Over Xmas 2016 (27th December to be precise) I decided to deactivate my Facebook account. Been thinking about it for a while and having a bit of time off work meant I could take a step back and re-evaluate what value it adds to my life, and it’s very little if I’m honest. I’d kinda fallen out of love with it a long time ago and most of my posts only comprise of images linked from when I post images on Instagram or Youtube links of stuff I’m listening to which of course lead to about 90% of my Friends bored shitless 🙂 . I was planning on reactivating my account after the Xmas festivities but having spent the last week off Facebook and not missing it I doubt I’ll bother.
Anyway some of the reasons and pros and cons as to why I quit are below.
Facebook kills so much time and it’s scary to see how much time you spend wading through stuff (mainly ads and clickbait – see below) and not really getting anything of interest back. Sure it’s great to see what friends are up to but it’s very likely they’re also on Twitter, Instagram etc which are 2 platforms that are suited better for that sort of thing.
Even now I’m procrastinating writing about feckin Facebook! That said it feels like I’ve gained about 20% of my life back. Time that I can spend on other things like reading, learning, meditation, going out, seeing friends just enjoying life really.
Facebook “Features” – Events
I focus on gigs and music here (as that’s what interests me) but you can easily apply this to Sports Events, Local Community Events whatever floats your boat really.
It just feels like Facebook isn’t the right platform for organising/attending events etc. It’s trying to do too much and failing badly. All the content you put on Facebook generates more revenue for them then it will for you. If you organise an event and post a Facebook event page to promote it immediately Facebook are benefiting from your efforts. They can direct advertising at people who click through and profile them further for future advertising and clickbait bullshit. It’s also easy to click “Yes” I’m attending but much more of an effort to get off your backside and actually attend so that feature offers little benefit.
It’s another page that the venue/organiser has to update and will probably fail to do so when there’s a last minute change or cancellation. Much easier to tweet or for the venue to update their website.
Bands websites and mail outs are the best way of finding out about events. I’m much more likely to read an email mailout from a band and make a note of the tour dates rather than stumble over a Facebook event. British Sea Power and The Wedding Present are 2 bands that spring to mind that do great email mailouts. Ents24 is also worth a mention here for gig alerts as a much better alternative to Facebook events.
Clickbait / Ads
One of the things that has really pissed me off with Facebook recently is the amount of adverts and clickbait bullshit. It’s getting real nasty as well. Some of the clickbait now is showing nudity or violence. One I saw fairly recently was some gruesome scene with “You’ll never guess what happened next!!”. I know it’s bullshit but why do I have to wade through all this shit. There’s better revenue models out there. Oh yeah, and they’re making money through all of your content and likes etc.
Facebook’s algorithms seem absolutely batshit crazy at the moment. Why when I refresh my “news feed” do I get a different ordered set of posts each time? Just post them in decesnding time order like any normal person would do. And that’s another thing why do I have to refresh my feed? Another click, just stream it like Twitter does.
Facebook feels very clunky these days with all it’s features and bloatware. Catching up on social media should be a pretty slick user experience.
Twitter isn’t without similar issues here but it keeps things simplistic. I honestly think Twitter has a very interesting future. It’s very easy to find a company and tweet them and get a response. With bots and AI technology this will get even easier and Twitter lends itself well to slot right in here.
Facebook is great in this respect. In the last few years I’ve got in touch with friends from schooldays and met them for drinks etc for the first time in decades! and it’s been great. However, all of my friends on Facebook are genuine friends that can phone me or contact me through other means. I follow them on Twitter and I can pick up the phone at any point. And even go outside! and meet them for drinks/food etc.
I know a few friends that have quit Facebook and they’ve said they don’t miss it at all.
But you’re still on Twitter right?!
Sure, and Instagram and other sites which could be classed as social media but none of them come close to the bloatware/clickbait world of pain that Facebook currently offers.
You logged into Facebook – I saw you!
I’m the only admin for a group with over 3k members. After 6 days of being offline I logged in to approve/moderate and there were around 30 new members needing approval. I’m currently looking to hand this over to someone.
The future for Facebook looks bleak
For many of the reasons above I can’t see Facebook improving. They seem to remove or destroy any decent features / content and mess about with things that aren’t broken. IF Facebook ever sorts itself out and gets rid of the crap and starts to become innovative I may one day return but right now it looks unlikely.