Just say no to Facebook

In the wake of the Facebook, privacy scares, there has been a new trending hashtag that has not gotten the exposure it deserves, #DeleteFacebook. Earlier this year, new data suggested that 44% of Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 29 deleted the Facebook app from their phone, additionally, they have either taken a break from the social network or deleted it entirely. Others have maxed out their privacy settings in an attempt to keep Zuckerberg and his gang of nosey nerds at bay. All of these changes are the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytical scandal that revealed that Facebook had compromised the data of millions of users.

 

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March of 2018, Facebook’s share price has dropped significantly losing the company over 3 billion in market cap. Additionally, user acquisition has remained flat for the first time in the company’s history, facebook.com is now the third most visited website, down from number one. Most concerning for Facebook though, is that only 50% of teens are currently using the social network. This is concerning for the social network as it is continually working to establish value with investors and cement itself as a sure bet for decades to come. With so many social networking options on the market today, I am personally happy to see teens choosing other, healthier methods of connecting with their friends online.

 

#DeleteFacebook

 

Getting rid of Facebook can’t be so hard right? While is relatively easy to go online and download all your personal date and hit the delete button, doing so makes it difficult to stay in touch with and communicate with friends. This is partly due to the fact that we have forgotten how to communicate in ways other than Facebook, but also we all have a large network of friends online that Facebook helps us manage. Much like a company uses Salesforce to maintain relationships with its clients, individuals utilize Facebook in the same way. Let’s hypothetically say you deleted Facebook…ahhhh the relief. A few weeks later you miss your good friend’s birthday because it was not written down in your calendar as it would have been pre-Facebook. Its pain like this that every Facebook deleteor goes through, and keeps the masses on the platform. With so much of your social life tide to Facebook, how can one really leave? In so many ways, Facebook won’t let you quit as the costs of leaving are huge. It owns you and the relationships you have with your friends.

 

Besides birthdays and event invites, what are you really missing? Well, I wouldn’t know is that the guy who sat in front of my freshmen English class now lives in a Tiny House. I wouldn’t know that my college roommates ex-girlfriends now husband’s dog chewed through its bark box toy in 10 minutes. I wouldn’t know that my ex-girlfriend from high school’s kid is now potty-trained. Ahh, what I would miss….. What a shame.

 

What I do know is that with the extra 7ish hours on average I will have back per week, I can read the Wall Street Journal cover to cover to get caught up on the news. I can call a friend on the phone and find out about their life, hear their voice and really get a sense of how they are doing. I can wish someone a happy birthday in person. I will voice my political opinions in person, justify where I stand and look people in the eye while doing so.

 

It’s been decided, my relationship with Facebook is over. I will miss birthdays and events. I will probably be forgotten, and feel left out. I will miss good news, and bad but there is a solution. Call me, email me or shoot me a text. Let’s chat in person, it’s a far healthier way to communicate.

 

Cheers.

6 comments

  1. I think it’s so interesting how we can all recognize the way that Facebook and other social media platforms negatively impact our lives, yet we are still so unwilling to detach ourselves from the network. Yes, we will be getting a significant amount of time back per week, read newspapers, talk with friends on the phone, and wish people a happy birthday in person, but this is where the power of network effects come in: the more people involved in the network, the more powerful it is, and the more difficult it is to leave. Personally, there have been countless times where I have attempted a “digital detox”, but the feeling of being so largely disconnected from an aspect of my social life makes social media so difficult to completely give up. I also wonder what it will take for our society to create a healthier relationship with social media: will it take a large amount of people deleting these platforms to make change, or is that an unrealistic idea?

    1. I just deleted facebook tonight. I am positive I will miss events and be left out of things, and also feel disconnected…but I am confident that the friendships that I care about will survive. That being said, I don’t think I could have done this in undergrad. Different stage of life, different things matter. At some point, I bet you will get sick of it….but maybe not!

  2. You summed up my experience with Facebook almost perfectly in this note. At this point I almost strictly use the platform to organize or respond to events with my friends, and yes, the birthday reminders are a nice touch – it has saved me twice in the last two days! I can’t remember the last time I added a new friend, or actually scrolled the newsfeed to get caught up on my “friends” lives. To me, I don’t see a real need of keeping it, but I also don’t see a major reason compelling me to delete it. Since I barely spend any time on the platform I think I’ll keep it for now (at least until I’m done undergrad), so I can be sure not to miss events with my friends where I’ll actually get to interact with them in person. Who knows how I’ll feel about the platform after leaving BC, but I can see how the appeal of keeping it may dwindle even more!

  3. Great post! I’ve thought about deleting for Facebook for a while now. I usually just use it as a way to waste time in between meetings, work, and my commute. A lot of what I see on there could probably be found on YouTube in terms of content and I do see the concept of using something like Instagram stories being more popular for friends to update each other and stay connected. It’s interesting b/c Facebook owns Instagram, but I feel myself and my close friends leaning more towards Instagram as their “daily driver” for social media. I’ll be honest, I’ve been super lazy even wishing people happy birthday when I see a notification just because I’d rather reach out via a text or a call. I think I would have a slight fear of missing out in case something is mentioned on Facebook like specific group chat messages or event invites but I agree with you here, interacting more in person and actually being social is better than relying so much just on technology.

  4. I’ve contemplated deleting my Facebook countless times, and even succeeded in doing so, only to come back in a matter of a week or two. Before I even got to reading halfway through your blog, I immediately thought about the birthdays. As silly as it sounds, Facebook has been such a convenient reminder for me, telling whose birthdays are coming up or whose birthdays I’ve missed. My Spotify account is also linked to my Facebook, so I can’t access it if my Facebook is deactivated. I’m sure there’s a way to create a Spotify username, separate from Facebook, but I just haven’t looked into it much. I’ve noticed that a lot of organizations utilize Facebook to pub their events or create a group to communicate with one another. In college, it’s nearly impossible to not have a Facebook. I was in an A Cappella group for the past three years and we were required to pub every performance or show of ours on Facebook. The church I attend in Boston also has a big community here at BC, so we have a Facebook group to post about any announcements or upcoming events. I’m sure my Facebook usage will decrease drastically once I graduate. I’ve certainly noticed that about a lot of alumni who have been extremely active while they were in school and are now M.I.A. I think Facebook in general is becoming more and more obsolete and irrelevant. Nobody really posts much on people’s walls anymore for their birthdays because it’s impersonal. I agree with you, I hope we can stop replacing Facebook with actual face-to-face contact. The solution is simple: everyone is one text or call away!

  5. I thought this post was very interesting, and props to you for actually deleting it! I thought about the birthdays before you mentioned it as well, and it is a helpful reminder, but in reality how hard is it to remember the peoples birthdays that I truly care about? Not very. I find myself using Facebook a lot less than I used to, and I was just talking to a friend the other day how it seems to have transitioned a bit to the older generation (my mom is for sure more popular on Facebook than I am). As an undergrad particularly I do use it often for events and groups that I’m in and I think that is the main reason that I wouldn’t delete it at this point in my life at least. But in a few years, who knows.

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