Why I am leaving Facebook

My friends probably don’t believe me when I say that I am leaving Facebook this month. But I am even though I’m still posting, liking, commenting, and messaging. If they’ve noticed anything, they’ll see that I’ve unliked many pages, deleted some photos and apps, deleted all my notes, and have removed some information.

After 6 years of Facebook, it’s time for me to take a break. I don’t like what it’s done and how it’s affecting all of us. I don’t care if people think I’m being anti-social or being backwards. Yes, there are many benefits to having Facebook. However, I’ve had time to think about friendships, connections, and communication these past few months and here are the reasons why I’m leaving.

  1. Facebook is not exclusive anymore
    At first, when I joined in 2006, FB was only open to those in unis and colleges. Pretty unfair to those who didn’t get into or chose not to go for higher education, I’ll admit. Then it was open to grads and students of secondary schools. I can’t remember when FB suddenly opened up to everyone but it really bothered me. It’s not just the creeps who tried to befriend me. Or the fact that we are forced to be ‘social’ and not exclusive (i.e. having the option not to receive anymore friend requests). I don’t feel safe and I’m upset that everyone seems to be unable to communicate in other ways.
  2. I’m getting paranoid
    Why isn’t this person liking my status? Why isn’t this person responding? Are we still friends? Why did this person unfriend me? Friendships are constantly formed and redefined but I can’t tell you how many times I felt like my life revolved around FB and suddenly I wasn’t sure about who my friends are just because of FB. Oh and temporarily deactivating FB won’t send a clear message to me that I should take a break from FB. I’ll just want to reactivate it immediately for fear of missing out on some vital information!
  3. Thinking in terms of FB
    Now I’m living my life in FB status updates. My life is narrated in FB updates – even when I am not on FB. How many likes will I get? What will people comment? How scary is that?
  4. Friends or not?
    This is my main reason. When I first got FB, it was about adding as many people as ‘friends’ as you could. That person you just met? Add. Your crush? Add. The cute person you stalked? Add. Add, add, add. Suddenly, I had hundreds of ‘friends’. I used to be very bad with the definition of friendship. I assumed all nice people were my friends. However, as mentioned earlier, friendships can change. Your once best friend forever is someone you no longer talk to. Your good friend suddenly dislikes you and you can’t figure out why. Your acquaintance from 2007 is now one of your good friends. How do we know? Based on how often someone likes or comments your post? On how much they say they have in common with you? On whether or not they have us on FB or share things with us? Are we supposed to keep everyone on FB? When do we remove people – if we don’t like them anymore?
    Sadly, at this point, I can’t remove any more people because if I do, I will only start drama. ‘Why did she keep our mutual friend and not me? What did I do? What a *****!’ These are things I don’t want to get into. Furthermore, trying to play around with the privacy settings for each ‘friend’ on my friends list is too complicated.
  5. Privacy flaws
    I think the first time I contemplated leaving FB was when I discovered that a deleted or old profile pic was still showing up on Google images. Not that I had anything to be embarrassed about but it bothered me that something deleted was not permanently deleted. Recently, I found out that cover and profile photos must be public. What if I don’t want someone to find me?
  6. Oh the drama!
    The cyber-bullying, the heated debates/discussions, and just drama in general over ‘nothing’. You’re never safe from criticism. Post an innocent cartoon you like and you’ll spark a debate. If you’re not the one getting hurt, it’s your friend who naively joined the conversation. I’m not surprised people have committed suicide over what’s happened on FB. I’ve had enough!
  7. An unhealthy addiction
    Every morning and just before I go to bed, I check FB. Not to say hi to my friends but to see what’s going on in people’s lives. To see who’s shown some love to me. Any messages? Any likes? Any comments/posts? Facebook was fun before but now, I’m paranoid (as mentioned in point 2). If I’m not on FB for one day, I’ll fall behind!

Well, what about the good things? Yes, people know there are these disadvantages, these things that no one likes. However, FB has helped keep us connected. I’ve even found people who I used to know from primary school! Plus, FB is like email-messenger/Skype-text in one! You no longer have to write letters or emails and ask people what’s going on in their lives because you can read all the status updates. No more email newsletters because that’s what FB is for. You don’t need to be logged into a million things at once – FB allows you to stay connected via ’email’, ‘Skype’, and ‘text’. Oh and FB is free so you don’t have to waste money on stamps and postcards, Skype calls, texts to those who live far away from you. Without FB, they say, it’s like you’re completely disconnected from the world.

I’ll take my chances then.

Trust me, this was a hard decision for me. As one who has relatives, family, and friends all over the world since I was little, staying connected is VERY important for me. But people don’t really email anymore. Or even Skype. My generation doesn’t call much either. Texting seems to be used for finding people or writing something so secretive that, thankfully, FB doesn’t have the privilege of being used. Maybe I’ve been able to stay connected through FB but I think it’s turned me and you and him and her into lazy people. Why the need to meet up if you’ve already seen everything (photos and updates) on FB? Why the need to call? In fact, have we become anti-social by joining this ‘social’ network?

I hope that by leaving FB, I’ll spend more time with my family, pets, and the friends near me. I hope that I’ll have more time to write in my diary. I hope that I’ll have more time to respond to emails right away. I hope that I’ll have more time to do things I’ve sacrificed doing, like reading. I hope my life will be less hectic and paranoid. If I must join FB again because other forms of communication are failing in the 21st Century, then I will open a new account – but I won’t just add anyone.

Also, dear friends, don’t panic.

I didn’t say I’m going to live as a hermit in some unknown land without internet. There’s still the old-fashioned forms of communication: letters/cards, e-mail, text, phone call, instant messaging, meeting up in person.

The question is (for all of us), are you willing to make the effort to stay connected?

5 thoughts on “Why I am leaving Facebook

  1. Pingback: Do You Talk Too Much? « Sonia G Medeiros

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  3. Pingback: IF YOU HAVE BEEN “UNFRIENDED” BY ME…it is never personal…it is always personal–huh??? | catholicboyrichard

  4. Pingback: Freedom from Facebook « The Rose of Europe

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