It’s been about a month since I unceremoniously destroyed my 8+ year old Facebook account, and I haven’t regretted it. In fact, I wonder why I waited so long.
Ultimately, it came down to my annoyance at being subjected to a sort of inquest Facebook decided to hassle me with in accordance with their stupid real name policy. Mind you, I wasn’t using some outrageous alias or anything like that, just a very simple derivation of my actual name that was recognizable as my birth certificate name. However, an algorithm or some complaint from someone I pissed off with a comment or something else alerted Facebook to the possibility that there might be some difficulty in positively linking my screen name to my true identity and the loss to its advertisers could cost as much as $8 over a matter of years.
Facebook demanded that I send them a copy of my identification. I said, “No, I’m not going to do that.” It was a Friday. I made a final post to alert my friends and family that I was done and would unjack from the Matrix by the end of the weekend.
It wasn’t just because of this though, really. I’ve long had concerns about Facebook’s lack of respect for privacy and how it uses the enormous amount of data it gathers. Over the years, I finally decided that the more they demanded, the more likely it was going to be put to some nefarious use. Once they asked for a copy of my license and all of the personal data it includes, I knew I was right.
There’s more, of course. As zoom pointed out in our debut post, Facebook has become utterly toxic for most of us and it’s impossible to discuss any current events without damaging our personal relationships. Ever since the election, my newsfeed was unreadable. Suddenly, people who never discussed politics before had strong opinions sufficient enough to even demand that people who voted for Trump should unfriend them. There were two of these among my friends. I also began to suspect that many of my friends had unfollowed me because they didn’t want to read my pro-Republican posts. Most of them probably don’t even know that I left Facebook.
Facebook was great when I could see it as a way to find and keep in touch with people who I might otherwise have lost from my life forever. At a certain point though, it started to destroy those relationships. A happy side effect of ditching Facebook, I believe, is that it may have been the best thing for preserving them.
This isn’t to say that any social media app is necessarily any better or worse. LinkedIn never really was worth much, but I find the content increasingly trite. I don’t take or care to look at photos very much (I don’t even like screwing with putting photos on my posts here), so Instagram and Snapchat are pointless to me. It just leaves Twitter and I can already foresee me eventually quitting that platform as well over its glaring problems with censorship of right-leaning political views. It’s inevitable, they just haven’t given me a “Papers, please?” moment.
This is all just me, of course, and nothing I say or do will make a dent in these social media empires. Yet if I can do any good for any of you who have been flirting with dumping the ‘Book and are worried about whether or not it’s worth it, I’ll tell you outright: do it. You’ll be happier, your friends and family will understand, and you can still get all your political and cultural commentary from Ridiculous Viking Stuff.
Here at RVS, we have no advertisers, we gather and share no personal data from our users, we allow as close to anonymous commenting as is possible, and we don’t give a damn what you do online as long as you visit now and then. We can even discuss politics in a rational, fair, and open-minded manner.
So share our posts on some of those social media accounts you guys still have. Maybe we can be a good role model for the billionaire jerkoffs who have forgotten what human relationships are really about.