I heaved a big sigh of relief as I click the delete button on Facebook. Phew! Now, I am gonna bask in my newly acquired freedom. Free from notifications about Ms.X’s friend’s boyfriend liking her photo, free from the tendency to check out others’ profile and compare yourself with others. (Don’t even think of denying it. We all do that) Free from the smiley statuses, the life updates of persons whom you have not spoken a word to and probably will never speak a word to. Free from all the crappy, spammy updates from FB applications, videos and photos.
Do not take offence at my statements above. It is not that I am demeaning friendship though it may seem so to some of you. It is my worry that Facebook has become so inherent in everyone’s lives that they are not realizing that they are not living life in reality, that everything goes in the reverse order. As far as I am concerned, I believe that in the world where sanity exists, two people meet up somewhere, go past introductions, do things together and then try becoming friends. In reality friendship means much more than sending a friend request and accepting the same. It does not mean seeing the birthday notification on the right pane and then posting a standard, clichéd, canned “Happy Birthday” on the friends’ wall, just for the sake of it and without meaning it. I would say, I can forgive you if you do not remember my birthday and forget to wish me. I am totally OK with that. Forgetting my birthday among many others’ or in the busyness of your career/life is OK for me. But wishing friends, communicating with them, playing games should not become your highest priorities. That is not real living, in my opinion. That is virtual living.
Also, the main reason I dumped Facebook is because of the recent news on FB. I have been following news on FB vividly because I am not a very good technical person to know about the implications of FB on my own. So after a lot of reading and discussing with people who know better, I came to know that FB does have serious privacy issues. You can ask, any other social networking site is also going the same way, why FB? All I can say is, FB is the king of such businesses and so I start with it.
I was in an ON and OFF relationship with FB since I created my account. I have been at stages like I had an account but I didn’t just know what use to put it to, then I started becoming active but the lack of internet connection prevented my addiction, then an addictive stage when I thought refreshing FB home page and playing Happy Aquarium was all I was created for, then a hibernation mode where I started thinking and realizing that it is not what it seems to be, then now I am dumping it today.
Below is the farewell message that I posted in Facebook:
Quitting Facebook on my birthday!
As a little birthday present to myself, I am permanently deleting (not deactivating, deleting) my Facebook account. Meaning, I am exporting all my data and am going to bid a final farewell to Facebook.
If you are already close to me, you know how to contact me.
If you want to keep in touch, you can drop in at:
My diaspora profile: http://diasp.org/u/keirthana
My website: //www.keirthana.in/
(For people who are unaware of Diaspora, visit http://joindiaspora.com/ or any Diaspora pod like http://diasp.org/ where I have my account)
Why I am leaving:
1. As most of us know, Facebook has gone to extents that we no longer control our own information and our privacy. I am no technical person,but I am able to understand the implications of what I post on the web. So, if you want a justification for my 1st statement and learn more on Facebook’s antics, visit http://gizmodo.com/5530178/top-ten-reasons-you-should-quit-facebook. Facebook is getting worse everyday and the recent news about shadow profiles (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/10/18/1429223/facebook-is-building-shadow-profiles-of-non-users) is just a proof of that.
2. Facebook is annoying – I have been an active user of Facebook, when I was so ignorant about it that I thought if I click delete on a pic of mine, it is actually gone poof on the Facebook server and that playing Happy Aquarium is the highest priority of my life. But, now I know better! So, with more knowledge and enlightenment, I could see that people are trying to live their life on Facebook rather than living in reality (I accept that I was one such person in the past). I did not like that when I realised it. I am okay with communicating with people over the web through social networking, but I am not okay with living my life on a virtual, fake platform when I have a life to live in reality.
Will I come back?
My requirements for an acceptable social networking tool are simple. It must honor users’ privacy and information and help people to just communicate. And better, if it is free(dom) open source. I know that I am not as great an free(dom) open source enthusiast as Richard M Stallman, but as I get to know more about it every day, the more I like the ideology. So as of now, the least I can do is to support it. Like-minded people who believe in freedom should do the same.
I can consider coming back, if Facebook is honest enough to accept its antics and respect the privacy of users. This is never likely to happen because Facebook is just another business trying to squeeze out as much money as it can.
If you want to leave too:
Read about how to export your info and delete your account, get the word out,here:
P.S: I have used a modified version of the note from the above link, since I just felt the same and wanted nothing more than a personal touch.
And that’s the story of how I dumped FB 😀
Until later 🙂
P.S: My intention is not to insult people who sincerely wished me on my wall. I respect and thank you all people for your wishes. My post addresses those who just do it out of habit than out of friendship. Also, I do not have the slightest thought that my move will nudge many others to do the same and put an end to the blatant abuse of privacy. I want my life to be as I wish and free of invasion. I did it for myself and it is up to you to decide for your life.