On Deleting My Facebook Account

I’m deleting my Facebook account.

The last straw for me was the revelation that they use your 2FA phone number to target you with ads.

Over the years, as more and more stories were published on the grounds of fraud and breaches, I’ve become ever more vigilant in adding 2FA to all of my accounts (preferring One-Time-Password generators over SMS, but c’est a vie). Some time ago I logged into my FB account in order to add that extra layer of security. I gave them my phone number. Fast forward to the present and we find out that FB transparently uses my phone number for advertising purposes.

There are simply too many examples of FB abusing their power and I’ve had enough.

That’s just a small sample of boundaries that have been crossed over the past few months!

My desire to leave the social media network giant has been festering for quite some time. It has been years since I actively enjoyed logging in to catch up with whatever I’ve missed. Now whenever I sign in I scroll for a few seconds, roll my eyes, and log out.

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine over lunch about leaving the social network (he hasn’t had an account in years), and one thing he said really struck a chord.

No one ever says “Hey, did you see that thing on Facebook?”

It’s a phrase literally never uttered in my circle of friends.

Each time I log into the service it’s just a slew of garbage. Misleading political memes, “funny videos”, and terribly biased news. It’s garbage, I’m tired of it, and I’m leaving.

My wife also isn’t a big user of the network. We’ve recently become parents, and immediately shared the news, to each of our closest friends and family. We then felt obligated to post an announcement on FB. Neither of us wanted to do it. Why? We felt that sharing the news to FB was going to:

a) be just another signal lost in the noise b) pervert the purity of the event by surrounding it with the garbage that is now Facebook content c) minimize the emotional importance and personal excitement of our baby announcement

Am I worried about “missing out” on something? Not at all. My closest friends and I exchange messages about what’s going on. Add to that the fact that when we get together we actually have something to talk about. Stories to share. It makes an evening out with friends that much more enjoyable. I’d much rather sit down with friends as they personally recount their travelling adventures.

I realize that my small protest will make zero impact. Facebook will go on being Facebook and will continue making their revenue. The masses will continue to use Facebook because everyone else is doing it.

That’s fine. But it’s just not for me.

At this stage in my life, I’ve learned to be a non-conformist.