I was one of the early adopters, when I’ve created my first account back in the late 2006. My reason was Sia Furler, a rather unknown singer in those days. She, like Facebook, grew immensely popular since.
I’m not in a habit of stalking singers, but her I found interesting and I wanted to find out more. I’ve achieved that and I must admit, it was pretty much the only utility Facebook provided me, ever.
After that, couple of people added me, and I’ve added some, but soon I’ve got bored and erased my account.
Some time passed and Facebook became highly popular, hence I decided to give it another try, and I’ve created a new, current, account.
Couple of people added me again, and I’ve added some, but yet again, I’ve realized there’s no point in it.
Hence, I’ve archived it.
I didn’t delete it because I want to make a statement, its existence tells, that I was there and moved on. That’s an important message.
Furthermore, I also gave people an alternative way of getting in touch with me — link to this website.
Finally, I’ve kept an account to make impersonations and tagging harder and because, in either case, I believe no data is actually deleted from the server.
I’ve never thought Facebook is particularly good idea, nor I saw much value in it. It is a social network after all, not a network of artists, thinkers or book lovers. It’s a social network, and it does a lousy job even at that.
The level of communication (if we could call it so) is reduced to likes and link sharing, photo sharing, practiced in a very banal way and checking-in at various locations.
There’s very little thoughts provided by users themselves (I value those who does it), either in a form of posts or comments.
We can easily blame Facebook for poor habits of its users. Service sadly did not progress towards better interaction and richer communication. Commenting and posting stayed at a very basic level, while we witness an evolution of predefined moods, relationships and life events, all of which enables easy harvesting of users’ data.
That’s not surprising; Facebook is not there to serve its users, it’s vice versa, benefits for users are purely coincidental. I shall not go deeper into privacy concerns at this point.
Another disturbing realization, which very much contributed to my decision came, when I was observing how an actual user, my friend, interacted with Facebook. There was something utterly disturbing in a passive staring at a computer screen, clicking through intimate photos of a family in their home. Celebrating Christmas. Having a dinner. Playing with kids. I felt like in a nightmarish scene of a dystopian movie.
I’ve fully realized what I already knew — there’s nothing social about it, in reality it’s entirely anti-social, depressing, pointless.
Perhaps some relationships were meant to end, and we need to let them go. Perhaps it was not meant to stay in touch with your first sweetheart, your playmate from the kindergarten or your first teacher.
Perhaps those connection which are meant to be, are! With, or without Facebook. Perhaps people who are meant to find us, find us, somehow, by intent or coincidence.
I think that, when you bump into your classmate, after ten long years, it’s somehow magical to sit in a coffee shop, listening with excitement about his life. How he since became father, how he works as a baker in a neighboring town. More exciting than — you know, learning these things from still images on a computer screen, and hence, feel no need nor excitement to talk about them in real life.
Those are my reasons. You are, naturally, different. I don’t judge. Facebook has value for some people and especially businesses. That’s fine, go ahead.
As for me, it’s possible I’m just imaging it but, I feel somehow lighter now, like I’d just finished a heavy, pointless, disturbing book. I’ve put it on a shelf, looked at many other options, and grabbed something nicer.