Facebook Suicide Note

by Mike Shea on 20 May 2010

30 Second Summary

So I'm leaving Facebook so I can consolidate down to my blog and Twitter. This video and South Park episode are probably better than any description I can give. I don't like supporting a system that cares little for its users. I don't like how complicated it is. I don't like putting stuff into a system I can't get back out again. I want to focus on making stuff and posting it into systems I trust instead of maintaining social networks out of obligation.

If you want to stay in touch with me, read my blog, follow me on Twitter, or send me an email.

Longer Pontification

I'm leaving Facebook. I know I've piled a lot of hate on Facebook but it's still really hard to leave. I've been in contact with a lot of people I would otherwise never hear from through Facebook. Being able to see what distant friends and family are doing gets addictive. These connections feel important to me. Will I suddenly be out of the loop if I leave? Will people never try to contact me again? Honestly, I'm not sure.

So why am I leaving? Surprisingly it's not about the privacy issues, although there are a ton of them. I publish just about everything on the net already, in the open. I have a blog. I use Twitter. I use Flickr. My email address has been public for over ten years. All of these things are available to anyone who would bother going to look for them. What bothers me is that Facebook clearly cares more about money than they care about their users. This is true with most companies, but most companies get money FROM their users. How they care for their users results in greater profits. With Facebook, the more they can force ads, mine data, feed your personal information to ad service providers, the more money they make.

For myself, I want to focus my status updates, posts, links, and pictures to sites over which I have more control. I'll post more to my blog. I'll post photos to Flickr. I'll update my status and send links to Twitter. I'll share web articles through Google Reader. Facebook won't be the only site I'll stop using. I don't plan to post any more stuff to Delicious or Jaiku or Buzz. The fewer services I use the better.

I want to refocus on making things. I want to write another book or two. I want to post stuff on the web that will get a real audience and last over the years. I want to create stuff that I control, distribute, and archive. I want to get away from surfing status updates, ignoring friend invites, and hiding Island Paradise spam.

You Can Still Keep In Touch

I'm quitting Facebook but I'm not going to disappear. I'll always post to my blog. I have photos on Flickr. I'll post status updates and links to Twitter. There's no reason we can't have real conversations in email instead of spamming each other with topics the other doesn't care about. I promise not to flood you with Dungeons and Dragons bullshit if you promise to not flood me with forwarded jokes, urban folklore, or baby pictures. If we have a common topic to talk about, we can talk about it. If not, we can watch from afar. Staying connected on the internet has been around a lot longer than Facebook.

We'll be fine.