Last week I quit Facebook.
That probably sounds insane to a lot of you, but it’s already improved my life. Not only am I no longer wasting time checking and posting statuses every day, looking for tidbits of news amongst the narcissism, but I’m also not compelled to waste my writing time arguing with morons who show up purely to start fights or troll the groups I belong to.
The social media gurus among you are probably flipping out, wondering how I will ever sell any books, but I’m quite convinced that Facebook has never contributed to a single sale of any of my books in the first place. In fact, it’s my opinion that Facebook has actively been diverting attention from my website and thereby destroying any possibility for sales, as it gives people no reason to click over and see what’s new or subscribe to my blog when they can simply add it to another list of items they’ve “liked” on Facebook.
So fuck Facebook. There, I said it.
In case you were wondering, here’s my list of beefs with the social media platform, and why I decided to give it the finger once and for all.
1. Facebook Messenger. Whoever developed this mobile app, required to access your messages (which, by the way, are still accessible from within Facebook.com if you log in from your computer), should be flayed for a week before being fired. This piece of junk forces you to read your instant messages in a totally different app – thus negating the whole concept of an in-app messenger. It’s also been the target of much online brouhaha regarding privacy issues, though Facebook claims the allegations against Messenger are false. Even if they are, the fact remains that Facebook Messenger is an idiotic idea and a pain in the ass to use.
2. Facebook’s Mood Manipulation Experiment. It was (and is) unethical, illegal, and downright digusting: Facebook manipulated its users’ feeds this summer as part of an enormous psychological experiment. Do negative posts result in negative feelings – and more negative posts – on Facebook? Did you really need to fuck with my feed to find out the answer to this question?
3. Facebook Chat. Even before Facebook unleashed its idiotic Messenger app upon us, I was annoyed by Facebook’s chat feature. Not only were people suddenly able to start pinging me relentelessly every time they discovered I was online, but if we were having any sort of serious discussion in which documents or other vital info was being exchanged, if I didn’t IMMEDIATELY take action (i.e. write it down somewhere else, email it to myself, download the documents), all of this information would invariably become lost in the totally unsortable mess that is the chat “inbox.” Unlike sending a normal person a normal email, Facebook only sorts your chats by the most recently received messages, constantly displacing earlier chats and providing no way to categorize or archive items of importance. I was constantly telling people to send me emails of stuff they’d already sent me via chat messages, since these items would be lost in the flood of messages, and everyone got super annoyed. Even more frustrating, messages sent from people you’re NOT friends with go into a black hole called the “Other” folder. You will basically never see any of these messages, and therefore this folder might as well not even exist. Whoever is in charge of this function on Facebook should also be fired; it’s annoying as hell, intrusive and illogical. If I wanted to chat with someone, I’d get on Skype and be done with this mess.
4. Privacy Issues Galore. One of my friends has had frequent and persistent privacy issues with Facebook, resulting in her private contact info being made public. This is not only a violation of Facebook’s own TOS and a pain in the ass to have to keep checking (and double checking, and rechecking every time a goddamn update is imposed), but a clear and present personal safety hazard in a world where psychotic video gamers can decide to track down your home address, send you death threats and even show up on your doorstep with god knows what kinds of weaponry. Facebook basically doesn’t give a shit about its users’ privacy, and we’ve all known that from the start but chosen to ignore it. Frankly, with all this Gamergate hubbub, I don’t think it’s wise to continue ignoring the obvious.
5. Facebook Doesn’t Sell Books. You want to know why? Because it’s been actively turning down the reach on authors’ pages for quite some time now. Even if you have thousands of followers, you’re only reaching a maximum of 16% of them whenever you post. Depending on your numbers, you may only be reaching 2% of those people. How the hell are you going to keep readers interested in your books – much less aware of the existence of new ones – when you have to pay just to reach the audience you’ve already built? It doesn’t add up, and I’m not going to pay Facebook to talk to the people who are interested in what I have to say when I can email them directly through my own mailing list or post for the entire world to read on my blog.
So if you’re still here, I apologize for my intense Monday morning vitriol, but it needed to be purged. I’m off Facebook, for the forseeable future, and anything you read from my pages there is simply being autoposted from this blog.
Why not read it straight from the source?
You can subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like a weekly digest of everything posted here, and if you ever feel moved to respond to a post, I’m just a “reply” button away. No more Facebook middleman, no more online psychos starting pointless drama. Just words sent from me to you.
Have you quit Facebook yet? What were your reasons, and how has your life changed for the better?