It’s been two years since I stopped using Twitter as a medium to actively promote my ideas. At the moment, my twitter usage is restricted to tweeting about any relevant (not all) blog posts alone. And I must say that I never found twitter that interesting and hence didn’t really miss it.
My facebook affair is a different story! In fact, I have had a reasonable number of real life friends, family people and blogosphere-social-virtual friends connected via my Facebook profile. I must say that Facebook was kind of helpful for my work, business as well as social needs. But when I weighed Facebook’s advantages v/s disadvantages, I thought it’s about time I quit facebook and probably focused on a better offline life and made relationships even stronger!
So, why did I deactivate my Facebook account?
The following are a few reasons why I thought I wouldn’t use Facebook any more…
1. Social Spam
Social media and networks come with a lot of social responsibility. If used effectively for solid reasons, it can be really powerful and can bring people of different races, nationality, political views, cultures and beliefs together. On the personal front, it is a good way to be in touch with your real life friends as well. However, when I assessed the type and quality of content that is being shared on Facebook, I see that most of it is spammy in nature and mostly plagiarized. Please note that I am talking about the link shares here and NOT personal updates from friends.
2. Hate content
Recently the Government of India took facebook and Google to the court for their part in hosting (and hence promoting) hate content. While the government might have been targeting mainly those anti-government social lobbies, the fact remains that SocNets provide a platform to spread unverified allegations, unconfirmed news and defaming opinions about politicians, actors, cricketers and other public figures. This might sound like a silly reason to quit SocNets but in reality there’s no real way one can actually remove all such content. I, for one, am with the government views on having a little bit of monitoring of certain activities on social networks (Read: Social sites censorship row in India)
Moreover, on the personal front, I had many situations where I had to take on some of my close friends on topics related to strong political or religious views. Since I wouldn’t want to see or involve in such arguments again, I thought of keeping away from such platforms altogether. There may be relatively sober ways of using Facebook effectively, but I am not sure of myself doing it. Enough is enough!
3. Productivity killer
If you talk about two of the major addictions that’s killing the human resource productivity in my country (India) today, Facebook and social media is one of them – the other being the game of cricket. Since I escaped from the clutches of Cricket, it’s now the turn of Facebook. I was really getting more and more addicted to it and hence wasting a lot of time reading and watching stupid social network content!
4. Loosing real social life
This is one real issue! People just don’t talk or meet in real life ever since this online social mania started spreading like a virus. It was already an issue when the mobile revolution took place a decade ago whereby people started using the texting (SMS) feature. Well, the situation is even worse now with Social networks where people literally like some ‘text’ than the person, do LOL than smiling and even call somebody with an @ (@dad). Basically emotions, empathy, feelings etc are no more real – forget alone the ever degrading language quality!
5. Privacy and Security
Yes. I am really concerned about this aspect. Since I started using facebook, related apps and games, I have no idea as to how many companies and people in this world have received my personal data. And I don’t even know whether the pictures and other content that I have uploaded have been shared and stored anywhere else than just facebook! Even worse, I don’t even know if my friend’s friends are trustworthy!
6. Relationship Spoiler
This probably doesn’t need any explanation. Since I am from the software industry, I already spend 8 or 9 hours in front of the computer for work related reasons. On top of this I spend say an hour per day related to blogging. What if another couple of hours – distributed over a day – are spent on the social networks tracking what n number of sociopaths are doing? Essentially a good part of my life is getting wasted online and I guess my wife and kids have every reason to complain about this social life! And as I mentioned about friends, even the best friends are slowly becoming just social network friends – knowingly or unknowingly.
7. It’s for friends of Good times!
What you get to see on facebook is only those selected good things about one’s life. Obviously people only share good news which is not a bad idea after all. The only issue is that nobody really wants to support you at the bad time – even real friends because since they got on to Facebook, they are nothing better than acquaintances. I am trying to see if I can reverse something here.
8. Walk the talk!
I have been seeing that a few team members of mine are excessively using facebook at work. Obviously, they have been influenced by my wrong doing! I would like to take the corrective step from my side and set an example to the younger crowd so that they learn at the earliest that their career won’t go anywhere with distractions like facebook around.
Well, there are probably many good things about facebook, but yours truly has overdone with it and hence it’s time to say goodbye facebook! I would rather call up my good friends than reading about their life online, read good quality news from my newspaper or good television channels and would attract visitors to my blog via search and word of mouth than social spamming.
So what are the impacts of not having a facebook account?
- I may have to call up my friends or send them an email to know what’s happening in their lives. No more immediate updates for sure
- I lost the fan page created for this blog brand. I do not care as much! Anyhow, it was sending only a few 100 visits per month to this blog and moreover, I wasn’t quite active there
- I won’t be able to use Facebook ads for my campaigns. It doesn’t really hurt though. As I mentioned sometimes ago in another post, it just didn’t work for me!
- I won’t be able to social like some of the good posts. Well, does it really matter?
- I wouldn’t able to track if my 10 year old son gets on to facebook before reaching the age of 13. Well, this is an issue… Hopefully my wife will track him down if it happens so!
- I wouldn’t be able to spread my random ideas and thoughts with friends and acquaintances! Well, this is the second biggest issue. I am thinking hard about the right solution to address this problem!
On the other hand, I now have more free time to spend productively on good reading, to catch up with friends, write better content and spend more time with the family. It’s also a good time to get back to what was good (and still is) before the social media era. (I already have concerns on sensational TV journalism and have boycotted many TV channels too)
Finally, all those who are still on Facebook, have a wonderful time! Sorry for not letting you know about my parting with Facebook. If you are a blogger friend of mine, please use the contact form of this blog to get in touch with me. If you are a real life friend and you don’t have my phone number, please use the contact form at ajithprasad.com
Have a good social life!