Image by Kevin Van Aeist, via New York Times

Yesterday I left Facebook. Permanently. So can you.

I’m not going to argue or moralise. Other people have done that. I’m just letting you know that I am moving on…

I’ve been on the book of faces for two years now, and it hasn’t all been bad. I’ve reconnected with a whole bunch of people through it. But it seems, more and more, to be an illusion of connectivity and communication. I have seen a lot of baby photos for children I have never met, from parents who I last spoke to long before they were married. The list of images and statuses seems to have become less and less connected with my actual, active, friendships. Facebook just doesn’t tell me anything I want to know any more.

Facebook is notorious in terms of privacy. It owns the copyright of everything you share via its services. Every status, comment and photo. It shares your personal information with advertisers and other third parties. And, it actually discourages you from deleting your data when you leave (Facebook suggests you “deactivate” this account, which is essentially meaningless, as all data is still there on Facebook’s servers, waiting for your return). I found some guidelines to deleting my account, and I’ll include them here.

Just be sure you really want to, if you do.

8 thoughts on “Leaving

  1. 🙂

    and on this, I will be interested to hear, when taped (or notated by anyone?) Danny’s facebook lecture, this many months later in the development of facebook and its advancing unprivacy, and before a Greatham audience, on July 30

  2. helena says:

    Andy, a quick but seamless departure from facebook – another departure that inspires me to do the same, though not quite yet.

    Phil, I will hopefully be at Danny’s lecture and I am sure it will be recorded – how soon you can get a copy or be online, I don’t know.

    h x

  3. Hello, Andy. You probably don’t remember me; I was a helper at L’Abri – wow! – almost two years ago. Reading the comments above made me nostalgic for the lectures I heard there, the intellectual stimulation and searching that went on.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your views on facebook regarding privacy. However, it is but one of many ways we today leave a trail of digital breadcrumbs where ever we go. I hate to say it, but it seems privacy is becoming obsolete, a very scary thought when its political ramifications are taken to their logical conclusion.

    Anyway, I hope you are well. After returning to Canada, I went back to uni full-time to finish my degree. I now have but one term left to complete an honours philosophy degree with a minor in psychology. And I just got word that a paper I wrote for a philosophy of mind course has been accepted for publication in an online graduate-level journal, which my undergrad advisor tells me is quite prestigious. I couldn’t be more pleased.

    If you bump into any of the L’Abri folks that might remember me, please send them my greetings

    Best wishes,

  4. Anna says:

    FYI: Danny’s August 30th Greatham lecture has been uploaded to the online library.
    A year ago, I listened to his Southborough recording and it was the final convincing for me: I exited FB shortly after. Now, a year later, it was helpful to listen to his updated lecture, once again a thoughtful conversation on How Do We Have Good Relationships in the Modern Age?
    And, to reflect on the past year in my life sans FB, while I have experienced (healthy) feelings of loneliness that were not relieved by shallow digital interactions, I have indeed been free to write more letters and bake more bread to deliver to friends here. Interestingly, my relationships here in Portland showed more strain by not participating online than my relationships with folks abroad…

    Still, it’s worth it. And it’s a great relief to not feel creepy.

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