despite all that I began to wonder if the act of keeping Facebook --- to leverage as a business --- was any different than say, keeping it around just in case someone from 10 years ago needed to get a hold of me. I concluded it wasn't and that maintaining my account was rewarding Facebook.

Facebook has screwed up. They've screwed up a lot. They've been bad faith actors and it's not clear they quite get that yet.

So, I'm done with them. I admit it was easier for me than it might be for most. I cared so little about what was up there that I didn't even pull down the archive.

Goodbye Facebook. It's a little windy and gray outside, but I think I'll head out there anyways. It's time better spent than having an algorithm feed me the the info it thinks a person like me wants to see.