For some time now, I’ve been considering boycotting, perhaps leaving Facebook all together. I’ve seen other people on Facebook threaten to do the same.
So, just as I did for Lent, I’m logging off and removing the app from my phone. After a time, my goal is to deactivate my account completely.
Here are my reasons:
- What was once an excellent place to gather online and get to know people has become an artificial and tribal place where more and more, it’s not okay to think differently.
- I’ve learned that it’s not the place to hold a discussion with those who think differently from me. Though I have friends with whom I differ, and the discussion is often respectful, it’s obvious that neither “side” is listening to the other. Instead, we each recite the sound bytes of whatever media we follow. Also, other people commenting on the thread often comment in a negative, unproductive manner.
- Fake news and fake memes continue to appear, and friends and family continue to share them. One simple Google search almost always proves it’s false, so it’s obvious few people are verifying before sharing.
- I spend way too much time on Facebook, mostly perusing and keeping up with what’s going on with friends and family. This is also one of the things that makes it hardest to quit. It’s a fantastic way to keep in touch with a lot of different people. But, it’s a major, major time suck.
But, here’s the straw that broke the camel’s back:
You may think, “All politicians lie in their ads.”
That’s true, and it happens on both sides. But, I agree with what the Washington Post says in the article:
Deception is hardly new to politics, and candidates have run ads inflating their records and trashing their opponents on television and radio for years. But those falsehoods now, in the age of social media, can go viral in a matter of minutes, reaching millions of people around the world.
We all saw it happen with the fake memes from the last election. And now, Facebook is allowing the politicians themselves to lie. I don’t want to see it, and I certainly don’t want to participate in it.
Next, you may say “It would be impossible for Facebook to catch every lie.”
Perhaps that’s true. But therein lies the very problem with Facebook. It’s gotten too big. Nobody can agree on how much posts should be monitored, what’s considered free speech, etc.
But again, that doesn’t mean I have to see it or participate in it.
No doubt, I’ll miss so easily staying up-to-date with what’s going on in the lives of friends and family. But I hope to be more active on my blog with my own updates and certainly my opinions about life, politics, etc. I always welcome your comments, and I hope my friends will stay in touch with me outside of Facebook.
There are times I feel helpless to do anything about the state of our country these days. Frankly, I don’t see how Facebook helps, and in fact, from what I’ve seen recently, I believe it’s done more damage than good. So, a boycott (and perhaps, an ultimate deactivation) is one small way I feel I’m doing something.
So long, Facebook.