I posted this to Facebook too, of course, but for posterity I’m keeping it here as well. I expect I will be posting a lot more here now that my Facebook account will be gone.
I’m leaving Facebook forever on April 1st. No, this isn’t a joke. You should leave too. Read on.
I read more and more stories like this every day. People with inside knowledge and real expertise and deep, powerful connections in the tech industry, encouraging people to get rid of their Facebook accounts.
It’s not limited to the WhatsApp guy. It includes Facebook’s first president Sean Parker and a former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya. The article I linked to says they “both expressed serious misgivings about Facebook and how it messes with people’s psychological and social structures.”
And I’m seeing it myself too. I honestly think the rising anger in this country, the building political polarization, the rise in all kinds of dangerous psychological trends… I know the human condition is deeply broken. But Facebook is making it worse.
And the thing is, since I’m here, I’m part of the problem. And so are you.
I think it’s time to go. Not “time to go until they promise with sugar and a cherry on top they’ll never do it again”. Just time to go, and not come back. Ever.
Let another network rise that respects me and my privacy, respects my personal agency and personal opinions, and isn’t from the outset so fundamentally incapable of making the right choices socially. We cannot reward that behavior any longer by remaining present. I refuse to.
Here’s what I’m going to do, and I encourage you to do the same.
I’m going to keep my Facebook account active (so friends have a chance to read this message!) for the next few days. On April 1st, I’m deleting it permanently, not just deactivating it. And I’m not coming back. Let April Fools’ day be a reminder that Facebook has fooled us all, and we won’t play the fool any longer.
For practical purpose, if you leave Facebook, and you should, you should also make sure friends know how to get ahold of you without it. I’m still going to be on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/joshlewis And my blog, as long as I’m alive and probably for a little while after I’m not, is here: https://blog.joshlewis.org/
Share this message if you agree. But more importantly, on April Fools’ day, stop playing the Fool. Click the big blue button: https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account