I deleted all of my Facebook posts last week. I deleted my Google+ posts too. They were pretty much all posted here on my web site too, so nothing was truly lost, but I still feel a bit lighter, somehow.
Plenty of ink has been spilled on the problems with big social media and the companies behind it. There’s an entire movement of people leaving social networks for various reasons. Many of them have expressed their concerns, often quite loudly and eloquently, so I don’t really need to repeat them here. Consider yourselves lucky.
Google+ was the easy one. It never really took off, and Google plans to shut it down entirely in a couple months. I occasionally had good conversations with old Google coworkers there, but even those slowly evaporated over time. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Facebook, surprisingly, wasn’t much harder. I’d gradually become dissatisfied with the company over time, so I was already using the product less and less. I only posted six times in 2018. Regardless, it’s still the one social network that has all the people I care about in real life. I’ll miss posting pictures of my daughter and knowing my extended family, high school friends, and other parents at school will all see them. (Even if they’re just links to the actual photos here.)
I haven’t deleted my account. Facebook is basically a public utility. It’s the modern white pages. It’s where I look up old colleagues and pitch them to join Color. It’s where I hear a long lost friend got married, or had a baby. It’s the app I use in a Lyft on the way to a party, where I know I’ll see acquaintances I haven’t seen in a long time, and I want to catch up on what they’ve been up to, or where they’ve been, or embarrassingly but most importantly, remind myself of their names.
I’m also inconsistent about this whole “I don’t like the company, so I’ll stop contributing to their product” thing. I still post on Instagram occasionally. I still use WhatsApp. I may leave those too, but not yet.
And I plan to keep using Twitter. It has its own problems, of course, but they don’t bother me quite as much. Facebook’s management seems almost actively harmful, but Twitter’s seems simply inept, or maybe just asleep at the wheel. In the words of a wise man, “So this may sound crazy, but why does Twitter not have a full time CEO?” Which is obviously bad, but maybe less bad than Facebook? I don’t know. For whatever reason, I haven’t deleted all my tweets yet.
Regardless, I don’t plan to post on Facebook, or Google+, any more. Two more steps toward consolidating my online presence here on my own web site. Like God intended.