I'm finally doing it. As someone who was literally paid a salary to post on social media not too long ago, I have now gone full circle and decided to delete Facebook from my life. I may return. I may not. But I need to give this a try to see what the outcome feels like. It already feels weird. As did becoming teetotal eight years ago. Until I got used to seeing the world through that lens and never looked back.
To understand the why of it all, here's the direct transcript of my final facebook update posted yesterday:
Over the past few months, you've probably noticed that I stopped posting as much on Facebook as I did before. During the US Election (and the Brexit referendum) I saw a number of developments within the algorithm which concerned me where friends were posting ever more blatant mis-information in the hope of convincing the other side of their views, while the other side would not even get to read these posts while THEY posted conflicting mis-information themselves.
As for my consumption of Facebook whenever I opened the app, I would find myself scrolling and scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling some more through an ever more weird timeline of cat videos, memes and useless bulshit that just added absolutely NO value to my day whatsoever.
So this got me thinking about the utility, usefulness and indeed community that made me fall in love with Facebook in the first pace. It used to be a place to connect with friends around the world and read YOUR personal updates... now it has morphed into this pseudo-news platform where it is impossible to know what exactly is going on with you guys. And Ironically, only a few of you will read this post as the algorithm limits these personal updates in your timeline to make room for the cat videos, fake news and advertising to make more squillions for Zuck who is still out on his 15 year apology tour.
So I dropped out for a while. And guess what? I didn't miss it. Not once. And in reality, it is most likely that not many of you missed me. And that's OK... I mean, why would you? Our relationship on here is very transactional - when was the last time any of you guys actually phoned me? or emailed me? or even met up with me in person?
Hmmm... not sure what the 'community' element is here. And so for this reason, I have made the decision to delete Facebook from my life. A radical idea, but I believe it is an experiment worth trying.
It feels like that time I gave up alcohol... that "not knowing how long this will last" feeling, but hey, after 8 years without a drink... I can't say I miss it. So I'm guessing I won't miss Facebook either. Let's see.
Yes, I will also lose Instagram, but all I did was post pics of green fields after a decent run. And as for WhatsApp.. that thing just drives me crazy. For example, when someone posts a group update or invite... all you get is your phone buzzing every 5 minutes with "So and so has left the group.".... "so and so has left the group." I think I can live without that in my life too.
So how DO we keep in touch..? Well, I am vain enough to have invested in my own personal website. You can send me a message through www.thomaskilroy.com if you need to contact me about something newsworthy. You can also catch me on LinkedIn where my last post got 7000 views, so as a platform, it is important to me - until they ruin it, that is. And you can find me on Twitter. Although again, I now basically use that for breaking news. I have even set my tweets to delete after 2 weeks. (Edit: ...and nobody noticed.)
Take care for now. No doubt, Arati will continue to relay any interesting updates and in the meantime, I wish you all a healthy and fulfilling relationship with the network that once brought us all together. Sadly Facebook has become more effective at sowing divisions for profit... when they fix that, I might return. Never say never, as the saying goes.