Divorcing Facebook

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Considering getting off Facebook? Ever feel that Facebook has negative effects on your life? Check out Audrey Wagner’s excellent new book.

I read her book and found it enjoyable and illuminating. She comes up with the perfect analogy for Facebook: a vacation home that you buy in order to have a place to relax but end ups up costing you more and more time (and stress) in the upkeep.

I’ve considered divorcing Facebook for some time. Facebook and I are serially separated. Wagner’s book makes a compelling case. Nevertheless, I haven’t taken the plunge.

Instead, I’ve changed the way I use the tool. For example:

  • I removed all my information (“likes” of books and movies, educational background, etc.) and many of my pictures I made private.
  • I defriended about 10% of my list: there were several criteria; I unfriended everyone I couldn’t remember but also people I see regularly in real life. Although I enjoy Facebook for disagreeing and arguing and debating with friends, I’ve had unpleasant, fruitless, and time-wasting arguments.
  • I also created two core lists: friends and acquaintances. Most of my FB “Friends” are on the “acquaintances” list, which only gets lower stakes posts, jokes, thoughtful articles, life updates, and so on. The “friends” list is closer friends and family and gets family updates, personal struggles, political discussions, and so on.

These small changes have improved my satisfaction with FB – but I still feel conflicted. Facebook brings alot of downsides.

One day, the trial separation may become permanent divorce.