Why I'm Not on Facebook

First published: 2012; Updated 2016.10.03

I was a member of Facebook for nearly three years, and finally deleted my account in 2010 for a variety of reasons. Since people keep asking "Why aren't you on Facebook?" and I'm getting tired of repeating my answers, I will now start sending them to this page.

I am not on Facebook anymore, because:

(In no particular order)

• People have been misled (self-misled?) into forgetting that the entire internet is a vast and potentially meaningful social network and now believe that social networks are supposed to be narrowly focused, uncustomizable, ad-filled collections of pointless and time-wasting blather.

• Facebook functions as a “mini-internet”. All of my content is available on the actual internet.

• Anything I could do on Facebook, I can do better and easier on the actual internet.

Status updates? — Unnecessary. But if I wanted them, I could use Twitter, or even my blog.
News about my life? — Blogs are invariably better for this.
Sharing photos? — Almost any photo-sharing site is better than Facebook.
Sending private messages? — Email is invariably better for this. And everyone has email.

• Facebook is like a mega-store that sells everything, but none of it very well, as opposed to speciality stores that sell one kind of product each, and do it very well. (Further reading)

• I could not think of one reason to keep using the site.

• I prefer small amounts of meaningful interaction to large amounts of meaningless interaction.

• Other people used (and still use) Facebook as an excuse to not visit my blog, my website, or my photo site.

• There are already tried-and-true (and easy) ways to keep in touch with people you like.

• It is easy enough to find me, and keep up with my life without using Facebook. In fact, it’s easier without Facebook. All you have to remember is: (Facebook is eight letters; wilcfry is only seven letters.)

• Other people were required to join and log in to Facebook in order to comment on my posts, whereas they do not have to join or log in if they want to post comments on my blog.

• Instead of engaging in conversations, my “friends” on Facebook spent most of their time inviting me to play “games” or engage in other meaningless and time-wasting behavior.

• I have never fully agreed with its TOS (Terms of Service agreement).

• I did not like that the TOS changed regularly.

• If a site is truly honest and had good intentions, then deleting your account would be easy and actually remove your content. (Facebook does not remove your content when you end your account, even if you follow the specific instructions. If you “reactivate” the account months later, your content is still there.)

• The user interface changed regularly and significantly, making the site difficult to use (for me). And each interface change also changed the privacy settings without notification.

• Images were displayed in poor quality compared to other image-sharing sites.

• Page URLs (web addresses) were too long and nonsensical, making it difficult to link to a page.

My blog is public, searchable, and bookmarkable.

My website is public, searchable, and bookmarkable.

My photo site is somewhat public, searchable, and bookmarkable.

• Careful study revealed that I actually had less contact with family and friends when I was a member of Facebook than I did after quitting.

• People keep insisting I should be on Facebook. (Reverse psychology does work for me.)

• The majority isn’t always right.

• In October 2013, Facebook removed the ability to hide yourself from searches.

Update, 2014.03.25: I reactivated my Facebook account in 2014, for the following reasons:
  1. Our neighborhood has a non-public Facebook page where community events are announced and problems discussed. I was missing out on community events.
  2. Many other sites now only allow comments/interaction from logged-in Facebook users
  3. I found that city/government/company officials respond to queries on Facebook much more quickly than through other means
  4. Some family members continue to claim that they can't find my other sites, so I'll link to them from Facebook.

I still plan to not fully engage on Facebook. I will keep my profile as a placeholder, with links to my various web pages.

This is my Facebook address:
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