Starting today I will be on Mastodon. To be honest, I have no idea how easy and/or successful this is going to be, but I guess only time will tell. For those who want to interact with me there, check out @firstname.lastname@example.org please.
Remember I stopped using Facebook a few years ago (and got back not too long ago)? Well, I quit Twitter too (and don’t plan on ever returning). Although it had grown to be my main news source for the past five years I’d used it – especially when it came to music hero deaths – recent events pushed my personal irritation buttons sufficiently for me to stop using it altogether.
What’s this stuff with Elon Musk buying Twitter for the absurd amount of 44 billion? How about Trump being allowed back on? And then Musk started firing so many of the folks at Twitter by email, in specific the people who were responsible for content moderation? Musk deserves global recognition for the advancements involving Tesla and, probably, Space-X, but his megalomaniacal approach to the Twitter takeover pushed a whole bunch of my allergy buttons. I had already been underwhelmed by the Twitter algorithms (got the oddest ‘sponsored Tweets’ on my feed), so when people on my feed started Tweeting about leaving Twitter, I wanted to be part of this movement and decided to leave too. I removed the mobile apps, downloaded my data, and cancelled my account right aftwards. It is now nearly one month later and I only miss Twitter on Saturdays, when a Dutch comedian (Youp van ‘t Hek) always posts a razor-sharp column.
From now on I’ll be listening to the twitter of actual birds outside my window.
Added 25 April 2023: I have in the mean time joined Mastodon – @email@example.com.
I am disappointed. Disappointed at myself. After a little over 3 years of cold turkey, I have rejoined Facebook. It was triggered by my previous blog entry, when I figured it would probably be wise to try and find those people using what is still the biggest social network for people beyond adolescence.
As it turned out, my old username was still available so nothing much changed. But I am only going to use it to find and communicate with people. No updates, no pictures of my food, no product likes and shit. Just a search tool to get in touch with people. Besides, Firefox has a Facebook container plug-in now, so I cannot be tracked all over the place except on the Messenger, Facebook and Instagram sites.
I noticed Facebook had changed quite a bit since April 2018, visually, but it did weirdly feel like a warm embrace. I recognise it for what it was – the warm feeling of something you’ve been addicted to. Now I just need to stay vigilant so it will not again overwhelm me.
Time has flown by since I abandoned Facebook. Today it’s been a year exactly.
And I have to say there are advantages and disadvantages to no longer using Facebook. An obvious advantage is that I have more time on my hands that I would otherwise have thrown away using Facebook – watching memes, viewing videos, trying to keep abreast of things my most casual of friends were doing. FOMO in action. Instead I do use Twitter, but nowhere near consuming as much time as Facebook. A disadvantage is that I am rapidly losing touch with quite a few of my better than casual friends. And, obviously, it is difficult for me to post questions of a technical nature, that would previously have been responded to (and more often than not quite properly and proficiently answered) within a few hours at most.
A few days after the official Facebook your-account-will-now-really-be-deleted deadline I did try to log in. I was relieved to notice it was actually no longer possible, so I therefore had to assume my details were really truly gone. There was a certain degree of ambivalence to my relief though – it was, after all, also a bit like finding out an ex-partner had removed my contact details from her phone ;-).
After a few months not entirely bereft of regret, my feelings of cold turkey slowly wore off. Ever since the end of February, however, I have felt better than ever before. This is due to Troed Sangberg putting me in touch with MeWe.com. This is a fairly new social network that will not mine your data or track you, and in fact one of its advisors is the creator of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. I have befriended quite a few people there, especially friends of the, shall we say, technical persuasion. And I don’t post stuff about where I am and what I am eating there – things I used to do on Facebook but for which I kinda hated myself. Although web guru Frederic Poeydomenge has not joined yet, I expect the major disadvantage of being without Facebook to be largely compensated shortly.
And I have to admit I have survived admirably. It’s toughest when I need some technical help and I can’t just post a status message that’d get virtually instant help from one of my very many geek Facebook friends. I have also lost touch with some people that I really felt like being in touch with by just occasionally checking their walls.
But it’s much cooler around birthdays, because I have reverted to sending congratulatory emails and getting an actual response back is much cooler than just getting a “Like!” to my “Congratulations!”. Much more personal.
I strongly doubt that I will be thinking the same when my birthday comes around…
It is almost exactly two weeks ago that I quit Facebook. I have really barely missed it, and my habit of surfing to facebook.com barely rears its head any more. In fact, I wouldn’t have posted this if it weren’t for the particular significance of the “two weeks” marker: In a few hours from now, Facebook should no longer allow me to login to recover my account. My account should then be deleted and unrecoverable.
I am now officially and practically without Facebook. Looking forward to the rest of my life.
One week without Facebook – no tempting adverts on the phone version, no constant world misery Trump shit. I might actually be happier now (though I grant that ‘oblivious’ is probably a better description). Previously I constantly got mad and frustrated about Brexit and the Republicans and LGBT rights being trampled upon and not being able to influence all that by one iota, but now I don’t. I am back in my own bubble, without my personal tastes constantly being pandered by carefully selected posts and ads on my wall.
O wait, I did notice something I really miss: I had recently discovered a page where recordings of all recent Metallica shows were posted, only a few days after their release on livemetallica.com. I miss that. Now I have to go on Soulseek again and wait for someone to share it there.
So I guess I do miss a certain specific aspect of Facebook for now. But it’s still very much something I can cope with.
So, three days without Facebook. I am not missing it as much as I thought I would. Twice today I wanted to check into a restaurant…but I also realised that is just basically vain and/or hedonistic. It was one of the weirder things on Facebook, and I had joined it quite enthusiastically.
And three of my closer friends have had birthdays since I quit (hi Ingrid, Ronny and Stefan!). I sent them personal emails instead of just a quick “Congratulations!” on their FB walls. I got nice and personal messages back instead of the FB alternative – a Like or, at best, a Like and a “Thanks!”
I do regularly sit at my laptop and find myself wanting to visit facebook.com. But it’s an easy habit to kick. I am kicking it. At this rate, I can’t imagine missing Facebook until STNICCC 2032 is around the corner. And who knows what’ll happen to me, or Facebook, or the world, before then?
It has not saved me a as much time as I had expected, not yet. I am binge-watching series on Netflix more now (“Modern Family” a.t.m.). Or watching deskcam crash compilation on Youtube. Playing my new black Explorer clone guitar (see the “G.A.S.” gallery on this site).
No regrets so far.
Facebook has allowed me to connect to a great many people past and present. Without it I would probably not have been able to organise STNICCC 2015, and many of my technical questions would have remained unanswered. But the inability of Facebook to sufficiently protect my data, coupled with the fact that they are keeping track of rather a whole lot more than what I voluntarily share, has caused me to make this decision. The fact that the mere thought of quitting Facebook made me feel like someone had died also strengthened my resolve – I do not want to be dependent on (perhaps even addicted to) any company this much. Life will not become easier because of this choice (rather the opposite), but it will likely become less stressful.
If you ever need to contact me for whatever reason, do so here. I also sometimes (re-)tweet @CronosWarchild.
#deletefacebook #byebyefacebook #hellodarknessmyoldfriend 🙂
I saw a 16-minute video clip today that made me want to leave Facebook. I am not going to make this a semi-religious quest and I don’t care what others do with their lives (though I’d prefer my wife to join me), but after finding out the true extent of what Facebook knows about me (everything beyond “the stuff I voluntarily share” is utterly shocking!) I am going to just remove my account.
It is an addiction. It is something I am currently less able to function without. I throw away vast amounts of time on Facebook. Facebook, I have decided, is evil.
To watch the video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa-SzNepsA
I am going to delete my Facebook account tomorrow at 20:00 my time (UTC +1), and remove all Facebook integration from my sites before that. I am pretty sure I am going to regret it countless times afterwards, but fuck that.