8 reasons why I quit facebook

23 May 2018

Dear friend,

I recently quit facebook. I first threatened to leave in December 2014 when I wrote a post about Forgetting how to communicate
This week, I saw myself from another perspective and I didn’t like it! My child asked me a question and I answered him from behind my phone; I didn’t put it down/switch it off/move it to the side, I kept reading, I made no eye contact. Is my obsession with social media affecting my ability to communicate? 
For a long time I did reduce my usage but it had crept back up again. At the start of 2018 I realised that I had lost my motivation that I felt disconnected from the people around me and from myself.  I was spending too much time in my virtual world and not enough in the real one. But the final straw for me was when the Facebook privacy scandal hit the headlines. 

It may seem odd, a blogger, quitting social media when it plays such a large  huge part in blog promotion or even a bit hypocritical of someone who shares so much on-line but here are my 8 reasons why I quit facebook...

1. Facebook is a time waster.

I sit down with a cup of coffee and begin to scroll through facebook and before I know it half an hour has passed, easily. I would rather spend that time practicing self care; listening to music, reading, having a walk. doing something that will benefit my well being or better still with my family. 

2. Facebook is boring.

I am fed up of seeing the same things; the same memes, videos and adverts, liked and shared. I believe that social media displays our lack of imagination as practically the same photo/experience is repeated on our news feeds; the first day at school photos, the I am proud of their parents evening report statements, the look at us on a night out/eating/holiday that are the staple of most news feeds. 

3. Facebook damages your communication skills.

Facebook makes me a lazy friend. Through social media I am able to interact with my friends. However, It has also made me a lazy friend (I should be having more real interactions). It has allowed me to continue superficial friendships. And I admit, I am still guilty of answering my boys from behind a phone at times!

4. Facebook isn't real communication.

The obsession with checking our news feed can not be classed as real communication. I love it when people comment on my photos/statements but I would also argue that many of these comments are artificial communications and often completed out of boredom, rather than interest, a need to communicate to avoid our loneliness.

5. Facebook isn't real friendship.

Look at the number of friends you have on Facebook. How many of them are really good friends? Or how many of the friend requests you get are real people or your actual acquaintances? 

6. Facebook can make you depressed.

Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson MD, with the American Academy of Pediatrics coined the phrase, Facebook depression: symptoms of sadness and anxiety connected with Facebook use. Depression and anxiety often occurs if teenagers fail to receive the contact and acceptance they crave from peers on Facebook. I think this can be extended beyond teenagers to vulnerable people.

7. Privacy

Facebook said it now thinks up to 87 million people, may have had their data improperly shared by Cambridge Analytica.  And many more probably had their public information scraped by outside companies. This scares me!

8. Ownership

Most bloggers I know have a facebook page. Facebook provides an instant audience and a page can quickly gain a following. But the price for access to that network is ownership. What you post on Facebook isn’t yours. With constantly changing algorithms, a free Facebook page for your business may in time cost you because posts that aren’t “boosted” accomplish little.

How do you feel about facebook?

I was careful to leave a final message to notify my followers that I would no longer be posting to facebook with a link to subscribe to the blog if they wished. 

I did consider how leaving facebook would affect my blog Stats and it has meant a drop in my TOTS 100 rating. It has had no impact on my viewing figures (although I am not very good at analysing my blog statistics and did not have a huge facebook following). 

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