Finally, I took the decision: I am deleting permanently my Facebook account. Yes, I am aware I am commiting some sort of “social suicide” (I was planning naming this post as “Facebook-cidal note” but I was afraid some people might think I was going to commit a real suicide and announce it on Facebook…). But regardless of this “suicide” I am glad I finally made that decision.
My reasons to do this are diverse. First of all, I was spending too much time on the Internet. As many of you, I logged in on Facebook as soon as I woke up and checked it several times a day until my last check-in before going to bed. Instead of doing other things, the welcoming page on Facebook was for too long my main distraction when I had no plans outside my room/house. Partially because of travelling without books and drums, and partially because of the easyness of just opening Facebook and getting distracted, I stopped reading as many books as I used to and playing drums as often as I used to. Those books in the picture above are being read fastly since I deactivated my account a few weeks ago (see differences about deactivating and deleting your Facebook account below in this post).
I have to admit using Facebook was fun for sometime, specially during winter time in Belgrade when you could barely do anything outside your house (I wrote barely because I could have done many activities outdoors even when it was cold).
Facebook is also useful to keep in touch with friends (and “Facebook friends”) that you meet around the world. However, at least in my case, I realized in the end I was keeping in touch with those with whom I wanted to keep in touch and who also wanted to know about me anyway, even if we had had to do this using the telegraph. For the rest, it was more some sort of curiosity than any other thing.
There are other reasons to delete my account: Richard Stallman argues some of the most persuasive ones, such as in that social net “you are its product, not its customer”. and that “pages that contain Facebook “like” buttons enable Facebook to track visitors to those pages”. Tom Hodgkinson describes Facebook users as “59 million suckers, all of whom have volunteered their ID card information and consumer preferences to an American business they know nothing about”. Andrew Brown, on the other hand, writes that “(t)en years ago, when the British government proposed to make traffic data available to a wide variety of agencies under the Regulation of Investigative Powers Act, there was an outcry from civil libertarians. Their point was that you hardly need to know what people are saying to each other if you know who they are talking to. And now Facebook knows and makes this information freely available to almost anyone”. I highly reccomend reading these articles in depth to get informed about many issues about the data you give to Facebook, who owns it, and for what purposes are being used, among many other reasons.
As I mentioned above, I just deactivated my account (for 20 days), as some sort of personal “quarantine” to decide if I should delete it permanently or not. I cannot be more happy about this decisions. No taking into consideration the attempt to make me feel bad when Facebook told me that I would miss such and such people (see Berto Romero’s article in Spanish about it), I fixed my reading light by the bed and I am enjoying reading as in the pre-internet era. Since I am playing this week with my band (Jazz Oil), I also started practicing daily to be ready for our gig. It feels great to be offline.
In case you want to try this out read how to deactivate and permanently delete your Facebook account here. Be aware that if you just deactivate it the company will keep your data, including messages and images. In case you decided to delete it, download all the data they have from you before doing it so you can keep al the pictures and many other pieces of information they keep of you/us. Seeing what these files contain is in itself another argument to put Facebook out of your life.
So, yes, this is my final post on Facebook. It will be on for two weeks before I delete my account permanently. For those who want to keep in touch with me and have my Facebook profile as the only way to contact me, please send me a private message and ask for my Skype user name, email or phone number. Send me your e-mail with this request since this is the way I will answer you, NOT giving more data to Facebook using their private message option.
Hope to keep in touch with all of you and, even better, meeting in real life soon for a drink, a picnic, a day-trip, a walk, a concert, or any of those old-fashioned activities of the pre-internet era.
Hugs to everyone!
Listen to this musical clip if you can understand Spanish, quite a good song about social networks!