I post this somewhat reluctantly, as it’s not directly design related. That said, the impact this choice has had on my work in the studio is huge. Perhaps it can be helpful. If not, I’m fine with the mods removing it.
THANK YOU for writing this! I'm sad, knowing that the people who should read your article the most are the people who least likely to read it. Ironically I still have to share your post on my FB to let them know, haha.
I'm feeling lucky that I'm not addicted to social media — used to, yes, like everyone did, but no more. I'm one of a very few person in my office who not GLUED to smartphone, swipe up continuously, expected to find an 'interesting' feed (Pro Tips: There is none) I still left my account intact though and login with purpose only(about once every 3 months or when I have something to post on my managed page) I rarely post on my personal account and NEVER read the feed. You can say my friends are 'trained' to not expected me on it. :)
Yet, as an artist, I still have to used social media in some way or another to promote my work, and it RUINED my pride as an artist. I used to drawing and painting, crafting my work, honing my skills, and sometimes posting on art community and my online gallery, and that's it. Then Facebook came, and it changed me and my art. I'm began addicted to 'Likes' and I found that I often have to compromise my visions of my art a lot to make it 'optimized' for social media and mobile phone consumption (e.g. quick, shallow and catchy rather than slow, deep and sophisticated) )
Not to mention when you post your work that you do it passionately non-stop for 4 days and got about 10 Likes..., but the one I just roughly doodle in the afternoon for about 5 minute got 40 Likes. I feel like shit of course, because it felt like my work was 'judged' and 'valued' by the number of Likes I got, which is very wrong way to think like that. But it's hard to ignore when the number is there, straight in your face.
The only thing I can do is boost the post, but I decide to not give Facebook anymore of my pennies.
I’ve learned that likes on Facebook mean very little. The first clue to this was when friends would “like” a link I shared within 1 minute of posting it (even though the article would take 10+ minutes to read). ;-)
It’s scary that posts like this even exist for Facebook. It’s almost like reading a post on ‘how to quit X drug’. I stopped using FB in 2008, even though all my friends and family use it, I had no withdrawal, I just shut it down. I now find I always have lots to tell friends when I see them as they don’t know what I’ve been up to!
I have often joked about how I’m no longer part of the Matrix, so it’s funny to see that comparison in the post.
The concept of accepting friend invitations from folks I went to school with who never spoke to me and didn’t give a shit then, makes me laugh, that says it all really.
I quit it about 4 years ago and haven’t regretted it for a moment.
Sounds a bit preachy telling everyone to do it though.
Unsolicited advice: The post is almost 5000 words (est. reading time 24 minutes). Try only including what is absolutely necessary, it will make your point much clearer.
It’s kind of you to share your advice, but what you say seems somewhat reductive (no pun intended).
I write short pieces, mid-length ones, and even books. In each case, I determine what I want to say—and consider how much detail it requires. The answer to those to questions informs how long the piece will be.
While brevity can be useful, a shorter piece isn’t necessarily better. It’s often just… well… shorter. I suspect this is why dialogue on Twitter often becomes toxic. Distilling an idea to its shortest form makes it seem clear, but the result often lacks nuance.
So, yes, I could have made this shorter. In fact, I could have reduced it to a paragraph or sentence. That said, doing so would have removed a lot of the detail I felt relevant to what I wanted to communicate.
The bigger concern (in my mind) is that anyone balks at a 5,000 word essay. You make it sound as though 24 minutes is a long read. I suppose that’s a sign of the times. It also suggests we all need to read more books. ;-)
I don't think this is fair. I read a lot of long books and long-form writing, I still didn't want to find what was new in this essay about quitting Facebook.
I think we have just come across so many articles about quitting Facebook that it is difficult to know why I should invest my reading time in this one.
That’s a personal call each of us makes, many times a day. There’s no shortage of content to read, and it’s difficult to know which things are worth the time.
I’m not saying this article is worth your time, or John’s for that matter. It was an article I wrote for myself—that a lot of other people just happened to read.
I could have made it shorter, but I didn’t want to. I made it as long as I thought it needed to be.
I suppose it's because I am not a person who writes for personal satisfaction or self-reflection, or if so it is kept privately.
When you have "You should too" in the title the strong implication is that this is information for others, not just reflections on your own experience.
Yes, I did put that in the title, and it is for anyone to read. That said, the length of the piece gets to be my call. If you, or John, feel that it’s too long, you don’t have to read it. That’s your call. :-)
This might sound snarky or defensive, but I don’t intend it that way. I wrote the piece I wanted to write, at the length I felt appropriate. If some choose not to read it, for that reason, I’m OK with that.
This response is everything he is fighting. You just proved his point.
Good on you! Everyone I know (including myself) that has tried to leave Facebook cold turkey has always jumped back on board again after a couple months. It's this behemoth that's now become the de-facto way that a lot of people communicate, and removing yourself from that can be really isolating.
The real issue with Facebook is the news feed. It's engineered to be totally addictive and present you with an endless stream of content. The solution to kill the negative parts of FB is to unfollow all people, pages and groups so my news feed is completely empty.
I did this two years ago, and it helped me to see Facebook purely as a tool, using it only when I need to.
Agreed that pruning the feed help considerably!
I have another separate account that reserve for myself ONLY. No friends, no family, no coworker, no one except me, with maximum anti-social privacy setting, just me and things I want to follows (mostly harmless artist/designer without politics or drama)
Though Facebook's design still somewhat...cluttered to me. There is always something unwanted to nag your attention. I kinda like Instagram more for this purpose. It's more image focus and less noise(text post and all that toxic comment) and there are a lot of great artist/designer/photographer to follow there...
Though I still find that shutting everything down, include the internet, is the best way to create focused, satisfying work. No amount of inspiration can make you a better designer/artist. You have to do it yourself at the end of the day to make it happened.
Great read, stay strong
Thanks! So far, it’s been surprisingly easy—which wasn’t the case when I could just pop in to “just check one thing.”
I went for a less drastic solution, I removed the facebook app from my phone and on the browser I always logout from it. I found out that this breaks the automatic "fa" habit, as after that I'll have to fill my password and that would be enough for my brain to click on the "do I really want to browse facebook now?", which usually is "NO.".
This, and for some time I've been unfollowing people quite aggressively, right now I mostly use it for some messaging and birthdays.
I use facebook for mostly connecting with family and friends who don’t live in my immediate vincinty. Without facebook I’ll be out of touch with them so no Im not going stip using facebook!
Being on facebook doesn’t mean you have to be logged on 24/7, heck I don’t even have the app installed. I only check in once or twice a week (sometimes not at all) to talk to people or see what they’re up to. It’s not that bad.
I quit a few months ago and couldn't be happier with my decision. Unfortunately, I require Facebook for work. The company I work for pretty much uses Facebook to run the business. We have several apps, developer apps etc.. We also use Messenger for communication. Deleting my account would essentially be career suicide so I had to find other ways to escape.
How did I do it?
- Delete the Facebook app and sign out of iOS level Facebook integration, this stops typical daily notifications.
- Messenger app stayed to retain chat functionality.
- Install Facebook's 'Pages Manager' app to give me access to some page stuff I need to do my work.
- Install 'Social Fixer' browser plugin on ALL computers/browsers that I use. This plugin allows me to heavily customise the Facebook experience, I can hide lots of stuff, distractions and even disable comments, likes, shares, etc.. One cool thing about this plugin is custom CSS. This is really powerful and aids hiding things like the timeline which is ultimately the biggest distraction.
- Disabled email notifications and as many other notifications as possible. Can be done from Facebook Settings.
- Make your profile look dead... Remove all photos, videos, recent posts, tags, personal info. You can also hide friends, prevent posts on your wall and make lots of tweaks that limit how people can contact you, the second biggest distraction.
- Have a little willpower. It's very easy to undo any settings change and even easier to disable 'Social Fixer' so a little self-restraint will be needed.
Doing the above allows me to keep Facebook to go about my work, keep in touch with clients and colleagues and still have easy access in an emergency. I can still log in at any time and see notifications but are now so rare it barely matters, but still come through for things like event invitations (I recently got invited to a wedding party that I may have missed if I simply deleted my account).
I feel like it's the best of both worlds. I went into a little more detail here
Delete the Facebook app and sign out of iOS level Facebook integration, this stops typical daily notifications.
When I got a new phone i set Facebook on my phone to not push notifications and removed it from my initial screen. It's shocking how much those little changes can change behavior. I've gone from checking multiple times a day to checking maybe once every other day.
I quit Facebook FIVE YEARS AGO and haven't looked back since. Really, it's not that hard.
Great article. I can't change Facebook, but I can change myself and quiting, doesn't really work as there are people who I only connect with on Facebook. Also I have used Facebook to raise money for friends who were in need, which would have been impossible otherwise. I found that I had a need for more focus and attention. So the first thing I did was remove Facebook from my phone. The 2nd thing I did was add a browser extension so I only spend 10 minutes a day on Facebook and then I am blocked. Next I tend post things I feel contributes to my community of people. If I post something negative, I like to write context to make that information more digestible. Finally I remove toxic people, even if they are my friends. If I browse the main feed, the goal is finding positive/inspiring posts and personal posts by friends. Anything else is trying to snag my attention and I assume the post is false or just reposting news which I can read somewhere else.
Thus Facebook has become a tool. Knowing how to use a tool and how to train yourself to categorize and discard information is very valuable. I understand that any post that grabs my attention requires me to ask a question: "Am I being manipulated?". If the post isn't an original post by the user, then the answer is most likely Yes. I either ignore the post or I do research to see if the post is fake news. Finally I ask myself the question "Do I have anything to contribute to the conversation"? If not, I just ignore the post.
I had uninstalled Facebook from my phone but since I work in Digital Marketing, I have to use social media channels to keep an eye on competitors and eventually I end up scrolling my news feed.
There are so many people, events, conversations, and other such interactions I have had via Facebook that I would not have had otherwise that I feel is being entirely ignored here.
What about the events where I meet people I never would have otherwise and would never have been invited to without Facebook. What about the conversations with younger family members who don't use email? What about socio-political or philosophical discussions with people I met while traveling who I could never aggregate elsewhere?
What about the increased value I get in other applications by utilizing my existing network on Facebook?
I get value from exposing my life in this way. I do not live in constant fear of the potential ways my mostly boring information can be misused (Which right now is just oh no more relevant ads). I can easily post my owned content to Facebook as a means to access it, not the sole place it exists.
The addictive nature and wasting too much time on Facebook is risky, but that is a matter of self control as is the consumption of anything pleasant.
I really think the generations to follow us are going to look back on our fretting now and be utterly bewildered over what we cared about and what we didn't care about (except climate change, that makes sense).
But where will I get my memes?
My hunch is that the people behind these organizations are fine humans with good intentions.
I used to think this too but to be honest, the platform has become pretty openly hostile to what users want in favour of what Facebook want to push and all the designers working on the product teams are entirely complicit in making it this way.
Things like the fake notifications and eternally persistent nag screens to install one of their apps (photos/messenger etc) if you don't have it and then you have the monstrosity that is the timeline you can set to show most recent but which switches straight back to "most interesting" the second the page refreshes.
All these design decisions were discussed, planned and implemented.
I've been pondering leaving for a while, as a company their practices and reach are becoming pretty unsavoury now and I won't miss friends updates but I will miss the news I get from several groups I follow which simply don't have alternatives outside FB. I guess that's a trade I'm going to have to choose soon.
I've never had a Facebook account and have never once felt compelled to open one.
It should be treated like any other traditional media outlet and should be accountable for content on their ‘channel’. But they have an out because of the grey area of user generated content (UCG) but at the same time they sell space that’s indistinguishable from your normal feed and this UGC can be so influential.
In principle it’s a great platform to share thoughts and ideas but unfortunately the human condition skews this. This human condition also sells adverts and pushes content that you would never normally elect to see.
I considered this, but as a WordPress developer it is an important platform for communicating with users of not only my own stuff, but those of other developers. Which also makes it also a significant marketing platform.
There are certainly many good reasons to use Facebook. That said, I feel the marketing value is often far lower than expected. (At least that’s what we discovered when we closely looked at the results of campaigns we were running for clients.)
So, if it works for you, great! However, it’s worth looking at your metrics and determining if it really does work. You might also find there are other tools that allow you to do the same—even better than Facebook does.
If it weren't for facebook login.. edit: I do not use facebook, I unfollowed everyone and everything and have some 25 friends on it, I even moved away from messenger when they announced they'll add ads there too, but I do still keep my profile for facebook login.