Thing 8: No longer a Facebook User

I had a Facebook account from 2008 until I shut it down at the start of 2015. The privacy on this account was set to be shared with my friends, though over the years this climbed to about 100 people.

Towards my last year of use I was finding Facebook overly intrusive, I didn’t like the messenger App that seemed to be taking over from texting directly. Yes, group chats were handy, but I wasn’t comfortable with all my communication going through Facebook. I was also finding ‘Context Collapse’ happening more frequently – my friends list included work colleagues, my in-laws and family, and parents of my daughters friends. My ‘private’ space was getting very public and I found it very hard to separate who I wanted to see what (I never ‘got’ that aspect of FB). Towards the end I just stopped posting at all apart from in groups or chats.

It was cathartic deleting my facebook account, and yes I did actually delete it rather than suspend it. Before I went, I used a company called My Social Book to print out my FaceBook activity and photos, so I have this on a shelf at home to look at – it has become an ‘old-fashioned’ photo album. The Social Book site in itself is interesting because you can create books from your own, or from other peoples timelines – or even blend them together (as lovers or a family). It disturbed me to think of people being able to do that with content I’d posted without my permission.

I have to admit that I’ve kept a second Facebook account, that  I’d set up for work which I keep public. In my job as a learning technologist I sometimes need to look at Facebook or test something, and I keep this just for this. I did experiment with sharing my blog posts here, but I stopped in 2015, as I found Twitter worked better for this. All my friends on this account are colleagues and I pretty much ignore it unless I need to test something. When anyone asks if I’m on Facebook I just say ‘No’ and if appropriate I share my email or phone number instead.

Image Credit: Joe The Goat Farmer Common Facebook Advertising Mistakes (CC BY 2.0)




2 thoughts on “Thing 8: No longer a Facebook User

  1. I have a love-hate relationship with FB too. I’m on it to keep up with my family, who are all down south (pretty much), but I find I’m getting sucked into watching videos of cats and dogs in my weaker moments! I’ve tried to lock down my account as much as I can, but recently some random people have been liking my posts and what irks me is that we have no friends in common. I’ll have to revisit my privacy settings.

    Thanks to the link to the social book thingy. Definitely one to investigate when I’ve got some spare cash.


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