Why I Left Facebook, and where to find me online

me-no-Fbook

I’ve always thought it was pathetic when people scream “I’m leaving Facebook!”….or MySpace, or however far you want to take it back….I even saw this before the World Wide Web, on newsgroups, in 1990. But it’s only pathetic when people’s reasons for leaving are the usual “No one likes me! And people are mean to me!” Those are not my reasons for leaving Facebook. In fact, a lot of people like me on Facebook. I have 2200 “friends” on there. And a lot of them are people I enjoy talking with.

I find it interesting that you can’t just delete your Facebook account. It takes 14 days. Reminds me of a nanny waiting period to buy a gun. Facebook knows how annoying it is, and like the drug dealer giving out free samples to a junkie who gets off junk, Facebook says “You’ll be back…..” and tries to entice you not to leave. Sort of how some states make you be separated for a while before they’ll “grant” you a divorce. Anyway, if you do want to leave Facebook, here’s how to do it. (Skip step one there, and before you delete your account, delete all your photos. Who knows if Facebook will decide they own those at some point.)

So, if you’d like to know why I’m leaving Facebook, and where you can find me, read on…..

WHY I’M LEAVING FACEBOOK, EFFECTIVE NOON TOMORROW (12/19/2012):

1. Facebook is starting to act like The State. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has updated their “user agreement” to say that they can sell any of your photos and not pay you. And they can use photos of your face. They could sell a photo of you smiling with a gun to an anti-gun campaign. If you’re overweight, you could end up in the “before” photo for a weight loss pill. etc. etc.

In saying that they can change their user agreement this drastically, and that you’ve already agreed by being a member, they are acting like The State with its “Social Contract.” That is, Facebook is acting like the government. Even though Facebook has backtracked due to public outrage, that sounds to me like what politicians do right before an election. Do I really wanna trust someone who figuratively says “Well, we were gonna rape you, but you complained and people are watching, so we’ll wait and rape you later”? (It’s ironic that so many statists are among the outraged, because they don’t realize this is EXACTLY how all governments behave.)

2. I waste a lot of time on Facebook. I used to write books that I was paid to write, but I spend so much time on Facebook that I’ve stopped writing books. You could say “Why not just spend less time on there?” but that’s like giving a junkie a brick of drugs and saying “just use this once in a while.” While this is my problem, not Facebook’s problem, my solution is to leave. I’ll probably go through “withdraw” for a little while, but then I’ll go back to actually producing things instead of wasting time on Facebook.

3. Facebook is censoring people. They are suspending accounts of people who do not tow the mainstream media line on current events.

4. Facebook is hypocritical. They are suspending accounts of people who post political ideas that Facebook does not like. Then they tell those people “Facebook is not a place for politics”, when in fact, Facebook was spamming me for Obama right before the election.

5. Facebook is spying on you. Of course these days, you are being spied on everywhere, all the time, by governments and corporations, but Facebook is the worst of the worst. And their privacy settings are useless.

6. I don’t want to talk to a lot of the people on Facebook. But they want to talk to me, and foist their opinions on everything at me, and they’re usually wrong. It’s annoying. But it goes beyond annoying sometimes. I’ve had death threats simply for my political beliefs from strangers who would never have even heard of me if I weren’t on Facebook. Like I said in one of my books ten years ago, “The great thing about the Internet is that everyone in the world can talk to you. The horrible thing about the Internet is that everyone in the world can talk to you.” This is more true on Facebook than anywhere. It’s set up for that. None of those people would bother trying to find my e-mail and bug me, but on Facebook, that’s just part of what people do. It’s part of the business model.

7. FACEBOOK USERS AS A WHOLE SEEM FAR MORE INTERESTED IN SPREADING FEAR THAN DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. This statement isn’t singling out any individual users, and there are exceptions. But as an entity, the collective mind of Facebook is far more into yelling “THE SKY IS FALLING!” than putting on a hard hat to protect their head from falling sky pieces. The final straw, for me, was when I posted two things on the same day…The first was a link to an article about new ways the government is planning to read your e-mail. The second was a link to an article we wrote on setting up encrypted e-mail so the government can’t read your e-mail. The thing about government reading your e-mail got 170 likes and 76 shares. The piece about actually DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT got ten likes and 3 shares. To me, that says all you need to know about Facebook and why you shouldn’t be on there. Most people on Facebook would rather live in a fear-spiral echo chamber than actually DO ANYTHING to protect themselves. I call it “Fear porn”, and it’s not a type of porn I’m interested in consuming.

8. I’d rather spend my time and effort building my own sites than building someone else’s business model for free. Especially when that “someone else” is a company like Facebook that has no respect, and apparently has absolute contempt, for its “customers.”

WHERE TO FIND ME:

I’m not leaving the Internet. I love the Internet. I’ve been on it since 1990 (before the World Wide Web), and I’m still going to be around. I just hate Facebook. You can find me on Twitter, here. You can find Freedom Feens, my thrice-weekly podcast with Neema Vedadi, here. You can subscribe to that via RSS or iTunes, and post comments on the site, and I sometimes comment back. You can subscribe to the torrent link here. (Please seed Feens episodes for when the Central Scrutinizer declares free speech illegal, deletes our website, and throws us in camps.) You can find my interview podcast, Anarchy Gumbo, here.

You can find my past media here, and my e-mail address here. (Though please submit news items for the Feens here, rather than via e-mail.) You can find my encrypted e-mail and PGP key here. If I know you well and you use private i.m. via Pidgin, you probably already have my Pidgin address. I don’t give it out to many people.

Only about five people have my phone number, and I don’t talk to people much on the phone, but you can call the Feens number during our live shows, info is here. During Feens Live shows, I’m also on the Feens chat page (my user name is MichaelFeen), and I occasionally pop in there at other times. I write for the Freedom Feens blog (the thing you’re reading right now), and you can comment on here, and I sometimes comment back. I’ll also start posting photos of my cats here sometimes, that was always a favorite on Facebook, and I know it helps power the Internet and keeps the tubes from getting slow.

Skype is not a good way to find me except during the Feens live shows. I never turn Skype on unless I’m doing a show, and I never check my Skype messages. I am on YouTube, but that’s a bad way to contact me. I rarely answer on there, but you can enjoy my videos. I have a Google+ account, but I never check it and will probably be deleting that too.

You can listen to us 24/7 (and occasionally live) on Freedom Feens Radio.

Even with all the above, that’s much more manageable than being on Facebook. Facebook is a time suck.

There is a Freedom Feens Facebook page that’s run by fans, but not by me. Apparently there will be some Feens updates there.

So anyway, that about covers it. Enjoy Facebook if you stay. It’s useful for some people. But I’ve got things to do, and roads to build.

–Michael W. Dean

 

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30 Responses to Why I Left Facebook, and where to find me online

  1. Shannon

    I only had a FB account when actively dating. I rarely posted. I found someone and deleted my FB account. It’s a waste of time. I don’t care about the details of other peoples’ lives (strangers, friends or family). I have enough going on in my life.

  2. Paul Bonneau

    Good one Michael. I left CIAbook for much the same reasons. So glad I did…

    I didn’t do any special steps to quit my account, as I assumed in the first place that everything I posted there immediately ended up on some NSA server. I’m too old to care. Fuck ‘em.

    • MWD

      Right on.

      MWD

  3. Ivy Mike

    Before deleting your account, de-friend every single friend. Then there is no temptation to go back during the 2 week “I’ll get you back, my precious” waiting period.

  4. Ah, I thought my FB feed was a tad quieter. Finally asked Kyle, “Where the hell’s Michael?” and he pointed me here.

    Bravo, my good man, for taking these steps – I wish you well and much prosperity (and I’m looking forward to some new writings and maybe a doc or two, now).

    As for me, I’ll still inhabit that FB wastelands – you know me, keep yer friends close and yer enemies closer. Someone’s gotta keep tabs on the bastards.

    Kirk out.

  5. dan

    I use facebook really just to keep in touch with a select few far away freinds and that’s about it. Social networking is dangerous. Anything you wouldn’t pretty much openly do or say in, for instance, a courthouse, probably shouldn’t go on FB.

    I never post pictures and ever since Myspace ran it’s course I have a personal rule that I’ll pretty much never add a girl I’m seeing on FB. If she asks I don’t have one, haha…

  6. deb

    p.s. I thought they were doing deletions at 30 days but that may have changed. in the past they never let you delete your account at all, it was always just “suspended”, until someone in europe somewhere (i think) sued and won.

    • MWD

      You have to request deletion, then immediately no once can see it. Then you have to not log in for 2 weeks, then it’s gone. I explain that in the post above, and there’s also a link there to an short article on exactly how to do it.

      • Fumplewumpus

        If you send them your ID, they’ll send you whatever they collected on you regardless of whether you deleted your account or not.

  7. deb

    don’t forget that you can make archives of your account before deleting. there are two separate areas you have to go through to get the “full” archive. there’s some interesting stuff in there and it’s what they’ll always have about you, though on the user end, not knowing who (the context) you said certain things to is hard to get a real picture from.

    i like the social and no hierarchy aspect of facebook but am pretty alarmed by the privacy stuff they’re up to lately and have been reflecting on getting out. I’m thinking of deleting everything then deactivating, but haven’t made a firm decision yet. I did make backups of all my data a few days ago though.

    • MWD

      Thank you.

      Though I already have every photo I ever posted on Facebook. As for what I wrote on there, none of it is really worth archiving. Facebook is pretty much chalk on the sidewalk, waiting for the rain. lol.

      MWD

      • deb

        Facebook is pretty much chalk on the sidewalk, waiting for the rain.

        you always have been able to turn a phrase. :)

  8. Mark

    Hmmmm…. Liberty minded people who don’t want their personals lives scattered all over the Internet. Imagine that!

  9. Jimmald

    I’ve never been able to bring myself to use Facebook (except for a dummy account in a fake name with no real information, which is somewhat useful for being able to view other people’s public stuff on Facebook). Privacy issues from the very beginning, with putting my real name and information online publicly. Couldn’t do it. Ever. If you’re really my friend, then you should know who I am; why do I need to use my real name?

  10. Mark

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.. Okay, not so far.

    Hey! Check out this new thing called the Internet! It’s a series of tubes designed to distribute porn and cat photos! And we can all annoy the crap out of each other! Yay for progress!

    I was never really a fan of this whole net thing. I figured it had some uses, but I found it a bit overwhelming. So aside from the grocery store flyer and the weather forecast, I never really bothered with it. From the early days, I figured it would be another way for people to bother me. I can’t count the number of times people have called it a time sucker. Nor can I count the people who don’t leave it after making such a comment!

    I’ve never touched MySpace, Facebook, or any of those. Something always bothered me about them. Though I may join up with Twitter to maintain my Feen Dosage.

    Hats off to anyone who stops drinking that variety of kool-aid!

  11. isaac

    Im leaving for privacy concerns.

    • MWD

      excellent!

  12. Steve

    I left long ago. I joined to keep up with my adult kids. but when I learned what a corrupt thief the owner was I left. I only lasted 3 months.

  13. voluntaryist topher

    Welcome back to all that lost time. Ive been off fb for a little over a month now. I feel more like a productive human now.

  14. Michigan Escapee

    Well it could be worse, you could be migrating everything to Google+. ;)

    I do the facebook thing mainly as a way to avoid having to send xmas cards, or trying to keep track of everyone’s number/address.

    Granted, everything you do on there, you have to consider as being broadcast. Sort of like the old Usenet days. ;)

  15. Hi, my name is Rick and its been six months and five days since I last used Facebook.

  16. Shepard

    Excellent reasoning!

  17. I remember that you wanted to quit facebook when we first started talking, and I had told you that I wasn’t on facebook. It really is almost an addiction. If you need a FA sponsor (Facebook Anonymous- wow, those two words DO NOT go together), I’m here. I been off that stuff for about 3 years.

    • MWD

      lol. Cool.

  18. Troy Gardiner

    I’ve been trying to write a book myself for the past three years, it’s all over the place. I’m also currently working on a script, which has had so many stops and starts it’s ridiculous.

    Leaving FB is something I should really think about and you’ve got some of the best reasons I’ve heard for doing so.

    “But I’ve got things to do, and roads to build.”

    Brilliantly put.

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