Failure to Disengage

I failed.

A week or so ago, I posted that I’d had enough of Facebook and its bullshit and disabled my account. I still have had enough but it took about a week of being disconnected from Facebook before I found myself needing to log into it for one reason or another. I have managed to keep the application off of all of my devices and I don’t log into the page from home.

What I have been doing, is removing all of my information from the site, piece by piece. I have taken off nearly all of my photographs and picture posts since 2007. I have been slowly removing all of my posts, one day at a time. Everytime, I remove a post I get this freeing feeling, like I am somehow liberating myself from the Facebook Matrix.

I honestly didn’t think that unloading myself from Facebook was going to be this challenging. I thought that I could just delete my account and be done with it but they don’t allow you to do that. You have to wait 30 days and even then, any interactions you have one the service in the last eleven years is saved and then it can be sold.

The true value in any social media is not providing connected services to the user but in selling their personal information to businesses and governments. Now, I have known that this was the case for a long time. However, now I am seeing my information being used to manipulate voters during high profile elections and referendums and it makes me sick. I know that propaganda is a tool of any state craft and it is not illegal to participate in it but I hate knowing that the majority of voters don’t even realize when they are being manipulated.

That all being said, the following is from the Terms & Conditions of Facebook regarding content:

Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
  3. When you use an application, the application may ask for your permission to access your content and information as well as content and information that others have shared with you.  We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information. (To learn more about Platform, including how you can control what information other people may share with applications, read our Data Policy and Platform Page.)
  4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).
  5. We always appreciate your feedback or other suggestions about Facebook, but you understand that we may use your feedback or suggestions without any obligation to compensate you for them (just as you have no obligation to offer them).

By removing my content from Facebook, I am revoking their ability to use any of it. Now, I have set up a Facebook Page for my blog to share my Instagram and blog posts on. I will no longer be sharing any content on my personal Facebook page. I have locked down all of the current posts to private and thus they are removed from public access or Facebook’s ability to use any of the information.

I won’t be using Facebook to look at the Wall anytime soon. These days, I only keep tabs on the people I follow on Instagram because I get far less ads on it and I see the posts that I want to. I don’t see a maddening amount of memes anymore or what every Tom, Dick, and Harry is “Liking”. I will continue to be active in my Facebook groups though, at least the ones that matter to me. If a new group like platform emerges that has similar feature to it, then I might switch over to that.

I can’t be holier-than-thou about the whole leaving Facebook thing, I know that my desire to throw it out of my life comes from a never ending frustration from the hurt it manages to cause people, not to mention how addicting it can be. Even Instagram has a bit of addictiveness to it in its heart feature and comments. It’s that constant need for outside approval that leads to a false sense of gratification. It’s similar to the high you get from getting off to porn by giving you the illusion of personal connection without actually having to socialize. No wonder our social anxiety rates are skyrocketing.

I will report that everyday that I spend away from Facebook I feel better about myself, I am less stressed about what others think of me, and I am more focused on other aspects of my life. Even reducing my time on the product has made me feel better about life. Let’s just say, if Facebook imploded tomorrow, I wouldn’t care.

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