Kevin Purdy

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Semi-Quitting Facebook

01 Jul 2014

Note: I wrote this on Facebook, as a kind of closing-up-shop notice. If I do eventually delete my Facebook account, then it might make sense to have available here.

Update: I did indeed delete my account. Well, I think I did. Facebook wants me to log in to find out. Great service.

Update 2: For a way more interesting read on what Facebook really is, what it’s doing (and doing to us), and why it is not something I want to support, John Lanchester’s “You Are the Product” in London Review of Books is Very Good.

Hey folks. I’m not posting much of anything here lately. I very well may delete this account. I’m posting this and leaving it up as a reminder: I’m still up for an email or text session or even phone call with you. And:

I like a significant portion of what y’all put up. I will miss out on some photos that I’m sure I would like (or Like, or both). I should still get event invitations through email until I delete my account, and sometimes I get messages. I will also need to occasionally jump in on behalf of CoworkBuffalo and TEDxBuffalo, or small jobs that cannot escape Facebook’s orbit. But in the meantime: those of you with private photo blogs, Flickr accounts, Kidpost accounts, I am all for those things.

The “why” of this is not necessarily complicated, just tricky to word. For one thing: I loathe Facebook’s privacy, “research,” and data export policies, along with their intentionally awful and complicated settings. The effect of Facebook-friendly headlines on news and writing has not been fun to watch. Apps that require or all but shove Facebook-tied accounts onto people are dead to me. Those are nerd things, but I am a nerd in those matters.

I truly dislike the roadside accidents that are comment arguments. Too often, I realize I have I substituted casual Facebook awareness for actual friendship and time spent in conversation and experience with people. Perhaps most of all, I’m sensitive enough that my mood, work, or perspective can be changed by both seeing the wrong thing at the wrong time, and by Facebook’s completely unknowable news feed sorting (as they proved in a highly unethical recent “study.”)

I have a hard enough time keeping myself productive, happy, grateful, and congenial to the people in my life; Facebook, after multiple years of my own studies, is not a net benefit in those areas.

So the old cliché applies: it’s not you, it’s me. But also: I’m all done devoting time to an ugly site owned by a hugely profitable corporation, run by people who sell people’s experiences as billboard space.

Stay in touch. See you soon.