Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Leaving Facebook

I realized a couple of days before I planned to publish this, that I was writing about something I'd done to preserve my mental health just in time for #lismentalhealth week. How fortuitous! So what did I do to help my peace of mind? I quit Facebook.

It all started when I read about yet another data breech shortly after reading about how their policies aid the disinformation efforts of foreign governments. I had been spending less and less time there, but that pushed me over into actually leaving. The policies and selling my information and targeted ads and everything, including the smarmy face of Zuckerberg, were finally too much. (I deleted my Instagram forever ago and never had WhatsApp, so I really am Facebook-free.)

I know this is going to come across as deluded or hypocritical, considering I haven't left Tumblr or Twitter or Google. I'm realistic and know I can't completely disengage. I also know that with a mini-computer in my pocket which tracks my whereabouts whether I have the GPS on or not, I'll never be completely off the grid.  Also, I know there is no such thing as ethical consumerism, but I'm trying to be thoughtful and to pick my battles. In my mind, since Twitter is where I connect most with my friends and colleagues, I'm going to fight for it. As for Tumblr, it used to be a safe haven for queer youth and sex workers, so I'm going to fight for that as well. It's just that I have only so much fight in me, and I feel like it would be better served elsewhere. I really do think Facebook is important for some people, but I'm going to have to leave the fight to restore it to what it could be to others.

I did this to protect a little of my sanity, and I don't regret it at all.

It's been about a month now, and I've only had the twinge a few times other than every Tuesday and Thursday when I - for years and years - posted new blog entries to three social media sites. I've got to tell you, though, my hits haven't gone down noticeably and I don't miss the morass that was Facebook.

How about you? Are you still on Facebook?

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