May 13, 2013

Why I am Leaving Facebook... Forever.

On 29th of May 2013, I will be completing 2 years on Facebook and I will use the occasion to PERMANENTLY delete my FB account, hopefully never to come back to it again. In a way, it's not a big deal. I mean, it's not as if I am leaving my online life forever. But, looking it from another angle, it IS a big deal. Facebook, like it or not, is the second identity of millions of people online. 

So, why leave Facebook? And why is it required to explain why I am leaving Facebook, anyway? 

Let me answer the second question first: it's required so that I don't need to give an explanation each of my (Facebook) friends again and again. And it is also required so that if I ever think to create an FB account again, I can read this first and remind myself of why I left it in the first place. 

Coming to the question of "Why am I leaving Facebook?" There are plenty of reasons, some personal, some ethical and some plain silly. I enlist the random 10 that come in mind: 

1. Facebook has become boring: I admit, I have been guilty of overusing it in past. But, now it has become more of an 'unconscious habit' than what I do 'willingly'. And hence I don't enjoy it as much as I used to.

2. I am trying to create time: So, will deleting FB account buy me hours of time from my daily schedule? Certainly not. But I am identifying areas where my time goes down the drain, and trying to rectify the problem, FB being (just) one of them. 

3. I am trying to lessen my obligations: One could argue, why delete the account, why not just stop using it? You see, I have already tried that method. But it doesn't work well in my case. If I will have an FB account, I would feel obligated to use it. Also, there is no point of keeping something when you don't use it. 

4. Facebook was taking away my freedom of expression: I have traditionally used Facebook to push out the ideas/thoughts coming up in the mind, throughout the day, similar to how I have used this blog and Twitter in past. But, overtime I found my ideas getting stifled by not just getting criticised, but also ridiculed. Naturally, I considerably reduced expressing myself. Now, if you take that away, Facebook is of not much use to me anymore. 

5. I do not like where Facebook is going: They just want more and more people to join the network. It's good for them: more people, more data, more advertisement, more mullah. I think, the original idea of creating FB i.e. to allow people to connect with their friends, has been forgotten. Now, it is more about projecting a false over-inflated-ego-filled identity. It's more about posting your pictures now and thanking people when they Like them. 

6. The way it's used simply irritates me: A few cases in point: 
  •  Mass wishes on profile: I have ranted about it in past. If you are really friends with the person, write them a personal email or a private message. Why make a show out of it? These one lines wishes seem to be as if people are just trying to complete their duty. 
  •  Posting about how girls are the victims: If you feel that you are a victim being a girl, then I say you shouldn't have been born at all. Do not tell me, that this happens or that happens to me by the 'cruel male dominated society'. You are a human before a female and you can fight against the wrongdoings just like anyone else. Can we please stop wasting everybody's time now?
  •  Posting obscure status updates and not elaborating when asked for: God damn it! Why did you post it in the first place, when you didn't want to share it?
  • Tagging unnecessarily: In the past I have accepted getting tagged in pictures where I don't belong so as to keep a friend or two happy, but not anymore. I do not like it, I do not support it and I do not do it myself.
  • Posting new profile pictures every other day: I sometimes feel like they are just craving to be 'Liked' by people. Probably it helps satisfy their ego.
  • Telling the whole world where are they currently and with whom they are and whatever on earth they are doing: I don't know how people miss that it's too much information to give away. Eventhough we like to imagine FB as our own little family, it's NOT. I can assure you 99.99% don't care. 
  • Sharing stuffs without checking the facts: Pure stupidity. With so much information being thrown at us in such a short time, it's easy to forget that it may actually not be true! I suspect using FB makes us an idiot over time.
  • Sharing whatever idiotic stuffs they get to see wherever on FB: Well what can I say about it.
  • Spreading superstitions in the name of God: I have never Liked any of those pictures "in 3 seconds". Unfortunately nothing great happened in my life, but nothing overtly bad happened as well. Seems like we are trying to suggest that only Facebook users are entitled for great luck because they get to Like God's pictures whole day and night. .

Of course, I can't change people using it. But I have a choice to get away from it and I am utilizing it.

7. It's not intentional but I want to show people that they CAN leave FB after all: I have only seen people leaving a social network when either their accounts get hacked or when they get an even 'better' network (Remember moving from Orkut to Facebook?). But otherwise it is painfully difficult to willingly leave a site. I know a lot of people, who share the same sentiments I listed above, but they just 'can't leave it'. After all, you have spent hours and hours into creating your Facebook identity, how can you just delete it all in one stroke. There are just too many sentiments attached to it. Plus, the lure of remaining 'connected' to ALL the 'friends' made over a lifetime is just too much resist. And even if, by any chance, if someone decides to leave FB, their friends will guilt-trip them into returning back sooner or later. 

8. It's certainly NOT a necessity: I have remained without FB for many years and I was just fine. I remained in REGULAR contact with only a handful of friends, and that did not change much even after joining FB. And, I also know a few people who almost never log in to FB and they don't seem to be missing a lot in their life. So, when someone says they can't imagine life without FB, actually they don't want to imagine a life without it. 

9. It does not serve its real purpose for me: While it's fashionable, I have seldom seeked a tonne of friends. I only want a handful of friends but real friends, with whom I can express myself without any apprehensions. After coming on FB, although I did join a lot of people, I seldom made any real connection with any of them. I can safely say it DID NOT bring me closer to anyone, maybe barring a very few individuals. I thought FB was about me and my friends, but I found out it was actually about 'my friends and their friends'. 

10. I want to go back to Twitter: I only have a very limited time to be online. I did try hard, but ever since I joined FB, I just couldn't keep up with Twitter regularly. But, if I compare Twitter and FB, Twitter gives greater ROI for time to me. So, I am choosing Twitter over FB as my defacto social account. 

But really, it's not about Facebook. It's about people using the Facebook. If you see Google+, it seems refreshing at first sight. But, if everybody were to shift to Google+, it will become the next FB overnight. Also, I am in no way trying to tell that everybody should leave FB or FB users are not as coo! as me. But I am pretty sure now that I no longer want to use it and would like spend my spare time doing something more worthwhile. 

And I will find ways to connect to people worth connecting, Facebook or Not.

This is it!