2015-01-21

Why I left Facebook

I posted the following to Facebook, on January 29 2015. It got somewhere around 50 likes and some comments. The drafting in my blog started a week earlier, thus the mismatched dates.


I have been meaning to write a proper essay about why I don't use Facebook on a daily basis, but still leave this account active. It's a complex subject, and I have yet to find the time to address it properly. Here's an attempt, quick and dirty.

My feelings in a nutshell: I think Facebook is evil. I feel very strongly about this.

The company has too much information about too many people, and the way it has trained us to behave is deeply worrying. We no longer talk directly to each other, we tell Facebook everything, Facebook writes it all down, categorizes and indexes and files away in a database in the U.S. Facebook then impersonates us and informs our friends and family on our behalf. This happens so fast, it feels like a normal conversation. But it's not, it is something very different.

The system is carefully designed to maintain this illusion. It uses peer pressure and social capital against us, to keep us behaving in this crazy way. It's dystopian and insane, and I don't want to be a part of it.

I object and protest, even if it may mean I am cut off from conversations and don't find out about events and family news until too late. I am fortunate enough to be loved and cared for, you lovely people make an effort to include me in spite of this. Thank you. Not everyone is so fortunate, not everyone can afford to make the same choice. So it is doubly important that I do.

I understand that Facebook is useful and valuable in many ways. But please, dear friends and family, think twice about what you post. Take the time to seek out alternatives. Use the Internet, but don't give everything to one company, don't put all our eggs in one basket. You're not just talking to your friends and you're not just sharing information about yourself. You're taking part in a system that creates a massive trove of deeply intimate information about your loved ones, and you have literally no control over how that may be used - or abused - in the future.

Just closing my account would have left a void instead of leaving a message. I was in such a rush to get out, that I forgot to explain my reasons and communicate my message properly. My apologies. Now you know!

Love,
- Bjarni

Tags: life, tech


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