“The average number of Facebook friends per user is 245, according to a Pew Research Center sample“
NOTE: I wrote this in January, 2013. I have since then become a very contented NON-Facebook user.
There are a number of reasons Why I Am Leaving Facebook. When I first became a Facebook member, a colleague welcomed me to “the biggest time-waster on the planet.”
I am retired, I have the good fortune to arrange my time as I see fit and not bow to the dictates of a workplace.
I believe that what I do with that time should be spent doing anything other than Facebook.
How many minutes per day and hours per week or month do we “waste” on Facebook? With that same time we could be writing a letter to a real “friend”, not some “friend-of-a-friend” or some mere acquaintance on Facebook. We could read a good book or watch an interesting film or documentary. Perhaps we could even take a nap after lunch or before dinner. I believe that anything useful, entertaining or educational is preferable to Facebook.
I do not like the feeling that I “must” be on Facebook to see what is going on with my friends. If you are my friend, you are already in touch with me in some meaningful fashion. I first joined Facebook because my former students made a page asking my not to leave my position at Bilgi University. (John Hoca bizi ziyarete gelsiinn) They are wonderful, loving and caring and I will always thank them for their efforts on my behalf.
I started on the road to becoming a Facebook “addict,” I felt compelled to check in and even to “like” this or that because someone did the same for me. It is time to detox and quit what is, for me, a bad habit.
“57% of people talk to people more online than they do in real life.”
Facebook offers me nothing that I cannot get in a phone call, a video call, a postal letter, a paper greeting card, an email, a chat or a web page with photos on it. It seems to me it is a lazy person’s way to “keep in touch.” A quick like on Facebook is not the same as taking the time to write a message to a significant friend telling them how much you like or love them. Making contact takes effort and time. If you do not want to make the effort to contact a friend, then is that person really a friend worth contacting? If your “friend” cannot make the time to contact you, then are they a friend? If you do not have the time, perhaps you should seriously question the reason why and is whatever else you are doing really worth the ridiculous amount of time you spend doing it?
If we use Facebook to “keep in touch” with friends we are lazy or not very concerned friends. Because of Facebook we far too frequently avoid calling a friend or writing a personal letter. In place of a really meaningful and informative contact, Facebook users spend a few scarce moments looking at photos of kids they may have never met, pets they may never want to encounter, “friends of friends” they would not want to meet in a dark alley and then out of habit or some form of misplaced courtesy, “like” them.
Facebook pages display, among other things, a “collection of badly spelled, semi-rant, semi-lunatic writings by your e-friends,” unfortunately I must admit that I have been guilty of the rants and probably other transgressions although I hope I was not found guilty of the “badly spelled.”
I had hoped that some of my Facebook “rants,” comments or links that would enable me to engage others in debate, discussion, disagreement, or heated argument. Instead, I encountered a nearly complete ignoring of the remarks, even though they were intended to provoke.
“If I unplug your network cord from the wall, your e-friends are gone. No more FarmVille, no more Wall. It’s as simple as that.”
If I want to play an online game I do not need Facebook. If I want to do anything online, and still remain, relatively anonymous, Facebook is no place to be.
I plan to continue to connect on a personal level with my real friends. If they do that for me, I will attempt to do the same for them, if they do not, then I must assume they are not or never were my friends.
There are genuine privacy issues associated with Facebook. We cannot be assured that Facebook does not, has not or will not, gather information about us, without our knowledge and our permission, for commercial or other purposes.
Google is another online arena where there is a very high potential for abuse of what used to be nobody’s business. Identity thefts happen frequently, usually because someone did not safeguard their identity enough, Facebook, Google and other online sites encourage us to open ourselves to a larger group of people than we would ever consider otherwise.
People have lost their jobs because they foolishly posted inappropriate photos on Facebook or because their “friends” posted them. When you announce on Facebook that you will be somewhere away from your home for an evening, a day, or a weekend or leave on a holiday, you could be telling someone that it is safe to break into your apartment and take anything which pleases them. Facial recognition has gotten out of hand by “tagging” photos of people, I do not want, nor should you want, someone “tagging” or posting a photo without permission.
Ironically, there is another and opposite side which can be menacing to those who have never started a Facebook account or deleted one. Some potential employers question why a person does NOT have a Facebook account. A bank manager, may sneak a peek and not find you and then be hesitant to make you a loan, or a prospective client or other business associate may “check up on you” and finds you do not have an account. It may create a suspicion that you have something to hide, wherein the “may” could turn into a “must” from that force of suspicion.
Negative assumptions are the antithesis of a free society wherein a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty. Any assumptions to the contrary should be resisted by any means necessary. I would rather lose a job or not get an interview than feel forced to start a Facebook page because a potential employer was suspicious about why I did not have one.
I thank all of you who have pulled me into Facebook with your good intentions and I hope you will understand why I am now leaving.
Downgrading Facebook. Tech Abandoner? Or Rational Lifestyle Choice? by Haydn Shaughnessy
Facebook, Twitter? Can The Decline of Social Media Come Fast Enough? by Haydn Shaughnessy
If you were a Facebook “friend” and you do not know my personal email address please use the contact form below.