I’m Deleting My Facebook Account
Today I decided that I will delete my Facebook account at the end of the year. After having an account for eight years now, I have found that it is time to call an end to this era.
The reason why I am doing this is fairly simple. Facebook isn’t the same as when I signed up in 2010. It’s no longer a place to share jokes and memes with my friends and peers. It’s an increasingly toxic and destructive environment, and it is clear to me now that the impact of its existence is far more negative than positive.
Many of us have sort of realized this, with the effects Facebook had on the 2016 elections. Fake news and the Russian misinformation campaign stand out. That is, however, only a slice of a larger phenomenon on the site. Most of its users, particularly (but not limited to) the older generations who followed their millennial relatives there, are terrible stewards of the information, true or not, that flows through this Internet medium. They do not have the right habits to know how to behave properly there. It was a novel form of interaction in which we all found ourselves overnight, without any established norms or mores to guide us.
Moreover, I have noticed that so many people on my friends list are unfriendly. In the past, I would do periodic purges of my friends list, and that would sort of correct this, but that is harder and harder to keep up. I have found that I would probably have to expunge the majority of my contacts to end the toxicity, and that is the moment where I ask: “Why even have a friends list?” I am at the point now where I have stopped accepting any new friend requests altogether.
The sad thing is that Facebook seems to do this to otherwise decent people. It is a medium made that you might project yourself out to the world, and it seems to me that this comes at the cost of introspection. People on the site are consumed by pettiness and dishonesty. They are living the unexamined life, which Socrates famously and accurately claimed to be not worth living, a wisdom we have nevertheless forgotten.
With so many red flags, I find myself no longer able to trust people on Facebook, and I cannot afford the risk of such people seeing the details of my life. As such, I’m grabbing a parachute and jumping off this nosediving plane. Facebook was a mistake, for our Republic, for our friends and families, and for our basic, psychological health. We should all just get out and return to actual, human interaction.