June 30, 2016

On Quitting Facebook

I’ve been seriously disliking the idea of maintaining a Facebook profile for quite a while now. It adds close to nothing to my life. After having loaded the page it seems I am always being presented with the same content over and over. The newsfeed is completely and utterly useless.

A few months back I chose to delete my personal timeline. Facebook started to show me content from a few years back (from a much younger self) and I was presented with things that I really did not wish to display publicly online. It was nothing bad or deeply embarrassing, but I urge you to scroll all the way to the bottom of your FB profile and just start reading upwards. You’ll get what I mean 😉

I couldn’t and still can’t quite delete the entire profile though. I like the idea of having a social hub out there, a place where someone can enter my name into a search box and then contact me (via Messenger1). And even though I maintain contact with most people via E-Mail and Twitter, there’s loads of others out there using FB and nothing else2. And I kinda want to be able to stay in contact with them as well. In practice my current conversations in there are strewn across the last few months. One from March, one from April, two from June. So it actually turns out that I have moved most of my conversations away from Messenger, that’s nice.

Another aspect I thought I’d miss out on when completely leaving the platform are events. A lot of my contacts plan parties and other events this way. Up until recently I’ve been using OS X’s FB integration (disgusting btw) to throw those into my calendar automatically. Which works to a certain degree. You can’t edit or delete events (or invitations), as this apparently is a read-only feed from FB. And when some contacts (you know who you are! 👀) started planning events spanning several months and thus completely spamming my entire calendar, I threw that out. I have to say… I’m not entirely sure what I’ve missed in the months since, but I don’t think it has been all too much. Every now and then I receive a “Did you see the FB event and invitation?” message, which of course is a little more work on the side of the event organizers (which I regret), but I can’t say that it hasn’t been working out.

Summing up, neither Messenger nor events have been particularly good reasons to keep the dreaded profile around.

There is however one thing I just can’t seem to migrate well. And that’s FB groups. For obvious reasons these are incredibly popular in my social circles. The ones I check regularly3 are a group related to my studies at my university (with tons of inside info, which kinda sucks to miss out on), our local Cocoaheads chapter (Would really welcome to see this someplace else! 😁) and a few others.

After having had this post as a draft for more than a year now, I’ve still gotten no closer to deleting my profile than deleting timeline contents and disabling posts there by others. But at least my FB usage has come down to a minimum, which is at least a small success. Maybe I will be able to get rid off it entirely at some point in the near future.

  1. I want to give a quick shoutout to messenger.com, a site built by Facebook that contains only the messenger and nothing else. It’s actually quite nice! ↩︎

  2. Came into contact with this again after attending WWDC as a scholarship recipient. Most of the other scholars I talked to were expecting Messenger as a default way of communication. ↩︎

  3. I can recommend the Groups app for iOS at least. Works rather well. And also has well designed UI gestures. ↩︎