With a bit of assistance from my in-house tech support person, my daughter, I quit* Facebook last night and I’d like you to consider doing the same. I should have done this immediately following the 2016 election. Why would I want to remain on a platform that allowed Russian agents to buy ads designed to subvert American democracy? Why would I associate with any entity that demonstrably helped to elect a man clearly devoid of any qualifications to be president?
I’m new to all social media. I opened my Facebook account only three years ago when I started my blog. My tech consultant suggested that it would be a good way to let people know that I was blogging and that I might enjoy the experience of connecting with old friends. I didn’t find the site inherently appealing or pleasing, but it was a novelty. I received generous support from friends who used it to connect to my blog posts. I loved the baby photos and the puppy photos. I liked to “like” my friends posts and support their causes through birthday fundraisers. And, speaking of birthdays, I loved getting reminders so I could extend best wishes to my friends.
With every negative story about Facebook (and there have been so many) I thought about leaving. But I have friends who love Facebook and use it as their primary communication tool. I haven’t wanted to desert them. Not without good reason. I now believe there are many good reasons to leave:
Despite being the largest media company in the world, Facebook refuses to fact check political ads or regulate its content.
Just think POTUS here! Beyond that think of the risks associated for thousands or millions of followers given false information about vaccinations or coronavirus. False information can be deadly.
CEO Mark Zucherburg has sided with our belligerent, ignorant, cowardly president to allow his site to be used to incite further violence.
He’s allowed a post to remain untouched that Twitter marked with a disclaimer for “glorifying violence.” Zuckerberg has come down on the wrong side of history. His employees are protesting his inaction with some resigning this week.
We have the ability to make a difference even if we are not part of the protests rocking America and the world.
I’m staying at home to protect myself and my family from the risk of contracting corona-virus. I disabled my account from my couch. I’m no longer contributing to a business that generates billions of dollars for a few and political opportunities for others at the expense of truth.
Finally, Facebook isn’t even sexy anymore!
In a 2018 US survey , 9% of respondents said that they had recently deleted their Facebook account, while a further 35% reported that they were using the social media platform less. Young people shun Facebook. There are so many other platforms available to connect with people. Sheltering in place has led me to discover ZOOM and, indeed, to re-discover the telephone. I’ve been emailing more and putting pen to paper so my friends can discover that they’ve got mail. TikTok has provided me with some comic relief and WordPress is overflowing with beautiful and meaningful content. The list goes on…challenge yourself to discover and master another platform.
If you’re unconvinced and can’t imagine a life without Facebook, you might want to consider the results of a recent study that showed that people who left the platform were overall happier. They saved time and then put that time to better use. They even reported that their moods had improved.
Leave Facebook. It’s just one small way to make a difference in 2020.
* They don’t make it easy to opt-out and they apply a 30 day waiting period before you’re officially removed (in case you reconsider)!