Goodbye Facebook!

Back in Nov 2016, I deactivated my Facebook account for the first time. I realized a couple of things:

  1. It was the biggest distraction in my life when I should have been studying or writing papers when I was in graduate school.
  2. It was the biggest source of negativity in my life.
  3. Life as depicted on Facebook posts was 1) too picture perfect, or 2) people posted extremely trivial matters, or 3) way too open with their lives.

Last week, I finally went back on and using a web page, I found a hard to find but extant functionality called “Delete Facebook Account.” Delete. Not deactivate.

Of course, Facebook wants to know why I’m leaving them. Some of the choices were:

  1. “It’s only temporary. I’m coming back.”
  2. “I don’t use it enough.”
  3. “Other.”

And when I choose “I don’t use it enough” or something similar, they have the audacity to say: Maybe if I use it more, I might like it. What crock!


That’s like saying “I don’t like drugs and am trying to quit, but maybe if I try it some more, I might like it more.”

And I don’t say that lightly. Multiple studies have shown that receiving Likes to a post on any social media triggers the same neural pathways for dopamine as you normally do for being in love, eating chocolate, achieving a new level in a video game, or on crack cocaine. In fact, they have known as early as 2012.

See this article: Facebook and Your Brain. It was from Psychology Today; that is only the beginning. A former Facebook VP admits that the instant gratification is destroying society.

Last year, a movie called The Circle starring Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile) and Emma Watson (Harry Potter series) demonstrated the negative power of social media and the quest for connections and transparency. One critical plot point was that well meaning but highly misinformed people drove a person to suicide – with the information coming from social media! Although fictional, it highlights the problems of mass communications in the modern age.

I want no part in that.

It used to be that Facebook started off with very good intentions: finding long lost friends and even reunited families, connecting friends all the way across the world, creating  interest groups (common or esoteric), and yes, perhaps the best, support groups for recovering addicts, cancer survivors and caregivers for the very sick.

But then things took a turn for the worst:


Usage changed.
People changed.
The world changed.

The loudest groups are not the ones that filled us with joy and support became the ones filled with the most hate and vitriol. The narrative changed.

Although fictional, there is a line from the hit TV show NCIS where Jackson Gibbs, the father of Leroy Jethro Gibbs, said:  “The world is messed up already; I have no right to make it worse.” What a great sentiment; for some groups, instead of making the world better in hopes of uniting others to their cause, they made it worse on social media.

I want no part in that.

I noted one time I wasted an entire evening on Facebook. What a regret.

Thus, what am I filling my time with now?

  • To be honest, I still watch TV. 😦
  • I’m using Duolingo to refresh my French and learn German and a little Russian.
  • I’m honing my writing skills as a novelist. Speaking of which, tomorrow is November 1 and marks the beginning of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or just NaNo to insiders. I have a 50,000+ word writing project to submit for fun.
  • Read. Still read a lot. I was surprised how fast I could go through certain books if I didn’t have social media as a distraction.
  • Clean the house.
  • Sleep well and not worry about whether I got enough likes on my last post or getting into an argument. Arguments are rare for me, but they last. Rather, I see heated discussions on my friend’s pages. Certainly don’t want that.

I noticed the following:

  • I started to enjoy the lazy Saturday mornings and afternoons in my backyard, writing in my journal and other life giving activities.
  • I redeemed my concept of privacy and authenticity again, sharing only with those whom I trust and see.
  • I feel less enslaved to the virtual world.

It’s been two years since I first deactivated my account and I don’t miss it. Sure, I might miss my relatives and seeing their vacation photos, but they can always share it with me via email. And I might still have one or two apps or sites where I used Facebook as SSO authentication, but they’re not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Rather, life is out there. In the physical world. With real people. The Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew says that life is more than just food, drink, and clothing. And if He looks at the modern world, Jesus might even add social media and entertainment to the list of what we humans might consider “life”.

I began with the title as Goodbye Facebook. I end with Hello, real life.

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