I left Facebook in January, deactivating my account, and then deleted it entirely two weeks ago, a process that’s finally complete. I feel relieved to be gone.
This is not because I don’t care about the people I know there, many of whom I know in other spaces like Twitter or face-to-face. I had a rule I would only be friends with a person I’d be happy to meet for a cup of coffee. My friends and family generally had politics I agreed with and lead interesting lives and are a pleasure to interact with. But nonetheless, however much time I spent there, it was never a space I felt entirely comfortable.
I don’t think this was because I was unnerved by the vast data harvesting of our lives that FB does, although, seen through the lens of Cambridge Analytica it is unnerving. I’m aware that Twitter, which I feel fine with, is busy gathering data too. My unease with Facebook was a combination of things.
First, I’m not a picture-oriented person. I was a late adopter of Facebook for this reason. I like reading much more than looking or watching. Facebook’s focus is on images and so it appeals to me less than a text-base space like Twitter or blogs.
Also, generally speaking I don’t like using products where I’m not the customer. I like being able to call / write and complain when something isn’t working or when it behaves badly and have my problems listened to. This is not just because I want my concerns taken seriously but because putting energy into writing is work, pleasurable work, but work.… Read the rest