Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it feels like saying good-bye to hundreds of ‘friends’, many of them family members in far flung places. I’ve tried it before and always got sucked back-in to Facebook’s gravitational pull, like an astronaut getting pulled into a blackhole. But this time I have a cunning plan…
Instead of deleting my account and hiding in the shadows on some obscure corner of the Interweb, I will retain my account on the Facebook.
Step 1. Purge all data and start with a clean slate
My profile has accumulated tons of personal information and history, Facebook uses to sell ads and influence my newsfeed/mood/buying decisions. Taking this information away, even if some meta data will no doubt remain is fundamental to my plan.
Step 2. Add way-pointers for friends and family, so they know how to stay in touch
I have opted for iMessage, iCloud Photos and Twitter, one private and one public feed. Easy. I will replace my header and profile images to reinforce my point about why we should all leave Facebook and publicise my Twitter (and Mastodon) profile links.
Step 3. Post regular updates to Facebook from my blog
about how to safeguard your privacy, why we should all reduce our social media usage and the evils of huge global corporations who own your data and use it against you in highly unethical and manipulative ways.
Step 4. Let’s wait for Facebook to block my account
and I watch my friends become strangers. No, I’m kidding of course. Before the Facebook took over our lives, we had text messaging, email and sometimes private blogs and albums. This still exists and we can get a healthier buzz out of likes and comments from our friends.
Using Twitter may not be much better than Facebook I hear you say, but I disagree with this because of its open nature and general lack of direction. It’s basic and even recent attempts to grow it into a financially viable enterprise have been somewhat lacklustre. I don’t like its software client nor its policies but it is still a great way to engage with people around the world. Who, I may remind you, will not require to signup to it to read posts. Also, there are nice apps out there that make Twitter’s occasional silliness very bearable.
I do champion Mastodon but that’s a story for another time. Meanwhile, you can find me on iMessage, Signal, Wire under my mobile number (you may need to meet me IRL to get it) and email, Twitter, Mastodon and this website.
This is how my long good-bye begins. With a blog post.
That and the removal of the Facebook app on my phone. And the Messenger app.
It’s gonna be a long road, as Instagram and WhatsApp are even more ingrained and widely used by my peers.
What’s that phrase?
Big changes are made by small iterative ones?
So here we go…
Also published on Medium.