Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Quitting Facebook

(This will be cross-posted to my Facebook account.)

It's been long overdue, but I'm quitting Facebook.

Why?

It's not you, but it's not me either. It's Facebook. There's a ton of reasons for quitting Facebook, but here are some highlights:

I had initially planned to just stop using Facebook and keep my account data there indefinitely, in the interest of reducing link rot on the web. But as long as it stays up, there's always the temptation to use it, and it still supports Facebook's surveillance capitalism machine, even a little. So it's time to cut the cord.

How can I keep in touch or know what you're up to?

I still actively post on my own website, other services and have an actively maintained contact page. Every email address I've had since 2003 is still being checked regularly. If you have my phone number (ends in 09) I'm on Viber and Signal. I'm very easy to reach.

What about Messenger and Instagram?

I'm keeping Messenger around for a bit, maybe until the whole quarantine situation blows over or until I can convince the people who still communicate with me there to move to a different service. Yes, you can keep using Messenger even if you deactivate your FB account.

I'm not sure what to do with Instagram yet. I should probably quit it too, it's not really important, but one thing at a time.

Should I also quit Facebook?

I can't tell you what to do. Do you even really derive any meaningful benefit from this site that you can't get elsewhere? Enough to justify continuing to support and feed their network? That's for you to decide.

Also, yes you should quit Facebook.

But if I quit how can I keep in touch with my friends?

Start a group text. Or an email chain. Or a discord server. Or a Viber/Signal/Skype group. There's a bunch of alternatives, I'm sure I missed a lot. Pick one and go.

I don't recommend: Whatsapp (owned by FB), WeChat (Chinese spyware), Messenger (hypocrisy!)

But what if I want to share my thoughts to the world?

Again, alternatives: Twitter, Mastodon, Wordpress.com, Tumblr, Reddit, micro.blog, Blogger, etc. Even LiveJournal is still around! All of them free.

I don't recommend: Medium (ew!).

But if people use so many different websites and services it becomes hard to follow them all!

You can use a feed reader service like InoReader or Feedly to follow most such services. Another reason Facebook sucks is that they're a black hole that doesn't contribute back to the open web: you can't easily follow someone on Facebook from outside Facebook.

But I need Facebook for work/to promote my brand/business/side hustle!

Do you really? There may be alternatives you haven't considered. A lot of small business can just as easily spread through word of mouth etc. But I'm not an entrepreneur (and don't care to be), so IDK.

If yes, sad. If you like, you can just create a new account with no personal information, don't add your friends, create a page for your business things, don't post anything personal ever and only use it for work/business things?

But how will I know when people's birthdays are?

Just don't greet anybody, I'm sure it will be fine.

All of that seems too complicated, maybe I'll just stick with Facebook.

That's fine. Do whatever you like. I'm not your mother.

So what now?

My plan is to leave this account and this post up for maybe until the end of June. After that I'm deactivating the Facebook account. Then at some point afterwards, I'll delete the account (probably when I no longer need Messenger.)

Posted by under blog at #tech-life

Also on: mastodon twitter / 👍 2 🔁 1 💬 2 740 words

Last modified at: Oct. 23, 2020, 4:34 a.m.. Source file