no more keeping my feet on the ground

Why I am leaving Facebook

I don’t know how long it’s been since I registered my Facebook account.  Perhaps 3 to 4 years, or maybe even a bit more. And, so far, Facebook has served me in lots of nice ways. Unfortunately, as time passed, many things changed, and Facebook too became touched by these changes. Most of the goods it once brought to me it can no longer offer. It has become a time consuming ritual which I now wish to break.  And here are the reasons…

1. The platform connected me to school friends, childhood friends and relatives to whom I had lost contact a very long time ago.

If it weren’t for Facebook, only an extremely lucky coincidence would have brought me back to meet really nice people from the past. It has kept me in touch with all the great things my friends do: Facebook summarized the act of calling everyone on daily basis (which nobody would have otherwise done) and checking what’s up with them, into a simple, compact, time-efficient  ritual.

Few years ago I could scroll down the news feed at any given moment and read the latest news my friends had posted. This I can still do today, at least theoretically, but something has changed. As Facebook updated their algorithm, I could feel how the news feed got lighter and lighter, more and more boring, filled with more promotional posts and less of the organic ones. Friends that used to show up with great news now appear in the newsfeed only rarely. If I check their profile pages individually I discover amazingly interesting updates, most of these quite fresh. We are no longer the ones deciding what is worth reading and what isn’t . The algorithm is. Basically, 3 years I have struggled to get all of my friends in one place, so that now we just lose contact again? Why do I have to pay for a promoted post to show my friends something interesting? Sorry Facebook, I’m not playing this game any more.

2. Through Facebook I could constantly keep track of what my friends are doing.

I used to be constantly informed of their latest career choices, travel plans and life updates . Every time one of my friends would visit Berlin I would instantly know about it and quickly arrange a meeting for us.

This Facebook no longer does. Once upon a time the timeline was filled with the bare essentials you needed to know about your friends: I’m in Sydney, I have a new job, I’m working on a new project, I’m in a new relationship etc. Nowadays you can spend hours scrolling down that never ending timeline, scrolling and scrolling, desperately looking for some relevant news… and all you will get is: pictures of cats, paparazzi photos of this and that, political debates, invites to FarmVille or WhateverVille and, last but not least, people either bragging or complaining (I admit it, I am one of those people too) about the least important aspects of their lives (“this cheesecake was delicious”,”OMG. I missed the bus”, “I have the new iPhone!!”, “walking on the street – feeling amazing”). Somehow I feel like having lost contact with everyone. Let’s just say, my impression is that the quality of our online interactions has drastically decreased. Everyone likes everyone else’s status and that’s all. Few people click the links you share, even fewer care to leave a comment. Facebook has become a place where everyone wishes to be listened to, but nobody listens. I no longer wish to be part of this movement.

3. Facebook was a source for information and interesting events.

A platform for meet new people, with whom you had lots of common interests. Through the internet I came to meet some of the most amazing folks out there.

But now past is the past, and the future is the future. I  think it’s been two years since I last went to an event organized on Facebook. Now there are better platforms for this, such as meetups.com.

4. It has helped me in promoting my own projects.

The tea shop has grown a lot (in terms of branding) through its Facebook page and some of the Facebook Ads campaigns we organized. The issue here is somewhat similar to the one already explained at point two. When it comes to Facebook business pages the question is: do they really help your business grow? They get you likes, they get you fans, but what does that all mean? A photo shared on our tea shop’s Facebook page gets about 10-20 likes, BUT… zero clicks and zero buys. Even in paid campaigns, the conversion rate is awful. What am I going to do with all those likes?! I think it’s time to give less importance to Facebook and start looking for more efficient ways of convincing people that tea is great.

5. A good habit has turned into a bad habit.

Scrolling down the timeline and distributing likes is not the best thing one can do with his/her own spare time, especially when the timeline is filled with information that no longer interests anyone. Soon I will start writing my bachelor thesis, at d’Oro Tea and FloristMelb there’s constantly work to be done, so I really need to cut off any bad, time consuming habits. Now I am asking you: how many hours do you spend on Facebook? Isn’t there anything else, anything better you’d rather do with your time? Like going for a walk, reading a book or meeting your friends?

6. Last but not least, the privacy issue.

I’m not going to go into many details. You all know Facebook stores and analyses every bit of information it has about you, even your unpublished status updates. Social experiments aren’t such a secret either. Does this bother you? Well, it does bother me… so, thank you for everything, Facebook, but I’ve had enough. :)

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  1. Wise decision. I use Facebook for messages and short updates from time to time. I could quit at any time but I don’t or at least I think I can’t.

    • Dorothea

      February 12, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Well, you can’t quit entirely as long as everyone else keeps using it. It’s been 6 weeks since I ‘divorced’ the platform, and some friends still prefer to contact me there even though they have my e-mail address. :-)

      • They contact you there because it’s so easy to chat with friends over Facebook. (I’d like to talk with friends by emails, I don’t know why, I fancy the idea.)

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