10 +1 reasons you should drop Facebook like a hot rock

1. facebook turns relationships into a commodity. how far into your past do you have to go to sate your need for an ever-expanding circle of friends/relatives/acquaintances to feed your ‘feed?’ don’t you feel good when you find a new ‘person you know’ on facebook to ‘friend?’ doesn’t that feeling go away, fast, leaving you waiting for the next find? don’t you just ache when you log in and you don’t see that little red ‘activity’ indicator at the bottom of the page?

2. facebook’s growing ubiquity works against it. since everyone’s on it, i begin to feel like all i know about everyone i know is what their status updates tell me. it’s like an endless stream of relational inanity, much of it indecipherable.

3. facebook wastes your time with information you don’t need. that time could be used to relate to the same set (or a subset) of people in analogous ways that are far more rewarding. so facebook is actually robbing you of quality relationship by substituting a more time-consuming junk relationship.

4. facebook encourages a sense of false identity. giving people a full profile of things you’re a ‘fan’ of — ‘lost,’ sharpies, puggles, brad pitt, radiohead — tells them very little about who you are. joining a cause or creating a profile of books you’ve read or movies you enjoy doesn’t get people much closer to the core of who you are.

5. your [grandpa/boss/highschoolgymteacher/firstgirlfriend] is on facebook.

6. facebook allows your friends to expand your online presence, posting pictures of you without your consent which they can then attach to your profile without your knowledge. yikes.

7. facebook’s algorithm for who shows up in your feed is not all-inclusive. certain of your friends (or ‘friends’) will dominate. certain others, although they continue to update their facebook pages, will never show up. you will not know why.

8. facebook encourages a false sense of accomplishment. you have not contributed to a cause by joining its facebook group page.

9. facebook keeps all your data, forever, and uses it to develop sophisticated demographic marketing profiles, which it sells. aggressively. want out? you can only ‘deactivate’ your account, you can’t delete it. facebook is an engine for making you a marketing target.

10. facebook is a bait and switch. it promises to be all about the people you ‘friend’ — after all, you’re seeing their statuses, their postings, their photos, their comments. but really, its all about you: what are *you* doing, what do other people think about what *you’re* doing, do you have the perfect profile picture yet. (zena suggested posting only brutally self-deprecating status updates and seeing whether people balk). i already have an online forum for broadcasting ‘all about me.’ you’re reading it right now.

+1. you don’t need more. you need less-but-better.

3 thoughts on “10 +1 reasons you should drop Facebook like a hot rock”

  1. Fair points all (especially #9 – who knows what the future may hold on that one.) However…

    After moving 5 states towards the middle of nowhere, facebook has been a lifesaver for me. Not only have I kept in touch with my most recent circle, I’ve had very genuine interaction with friendly ghosts, and experienced a resurrection of past selves. Some of those past selves deserve another shot at life.

    Timing is everything, but facebook has warmed my heart, defrosted my soul, and kept the wolves at bay. YMMV.

  2. YMMV. At first I thought it meant ‘you make me vomit,’ but that’s just because i’m insecure.

    i heartily endorse facebook’s utility to the exile, grant. thanks for the counterpoint.

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