A month without Facebook

Just over a month ago, I decided to stop using Facebook after receiving a system wide ban for three days for posting a joke in a closed group. For the record, I never got banned from the group; I’m still a member, the admins never had a problem with my joke. Facebook decided that I should be banned system wide as “Punishment” for posting a link to a Youtube video entitled, “Goat shagging.” It was this heavy handed censorship to which I oppose, and my primary motivator for quitting Facebook. As I reflect on the past month, I have to admit I’m glad that this happened, and my life has been significantly better without Facebook.

The first thing that happened was that I started to get things done. For example, I kept my old computer because I intended to turn it into my personal web server for my blog. I finally did that, but also turned it into a multi-function cloud server. I also finally got around to installing Linux on my new computer; I had been running the Windows 10 license from my old computer, but now use Linux for nearly 100% of my computing needs. Then I started writing again. When I looked around, I noticed that a lot of creative, intelligent, and inspiring people have also left Facebook, inspiring me further to learn even more new things. Who knew I could track my own cell phone?

A month off of Facebook has helped me to recognize what a useless waste of time it really was. I’m no longer chasing the likes, looking to blow up my number of friends, and feed into a marketing machine constantly distracted by insignificant notifications. I’ve become more focused on my career, real friends, family, and my own mental and physical health. I’ve learned so much in just a short period of time from others who have also learned the folly of Facebook. Facebook is now constantly spamming me with notifications via e-mail, but it’s not my primary e-mail address, and even then it gets filtered away into a folder. I still have yet to migrate my content off of the Facebook platform, but now that I realize how insignificant it really is, I’m in no big hurry to do so.

I don’t think I’ll entirely delete my account on Facebook; unfortunately, for some people, it might be the only way they can initially get in touch with me. I can use Caprine instead of Messenger for one-on-one communications, but I do prefer e-mail. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to move my content and digital life from the big corporate marketing machines to my own hardware, learn new things, and make new friends along the way.

There are other reasons to leave Facebook; here’s some links of note that you may also be interested in reading:

Lifehack has 7 reasons why quitting Facebook now is good for your future.

Men’s Journal also has 7 reasons why you should quit Facebook.

Gizmodo came up with a top 10 list of reasons to leave Facebook.

I don’t expect change to happen very soon, as this wired article explains why victims of Facebook censorship don’t leave Facebook.

However, as this CNet article points out, Facebook’s censorship can be a real problem.

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