#DeleteFacebook: What You Will Lose, And How You Can Ultimately Survive It
Have you been wanting to get back at Facebook for selling you and your data out? Companies and individuals have started doing it. Why not try deleting your own Facebook account, too?
#DeleteFacebook has been making noise in the past few days after Facebook admitted to the fact that data mining and analytics company Cambridge Analytica did successfully harvest more than 50 million Facebook profile data, thanks to the generous data-sharing policies that Facebook app developers enjoyed back in 2014. On top of Mark Zuckerberg’s numerous interviews since the scandal, the company even released full-page ads on seven British and three American newspapers to apologize for what happened.
Facebook took out full page ads in the NYT, WSJ, WashPost, and 6 UK papers today https://t.co/kMA822kTpU pic.twitter.com/CUEYwyWuTT— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 25, 2018
But what if all of these actually point to one thing? What if all of these only mean that we should, finally, #DeleteFacebook from our lives?
Ever since the scandal, a number of companies have already signed off the Facebook platform. Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox web browser, released a statement last week that they are halting all advertisements on Facebook until the company “takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps.”
We champion platforms and technologies that are good for the web *and* for people. We stand up for transparency & user control because they make the web healthier for us all.— Mozilla (@mozilla) March 22, 2018
That’s why we’re taking a break from Facebook.
More here: https://t.co/ofeyIwO1FN
Even the notorious Elon Musk have joined the party, and made even stronger strides by deleting the Facebook accounts of his companies Tesla and SpaceX entirely.
Delete SpaceX page on Facebook if you're the man?— ? (@serdarsprofile) March 23, 2018
I didn’t realize there was one. Will do.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2018
this should be deleted too right? pic.twitter.com/1llNaXS0CC— bryson (@Bryson_M) March 23, 2018
Definitely. Looks lame anyway.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2018
There are many individuals, as well, who have also documented their Facebook-free lives, and have lived to tell the tale. Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist, author of the book Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus and professor of media studies at City University of New York, Queens College have been off Facebook since 2013 and so far, his life has become even better.
Nick Ciccone spent a year without Facebook, almost got back in the middle of it, but ultimately adapted to the new lifestyle and ultimately got to appreciate the fact that he was able to keep in touch with people who were only genuinely concerned about him.
Celestine Chua was a blogger and she was afraid deleting Facebook would impact how much views and traffic her blogs got. But as she found herself having more time for things she normally didn’t have time for because of all her news feed scrolling, she found that her business was not in any way affected by her boycott of the social media platform.
People think there’s so much to lose when they ditch Facebook. But is it really too much to ask when compared to the benefits? Let’s zoom in on to the specifics.
Pitfalls of deleting your Facebook account
One, of course, you’ll have to back up all the important photos you’d only ever upload on Facebook. In the first place, why don’t you have a hard drive or a cloud to store your photos anyway? This may take some time but if you’re not up for the challenge of going through every single picture you need, you can deactivate your Facebook instead and bring it back up everytime you just need to get something important from your gallery.
Facebook is, first and foremost, a networking site. This means that your Facebook page is a great tool to keep a network of colleagues and possible business contacts when you need them.
Ciccone recalls when she first deleted her Facebook account, “Here I was, a year from being out in the real world after college, and I’d just deleted a perfectly reasonable networking tool. Not only that, but what would my prospective employer think of me when she found out I hadn’t a Facebook account? Uh-oh. Should I pull a George Costanza and return to the Facebook party like I’d never left?”
But who really does use Facebook for work now, anyway? When you’ve got LinkedIn for managing real industry connections, e-mail for correspondence, and business cards to pass around, there really is not much to lose if you decide to ditch Facebook.
If you’ve somehow morphed into an individual that lives and breathes off constant approval, then deleting your Facebook will make your first few weeks—maybe even months—feel like hell. You won’t have people assuring you that your meal looks tasty or that your vacation was nice. You won’t have people envying your nice date out or your brand new signature purse.
But then, you also won’t have to be constantly bombarded by push notifications that tell you some person you barely remember liked another person’s photograph, or that your elementary school classmate is breaking up again with her nth partner.
And then come the perks
Better quality of information
Facebook has become many people’s source of news and daily happenings. But fake news has become equally rampant in the social media sphere, which makes the quality of information that we get from the site questionable.
So get rid of all the useless junk and instead of relying on Facebook for your daily dose of news, download news aggregation apps or follow credible news sites instead to keep yourself up to date. Curate the stuff you want and need to read about.
Not many of us realize how often we check our Facebook pages. We check them throughout breakfast, lunch, or dinner, before we sleep and right after we wake up, in between breaks, while in the bathroom—basically, all the time! And adding all those small 10 to 20-minute usages will surprisingly bring you to a couple of hours on Facebook each day.
“Personally, I didn’t realize how much time I was spending on Facebook. It was only after deleting my account that I suddenly noticed myself having a lot of free time. Now that I don’t even use it anymore, all this time is being channeled into content creation at PE, planning, and personal time off. Needless to say, it has made me a lot more productive. Rather than fiddling around Facebook, my energy is now channeled into more productive uses,” says Chua.
Better, more human interactions
The problem with Facebook is that it lets friends and families to get away with the fact that they don’t see each other in real life anymore because Facebook somehow connects them and keeps them updated with each other’s goings on. But then, real human interactions cannot be really duplicated by a digital platform.
“Real world interactions allow you to establish rapport and bond in ways that just don't happen online. Several hundred thousand years of human evolution have been dedicated to face-to-face interaction. That's the only way for pro-social hormones such as oxytocin to get released into the bloodstream instead of the stress hormones, such as cortisol, which are released by social media use,” says Rushkoff.
This writer has had her fair share of stories where partners would bicker or fight because one was constantly talking too much with someone else on messenger, or when the other one was liking or commenting too much on another person’s Facebook page. Facebook was not only causing them less time for each other—it also started harboring negative thoughts and feelings of jealousy.
One anonymous writer says that when she and her partner ditched Facebook, they found that their relationship became so much more genuine and private.
She wrote, “Getting rid of both our accounts has improved our relationship in ways I could never have imagined. Instead of spending hours scrolling through newsfeeds and having it create jealously and mistrust between us, we talk to each other more, we spend more time together. That stress and worry in the back of our minds about what goes on when we are on Facebook is gone. Instead of Facebook we now update ourselves on current events throughout New Zealand and the world… and our conversations over breakfast usually go along the lines of ‘did you read about...’”
Print your photos instead
Sometimes, we just want to immortalize certain moments in our lives and photos are a great way to do that. Without Facebook, of course, you won't have a platform to post all your OOTDs and selfies. But instead of stressing over what outfit to wear or where to eat just so you can post a nice photo on your Facebook page, bring a polaroid camera or a traditional camera around with you, and print photographs of special moments and keep them in old-school photo albums. Live in the moment and think about the photos after.
In the end, it's about making the quality of your life better. Facebook is not a need, it's only an extension of our social and working lives. And without it, we may actually find ourselves better off.