It’s my time to #DeleteFacebook

Henri Rantanen 0

I have decided to join 300 000 other Finnish people, who have decided to #DeleteFacebook recently. While at it, I deleted all social media owned and controlled by Facebook Inc. This includes WhatsApp and Instagram. Why? Keep reading…

Why quit Facebook?

I don’t trust for Facebook Inc.

Facebook has been stumbling around with their user’s data. Even with it is their business model to profit from the personal data that users freely give them, mistakes are mistakes.

It is up to the company how they use the data they gather. Google for example, operates the similar business of serving targeted ads, but still somehow I feel they would be more responsible with my data.

Mark Zuckerberg messages 2004 dumb fucks

Messages sent by Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early days, reported by Business Insider (1)

Data privacy conserns

Ever taken online quiz on Facebook? Maybe a personality test or something in the tune of “which unicorn are you”?

When you clicked that “allow” button, maybe you have given the company behind the test more than your information, most noteworthy your friend’s information. Without them knowing or giving consent.

Remember these goodies?

This was before 2014, Facebook has made changes to their API since. (2)


Facebook is a waste of time

Mindless scrolling every time I have 5 seconds of free time. Waiting for an elevator, wonder if there is anything new on my feed?

But wait, I’ll just take a quick picture to an Instagram story to post later!

Henri Rantanen – All day every day

This kind of micro-activities keep the social media on top of the mind, I feel like I can’t get any rest from it. Even when I’m far from digital devices, Im constantly optimizing what to post next.

Good reason to #deletefacebook
Old RecueTime summary. Over 5 hours of computer-time every day after work.

I used to track my computer hours with this app called RescueTime.

According to my logs, I’ve spent on average 20% of my daily (out of work) computer-time on exclusively Facebook but certainly I have nothing to show for it. Time properly wasted.


Facebook changes how I think.

I have a habit of optimizing everything in sight.

It is a god-given gift that has greatly improved my quality of life, but at the same time a course, that has destroyed relationships and has caused feel-bad countless times.

  • What should I post to get the most likes?
  • I have to optimize my output to suit most people?
  • Everything gets weighted whether it should be posted or not.

People usually post only good things about themselves. Seems like the mere act of browsing the news feed can make you feel bad about yourself when you subcontiously compare yourself to others.

You get bombarded by other people’s accomplishments and getting a feeling like you were doing worse than others. Even when you know exactly
what is going on. Our biological neural networks are just stupid in that way.

There are many ways to get a dopamine rush..

Social media is addictive.

When you finally push through the predatory struggle and internal debate and manage to post something, after a few minutes of waiting – first like. Ooh the dopamine rush!

Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter in our brain that most street drugs target, either causing more to be released or blocking the re-absorption. Sounds good right? Cheap legal high from the internet! Shame dopamine is incredibly addictive.

Sure, it has kept the mankind alive since the dawn of days when It kept us looking for what matters, food and sex, but nowadays it also chains us to our mobile devices and causes brand new disorders like low-battery anxiety. (5)

Why quit Facebook now?

  • EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR)
  • 2016 US election and Cambridge Analytica scandal
  • Facebook’s secret psychological experiments (3)
  • Been quite stressed and social media anxiety is not helping

Government investigations

US senators asked recently Zuckerberg to testify before the Congress, because of suspected abuse of data by his company. Likewise, Facebook is under many investigations by different government agencies around the world.

This just gives me bad vibes.

General Data Protection Regulation

While writing this, I work on the technical side of digital marketing as a consultant. Because the onset of GDPR, I’ve had to give privacy a cold hard look at work and at the home front.

I know how dangerous personal data can be if misused, I don’t trust Facebook Inc enough to give them a chance.

#DeleteFacebook campaign

#DeleteFacebook campaign has picked up steam in the media and social media. Estimates from Facebook’s marketing data show that around 300 000 Finnish people have recently decided to close their Facebook accounts. (4)

Even one of the founders of WhatsApp, Brian Acton has tweeted about deleting Facebook after the company was acquired by Facebook Ltd.


My actions to the date

Closed accounts and pages

  1. Personal and company Instagram accounts
  2. WhatsApp account
  3. Delete my Facebook pages (Argnode and The LiveLight Project)

I apologize to my friends, who will probably miss me after my departure from Facebook’s platforms. We had a good run.

New developements

  1. Telegram-account
  2. Email based Spotify account (follow me!)
  3. Installed Ghostery to block Facebook’s tracking on all sites

Keep in touch with me!

Other social media

I know this might be a bit upsetting but I want you to remember: I’m still available in real life and a host of other social media.

If you wanna keep following me, might I suggest Twitter, YouTube, or a subscription to my blog? I’ll let you know when I have something interesting to read!


Subscribe to my blog


Saying that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.

Edward Snowden, 2015

Sources

  1. Wikiquote: Mark Zuckerberg
  2. YouTube: Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data scandal, explained
  3. YouTube: Facebook's Secret Psychological Experiment
  4. Iltasanomat: Facebook kiistää suomalaisten joukkopaon
  5. WallStreetJournal: Article on low battery anxiety 

I have decided to close my Facebook account on 1.1.2019.

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