Somewhere between digital suicide and taking a stand, I’m quitting Facebook. I’ve had a love / hate relationship with the thing, since pretty much the beginning. While I love see the food friends cook, the trips they take, the children the raise, I’ve grown uncomfortable with the incessant re-posting of news reports I can read for myself, the clickbait that ensues, and the inevitable ads generated by the Facebook algorithm, tailored just for me, and based on cookies I haven’t managed to avoid, clicks I can’t conceal, and my own friends’ tastes. I will miss the cat videos.
But the process of resigning from Facebook, if anything, cemented my resolve. Because of some volunteer work I do, I actually *need* a Facebook account and I attempted to set one up using the email address associated with that work. Seems legit, right? Not according to Facebook’s community standards. It seems they believed I was trying to set up a false identity and the new account was permanently disabled, no appeals, no customer service, nothing. Now, as a “free” service, maybe I’m not entitled to such niceties. But as an “institution,” as co-founder Mark Zuckerberg referred to his platform, there’s basically no transparency. It begs the question, how are the actual trolls doing it? Why do SO MANY other activities (I will not list them here, I suspect you can imagine them) go unchecked?
So, yes, I’m done. No, none of my friends was the last straw. There was not a re-post of a dachshund skateboarding that sent me over the edge. But rather, just a sense of bleak resignation that I don’t need Facebook in my personal life, begging me to click on another link or to sell me a merino wool t-shirt. I feel better already.