I took a look at Twitter today, as is my refreshed routine during this pandemic, and I see people are on the #DeleteFacebook trend.
Okay, let me help y’all out.
The primary reason many people claim they cannot delete Facebook is “But my friends/family/partner are on there and it’s the easy way to keep up with them.”
I have solutions for that! If you want quick traction and feedback, we often walk around with a supercomputer shoved in our pocket handbag, or somewhere else. Yes, I’m talking about that damn cellphone in which you’re paying $50+ a month in device payments for the next two years, #iPhoneGang. Try using that newfangled PHONE feature on it. Or send your person a text. Or send them an email. Email isn’t owned by any one entity. If you’re self-hosting your own email, you’re kilometers ahead of the curve in keeping control over your end of the chain. Do that instead of Facebook.
Or maybe, just maybe, mail them a letter if it’s something that doesn’t need an immediate reaction in this instant gratification society. Give them something to look forward to in the mailbox that isn’t another damned bill.
There are alternate venues to socially interact and share thoughts publicly aside Facebook, when you just want a casual place to post your thoughts. Remember blogging? Neither do I </snark>. Whether it’s a full-fat system like a privately hosted WordPress instance with IndieWeb, or something bite sized like Mastodon, GNU Social, Pleroma or the like, we have other ways to share our thoughts with the world. And, upside, you often don’t have to deal with random ads from companies that you don’t support, and you’re not making some random company rich for selling your data to the world.
I deleted Facebook five years ago, and it has been refreshing. I never got into (or signed up for) Instagram, don’t use WhatsApp (haven’t ever seen it, actually), own no hardware that is pwned by Facebook (looking at you with a bucket of acetone, Oculus).
When I want to post pictures, I blog. When I want to chat with folks, I’m rather Discordant, or send them a Telegram. When I want to socially share, I’m tooting on Mastodon or tweeting. I am waiting to see what becomes popular in the 3D VR wear realms, particularly after Oculus shot themselves in the foot — I hope that we’ll see an increase in hardware options for people who refuse to be shotgun wedding’d into a Facebook relationship to just play with some stuff in 3D.
As before, in summary, we have choices. We just need to exercise them. The first step, of course, is to analyze how much we have linked to a Facebook account, unlink it all, and #DELETEFACEBOOK.