Why I Left Facebook

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Well, I didn't even make it a whole year. Hell, I barely made it six months and I'm already deleting Facebook again. Since I made such a big spectacle of coming back, I'll take some time to explain why I'm leaving just in case you actually care.

Friends, but only in name

The main reason I joined again was to connect with people. When I polled people informally about what keeps them on Facebook, it was an important reason among many for others too. I had high hopes when initially rejoining cause I hadn't talked to some people for a long time. That said, any time I felt connected with people was when I went out of my way to actually try and talk to them, not because of anything inherent with the platform itself.

In fact, I felt more alienated after joining again.

Since I'm politically active, my feed was non-stop news about how shit is fucked. I literally would get anxiety just opening the front page, unsure what to expect next. Now, of course, this is partly a me problem. I could delete the political stuff and just follow my friends while getting my news elsewhere.

Except, I did exactly that for a brief moment. My feed wasn't really that much more meaningful even then. All anyone posts is the same regurgitated bullshit that they're being fed from their friends who got it from a friend who got it from an ad somewhere delivered by the All-Knowing algorithm.

Nobody posts anything meaningful. Nobody posts their own thoughts. If they do it rarely ever reached me. Largely my feed was a bunch of memes or news articles that came from fuck knows where, but hey it had a good headline. The same group of people would reliably like my posts and move on, while I reciprocated. Once in a while I would get into some debates, but that's mostly it as far as "genuine interaction" goes.

In fact, what eventually pushed me over the edge to delete my Facebook was getting into an argument with a friend. It wasn't the argument itself though. It was the fact that I had taken so much time and energy to put together a response that was immediately deleted because an interview on Social Justice Unionism I linked to was deemed spam by whatever content filtering applies to us plebs but not politicians

It could be that Zuckerburg is biased against left-wing sources. It could be that some right-wingers ran a censorship campaign to flag any sources about teacher organizing in response to the massive teacher strikes of the past two years. Who even knows. Either way, I started having flashbacks to Reddit where it doesn't matter what you post, because nobody will see it since it's been downvoted to hell or you've been shadow banned, invisible to the world without knowing it.

After I left that debate I was immediately greeted by the latest round of Today's Bad News, spiraling into the same suicidal depression fog that had become normal since joining again. This was literally within hours of reactivating my account after deactivating it to clear my mind for a while.

Clearly Facebook is not for me. I've been much happier when I'm not using it. I'm sick of having my friends dangled in front of me like digital carrots to keep scrolling through a meaningless feed while the world burns.

So I decided to hit the delete button again, which now has a 30 day waiting period before permanently deleting your account instead of 14 days. Wonder when that happened. Not like they actually get rid of that data anyway.

Regardless, I'm starting to feel better already. If it's making you miserable, you should delete your account too. I already even wrote up a guide on ways to replace some of the functionality.

There's better places to be

If you want to stay in touch, this website is one of the places you'll be able to find what I'm doing. I still post on Instagram if that's something you use at all. Another important space that I'm active on is Mastodon. Maybe you've even seen some posts on my Instagram feed.

One of the reasons I finally felt confident about deleting my Facebook account though is the interactions I've had on the Fediverse through putz social. Since it's a platform that focuses on community building, it's a much different experience than corporate social media.

People still talk about politics, but they also talk about their daily lives, they make goofy jokes, make art, they express their own ideas or boost other people who are doing the same. It's not the same content farm of sharing what people pay for you to see. It's a transparent, chronological feed that makes sense without hiding your real friends from you for advertisers who infect our minds for money.

If you want to join putz social then you can read the invite I wrote. But it wasn't until I had an alternative to use that I realized what I was missing from online community. It reminds me of when the Internet was still a place where I could meet strangers and feel like friends.

In fact, I feel more connected to the random people I've met on the Fediverse through putz social than I did to my own friends through Facebook. Since the feed is chronological people can share moments together collectively in a way that I've never seen on other social media that prefers to hide content with algorithms.

That and the people are just nicer because moderation happens at the community level by the people who run the server. It allows for more cohesive communities built around the values that it wants to see instead of whatever protects the bottom line of some tech company.

Delete your Facebook account

I could go on, but I'm done with Facebook. If you find yourself constantly checking it even though it makes you more depressed, miserable and alone than before you went on it then delete it. Just delete it. It's garbage cancer that shouldn't exist. I refuse to give people a reason to use it by having an account.

Seriously. Just get rid of it, you're not missing anything. If you want to stay in touch with friends and family, then call them. Hell, most of the people I had on my friends list don't give a shit about me and haven't stayed in touch for almost a decade. Facebook didn't do anything to change that. Sometimes you just move on in life and that's fine too.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.