Why I de-activated Facebook

19Sep09

Earlier this week, I de-activated my Facebook account. I came home from school one day and sat down at my computer and realized that I felt no need to log onto Facebook, so I simply de-activated the account.

I realize now that this was a bit rash, so I’ve been thinking about the ways in which I miss having the account. There are several people who crazily enough, don’t use e-mail to reach me – they use Facebook messages instead. So for these people, I can’t reach them.

I think that one of the main problems is the number of status updates that I see – that is what keeps me refreshing the main page sometimes and that is exactly why they put it there! One of the things that I like about my twitter homepage is that it is only filled with bits from people who I honestly do care about what’s going on with them, as I have been very selective about who I care to receive real-time updates from. For anyone who didn’t know that, I apologize. It is nothing against you personally, but I do not want a flooded twitter homepage, so I have been keeping it extremely small.

I have had a Facebook account for almost 4 years now, so I have seen it go through a lot of changes over the years. I think that in my head, I still see it as the non-real-time messaging and keeping in touch with people method that it used to be.

I am going to re-activate the account, but:

  • I am going to try to make it so that my news feed has nothing on it. I will try to accomplish this by making a friends list with no one on it and putting it at the top of my list on the side, to make it be the news feed one.
  • I will also remove the ability for my friends to post to my wall since messages are actually private and have better threading anyways.
  • I will remove the Twitter to Facebook link, since if I really wanted you to read my updates, then you would be allowed to follow me on Twitter (sorry to non-Twitter users).
  • I will only allow myself to log on once per day and only if I have received messages or such that I should respond to. But all responses must first be drafted in my Gmail account, not on Facebook.

I think that these ideas will help to reduce the time I spend on Facebook, while at the same time, keeping what I get out of it the same – the messaging.

Update: Facebook does not allow you to create a friends list with no friends in it, so I created one with all of my pages and added a friend who never posts status updates or pictures to it.

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One Response to “Why I de-activated Facebook”

  1. Hee. See, I search “Tara” all the time (for my fiancee, of course), so I noticed immediately when your profile went dark. And then noticed it back again today, and came to investigate. :)

    I was having issues with Facebook about two years ago, but I haven’t found it as troublesome recently. The redesigns are probably a factor, and that period where everyone had a million apps definitely lowered the signal-to-noise ratio and helped grow my apathy toward the whole thing. In the end, though, it’s probably just a lot of familiarity—I’ve already seen the albums and profiles of the handful of people I care about, and I don’t find the firehose of status updates and other nonsense all that compelling any more.

    My online vice is more reddit, but it’s been pretty lousy for about a year now; my level of participation in the discourse has gone way, way down, and I pretty much just give it one or two brief checks throughout the day. So I guess I’m doing pretty well on the whole, but it’s not something I can especially take credit for.


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