Editorial: Why I Left Facebook After 7 Years, But Was Forced Back In

By on August 22, 2012, 1:54 AM

The early days of Facebook were much different from now. The site layout and profile pages were very basic, and the young and reckless didn't have to worry about family members or employers stumbling across their questionable photos.

As the site loosened membership requirements, I initially perceived the expansion as a good thing. I reconnected with childhood friends and high school classmates, and as a budding photographer, I loved sharing photos and receiving feedback from those on my friends list.

But as Facebook closes in on one billion active users, its overwhelming success is mostly why I've decided to end my long-standing relationship with the social network. Seven years is a long time to maintain any online account, much less one that demands almost daily attention.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 75

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1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If you've been on the fence about dropping your Facebook account, I'd urge you to give it a try and see if you can live without it.
I was on a fence for a while and did finally drop Facebook. You know what, I can live without Facebook.

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I can easily live without Facebook and don't feel any urge to check in every so often.

Actually I probably go a week sometimes without logging in.

Turning off all the very annoying applications and crap sure helps to clean up the "news" feed so it is not cluttered by crap.

And also having mostly only people I really care about helps.

That isn't to say that certain life changing events don't make me more addicted in periods to the site, but it eventually wears off and then I'm back to "normal"

1 person liked this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

I have never ever had a Facebook account and I don't really feel left out

1 person liked this | dtourond said:

I'm thinking of doing that too. It's not as exciting anymore as it was when I first signed up.

Chris Just Chris Just said:

I left Facebook and I am not going back! I found a much better social site With other geeks, artists, SyFy buffs and others interested in all kinds of things I am. I stayed away from the site I am now on do to poor reviews.

HenningK HenningK said:

I keep my Facebook account mostly as a very convenient way to log in around the web. Just like I did to post this comment :)

If you "have to" check your feed every morning, seriously - Facebook is not the problem, but rather your compulsive desire to being updated all the time, is. Facebook is fine if you "manage it" properly.

ramonsterns said:

Only have a Facebook account for free crap they offer if you "like" them.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I've been without Facebook since a couple week before they went Public. It feels so nice.

1 person liked this | BMfan BMfan said:

Only have a Facebook account for free crap they offer if you "like" them.

That's part of the problem with FB.

Dawn1113 said:

I don't have a Facebook account. I honestly never felt the need for one.

I'm almost sure I thought about signing up, once or twice. But then there are days when I am just very happy to have my door shut and be completely cut off.

2 people like this | slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

A lot of this stuff such as

Many things annoyed me, but the short list includes political rants, religious preaching, relationship drama and grammar that would disappoint a first-grade teacher.

After all, the fact that I even had over 600 "friends" is comical.

is the user's own fault for adding so many random "friends". Nobody can claim to have more than 50-100 real friends and these are the only people you should be adding on facebook, not random religious preachers or drama queens who you talked to once at a party.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Me neither. I actually have real (= offline) friends :)

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Reminds me of the car ad with the young woman who worries about her parents' social life. While they're out having a great time biking with real friends, she's sitting at the computer talking about her hundreds of "friends" and fretting that her parents only have 19.

"That's not a real puppy. It's too small to be a real puppy."

Never will I have a Facebook account.

Guest said:

I've never got into Facebook - it's so fake and teenagerish. It needs a dislike button. Then I might use my account to dislike politicians, lawyers etc, I'd also like to see a new nemesis option.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Numerous times I've come to the same conclusions and considerations, and have had an account for just as long as Shawn, but at the same time my usage is like Per Hansson. In fact I tell people I actually know and communicate regularly with if it's important for me to know, call/text/IM me instead; then I might actually notice. =p

Jim$ter said:

People always hate what is most popular. Facebook is awesome in that you can easily log into most websites without having to signup. If you know what your doing and how to set your privacy and control your apps and news feed it is a great place. If you let it take over your life then like any addiction you should stop. But for most people its a great way to be able to get in touch with people...Closing your facebook account is nothing to be excited about...you might as well get rid of your cell phone too and turn into a hermit. Like my one friend who never had facebook and think its evil is always surprised when he hears some news...and I'm like dude I knew about that for months. If being uninformed and isolated makes you feel better by all means do it..But for most people being connected to people is what life is about..... Sure could facebook be evil and actual making things worse in the world....possibly....but it isn't going anywhere and few people not using it won't stop the fact facebook is still there and almost everyone and your friends and family are on it but you. And more and more websites are going to require and use facebook. So enjoy isolation but don't shout it out like its a good thing.

Staff
Erik Erik said:

I've never truly disliked Facebook but it HAS gotten tiresome. The main reason I have not closed my account is my family abroad. I have a 4 month baby boy and it's the easiest way for me and my wife to share pictures with them, specially the older folks that are not to tech savvy - they don't post or interact, they just open their accounts to see the pictures they've been tagged in.

PinothyJ said:

I keep my Facebook account mostly as a very convenient way to log in around the web. Just like I did to post this comment

If you "have to" check your feed every morning, seriously - Facebook is not the problem, but rather your compulsive desire to being updated all the time, is. Facebook is fine if you "manage it" properly.

Aren't you a man of many (logical) fallacies...

tehbanz tehbanz said:

I would delete my FB in a heartbeat if it werent so damn easy to find local shows. All the local bands make facebook events, much of which are basement shows so you can't exactly browse all the bars websites to see who is playing that night.

Damn you necessary evils!

hitech0101 said:

I have 3-4 friends who I don't meet on regular basis yet we call up each other once a while to catchup I haven't seen any fb people do that.

yorro said:

Just decrapify your FB so you would actually go there for relevant news.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I really don't miss fakebook. I got tired of all the bullshit. I don't brag about my life and I'm not good at lying about my life, so fakebook was not a good fit for me. Out of the 100 or so "friends" I did have, I would say only 5 of them really meant something to me. It was easy for me to ditch fakebook. Besides, I really don't like being tracked and labeled over the entire internet according to my facebook settings and preferences.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I resisted getting a Facebook for a very long time, and was finally talked into it about 3 years ago by a girl. (Actually same reason I got a MySpace back in the day...).

But it was the easiest way to talk to her as I didn't have texting on my phone and she has a out of state cell phone number.

Now I don't check it very often. Tops once a day really quick after work. For the most part I don't find it very annoying, but my "Friends" as only people I know IRL (about 50 people).

For the most part I like FB. It lets me keep in tough with friends and family that live in other states.

I think for now I will keep it just for that reason.

AJG3181 said:

Being a musician, having a facebook account really helps me get the word out to friends about upcoming shows for them to attend, and it also helps out a lot with connecting with new musicians inan area that I may be visiting for possible future venues.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Me neither. I actually have real (= offline) friends

Don't quote me on this but I think it may be possible to have those same friends online >_>

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

I have a facebook account, although I don't trust some of the opt-in feature it maintains to "make the world more open and connected"; Timeline, in particular. And I log in for only so much time, it becomes tedious on the time being.

(I wish I could Like the following comments above on TechSpot's facebook, rather than being impatient to get a Dislike button!)

Guest said:

Jim$ter said:

...If being uninformed and isolated makes you feel better by all means do it..But for most people being connected to people is what life is about..... Sure could facebook be evil and actual making things worse in the world....possibly....but it isn't going anywhere and few people not using it won't stop the fact facebook is still there and almost everyone and your friends and family are on it but you. And more and more websites are going to require and use facebook. So enjoy isolation but don't shout it out like its a good thing.

First off if Facebook is your main media outlet for information you need to reassess things. I can know about things before someone on Facebook does, very easily in fact.

Now, what's this about Facebook not going anywhere? All things come to an end in the virtual world. Facebook is yet another rehash of other social sites. Almost everyone uses Facebook? That's the funniest things I've read this week. 0.9 billion use Facebook. There are 7 billion in the world. Hardly "almost everyone.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Bravo Julio! I offer one and all a recommendation to read "The Digital Divide" by Mark Bauerlein in which there is at least one chapter directly related to this article:

'Virtual Friendship and the new Narcissim'. Another that is somewhat shocking is 'Is Google Making us Stupid?' The book cited is worth your time if the impact of three decades of the Internet are of interest to you.

Recycle said:

I'm a little curious to know what the average age of the commenters here are. I'm not sure if that matters a whole bunch, but it's certainly a factor to consider.

I'm 21 now, and I've spent far too much of my life online since the age of 12. I've had four or five different groups of friends over the course of those years, and I don't exactly want to toss them all to the wayside every time we're not able to physically meet up (which gets hard when we're spread across the country).

By and large, my preferred communication is instant messaging-- but not everyone uses that. What if I want to address multiple people and have them all comment? Or I found a cool thing and I want to show it off?

I don't use facebook for the games and I rarely use it for the apps. I use it as a quick and easy way to let people know what's going on with my life. Some people don't like that, sure. But I do, and obviously, so do most of my friends.

It's easy to write off facebook as an intrusive and crapp-riddled site; but it's not hard to use it exactly as intended-- a social network. And that's why I'd never give it up.

rvnwlfdroid said:

I do have a Facebook account with a few hundred friends. I do very little with reading posts or replying to them. If someone sends me a friend request and I even vaguely remember who they are I'll accept. I'm not on it for the keeping in touch part, or even the sharing my daily life activity. I just like some of the games they have to offer. If those games ever go offline (standalone) I could more then live without logging into Facebook. Although I don't think I could delete my account because I also have several other things linked to Facebook. Now that I think about it I post more on TechSpot or other specially forums then I ever have on Facebook.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

I'm a little curious to know what the average age of the commenters here are. I'm not sure if that matters a whole bunch, but it's certainly a factor to consider.

IMO, maturity, not age is THE factor :grin:

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I nuked my account mid July, best thing I ever did. Don't miss it, not in the least bit. I feel facebook is a social d-evolution, it's almost just an extension to the text message epidemic. The use of verbal communication is decreasing fast, and its effect will span a whole generation. It's already pretty bad when you meet someone and instead of getting a phone number they tell you to "Add me on Facebook" But it's not just people, now it's every business under the sun that has to put the little symbol on their card or menu or whatever. I can remember the early days, before it became a source of commercial advertisement, when it was really about the people you know. Now it bothers me to the point where I wish it was gone completely, the world would be a better place without facebook, because at the end of the day it does nothing you can't do with a phone call.

Forgot to add one more thing, since I've left I noticed people who rely on it extensively have not contacted me since, and only my close friends actually pointed out that I wasn't on anymore.

psycros psycros said:

People always hate what is most popular. Facebook is awesome in that you can easily log into most websites without having to signup. If you know what your doing and how to set your privacy and control your apps and news feed it is a great place. If you let it take over your life then like any addiction you should stop. But for most people its a great way to be able to get in touch with people...Closing your facebook account is nothing to be excited about...you might as well get rid of your cell phone too and turn into a hermit. Like my one friend who never had facebook and think its evil is always surprised when he hears some news...and I'm like dude I knew about that for months. If being uninformed and isolated makes you feel better by all means do it..But for most people being connected to people is what life is about..... Sure could facebook be evil and actual making things worse in the world....possibly....but it isn't going anywhere and few people not using it won't stop the fact facebook is still there and almost everyone and your friends and family are on it but you. And more and more websites are going to require and use facebook. So enjoy isolation but don't shout it out like its a good thing.

Zuck, is that you? Or just another insecure non-person who has to justify his addiction through pitiful "I'm so cool" posturing? Oh wait..there's no difference.

Guest said:

@Jim$ter.

There is a whole world out there that doesn't have anything thing to do with fakebook. It's cool that you are so connected, but there are other ways in this digital world to stay connected to friends and get news and information without having facebook know every move you make. I personally have found that if a site requires me to use a facebook interface, than I probably don't need to use that site. Isolation? Hermit? Not really, I just figure facebook doesn't need to know anymore info about me than they already have. Who really needs hundreds if not thousands of "friends" anyway? It's just another excuse to hoard so called "friends". So, before you make it sound like people that aren't on facebook are total losers, It is just a choice of how much of your life you intend to share or exploit. Some prefer not to do either. That is me.

Cobalt006 Cobalt006 said:

@Jim$ter.

There is a whole world out there that doesn't have anything thing to do with fakebook. It's cool that you are so connected, but there are other ways in this digital world to stay connected to friends and get news and information without having facebook know every move you make. I personally have found that if a site requires me to use a facebook interface, than I probably don't need to use that site. Isolation? Hermit? Not really, I just figure facebook doesn't need to know anymore info about me than they already have. Who really needs hundreds if not thousands of "friends" anyway? It's just another excuse to hoard so called "friends". So, before you make it sound like people that aren't on facebook are total losers, It is just a choice of how much of your life you intend to share or exploit. Some prefer not to do either. That is me.

So very true. Just sometimes wish people would realize this.

Guest said:

I closed my account once. A year later, I went back on and entered my old username/password. FB popped up with a question asking if I wanted to reactivate my old account. I said yes and every picture and my old friends list was still intact as if I had never left, as were all of my old posts. Closing an account does not truly delete the account.

Guest said:

Before I read the article all I could think of was "How can you be forced back in?" Then I remembered that new Spotify members can only signup with Facebook. That is the problem the person is trying to show people. He had a Spotify account that he was locked out from after getting rid of his facebook. If he could use his email for Spotify he could still log in and change his email address if he changed email accounts.

Guest said:

To me, Facebook is my contacts book since it's easier to keep in touch with my friends and family there rather than keeping their addresses somewhere else and using the email instead.

Additionally, it's my "public diary" (all my privacy settings are set to "friends only"). Whatever I post on my timeline is mostly for myself to commemorate an event and to share it with my buddies who I trust.

Everyone on my friends list is someone who I have close relationships with. I have no virtual friends there, no acquintanances as I don't have an urge to add everyone I've ever known there.

I only add people who I don't have a problem with sharing my personal stuff.

brucethetech said:

I agree with the article. nothing worse than seeing a bunch of bible verses in post after post. Its like dropping a prayer smack dab in the middle of a good time.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Yes, I can live without Facebook, never had a FB account, never will.

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Facebook is annoying when people treat it like its the be all end all form of communication. Hilariously I hit on a girl and her response was to "Facebook me" instead of giving me her number.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

People like to know that they are liked. As you get older, you start to appreciate your real friends more, releasing thier true friendship and support are priceless. Facebook is mostly a gallery of photoshopped and cherrycoated junk, a joke with no punchline.

If used correctly it can be a powerful communication tool with all types of intuitive ways of interacting. But mostly its a a 'hey look at me' website that people use to gloat about thier success and cherrycoat everything in between.

I don't use facebook and never will. My girlfriend does and having to hear about it from her is enough for me.

Carmaine said:

I've never truly disliked Facebook but it HAS gotten tiresome. The main reason I have not closed my account is my family abroad. I have a 4 month baby boy and it's the easiest way for me and my wife to share pictures with them, specially the older folks that are not to tech savvy - they don't post or interact, they just open their accounts to see the pictures they've been tagged in.

This.

I don't care what other people do with their lives on Facebook, but I log on for things like this. I use this as another outlet to see my family from the other side of the world and share what's going on in their lives to me as if I'm right there with them. =)

But ugggghhhhh!!!......this is just another article with a similar premise that expresses their reason/opinion for leaving or using Facebook. Welcome to the world wide web, where there are millions of other people who use/don't use them. But only they either aren't capable of writing an article about it or they don't want to because no one cares. For those who never want to use Facebook, cool. Good for you. If you are using Facebook, that's cool too. Good for you.

Guest said:

Personally I don't like Facebook at all, and I am sick of hearing that dreadful word, the fact that Facebook is so low on privacy is just ridiculous, I've heard so many bad stories of Facebook, like them using someone elses artwork which they posted on Facebook, and the fact that they don't really delete your data when you ask them to is kinda scary too, why do they need to keep my personal data? This is a horrible way of doing things, I have moved to Google+ which is really awesome despite what most people say they probably haven't even tried G+ it's awesome, I hate when I read peoples comments saying G+ is stupid when they haven't even tried it. But I have also gotten a few friends back into IM (instant Messaging) but one day I plan to set up my own private server something similar to Diaspora so I actually OWN my data and I'm in charge of my data, and no more Corporations will have my data ever again.:)

1 person liked this | DanUK DanUK said:

I did this recently but with one of my MMO accounts that I had been playing on for 3 years.. it got to a similar stage where as soon as I was in from work I wanted to log on or when I got up in the morning before work I wanted to see what activity had happened overnight etc! It's been a few weeks without it now and was definitely the right move. It seems so easy in this day and age to get completely sucked in by these online bubble worlds and only when you take a step back to look at it do you realise that it can be quite unhealthy

Also a few years back I deactivated my facebook for about a month or so and that felt quite good.. it's a while ago now though so hard to remember (or why I even went back). I have had the feeling recently to do a disappearing act again (like you I'd have to set up a dummy account for UFC.. can't be missing that!) but unfortunately where I'm from and with our big circle of friends everyone uses facebook all the time for everything.

RajeGera RajeGera said:

I have facebook account but I use it rarely.I like to spend more time on forums ,interacting with strangers ,sharing knowledge.Its refreshing.If anu1 is getting bored of facebook,you can always give at different forums of your interests.

Guest said:

I agree with the editorial. I'm sick of all the pontificating about politics and especially religion. Religion is such and personal thing.

But as some of the comments, we like to see the pics of the grandkids, even though we are techy for old people Hahaha.

I myself hardly post anything about my life as some post when they are wiping their asses from a bowel movement. I just reply sometimes to my true friends under their posts, usually with something funny.

Basically I hate Fakebook!! lol

hiptech hiptech said:

Never used it, never will...

The quintessential "evil empire!"

oceanannieka said:

I opened a fb account only to communicate, albeit it's usually just one-way, with my grandchildren. I found myself being asked to friend an awful lot of people with whom I communicated fairly regularly in a chat group. Now I have discovered that many of the latter no longer post in the chat group but only on fb, but - and it's a big one, a frustrating one -- no-one seems to scroll down the next time to read any comments. One might as well be invisible. The whole thing is absurd. But then I'm old, too, so I suppose that makes a difference.

hiptech hiptech said:

I opened a fb account only to communicate, albeit it's usually just one-way, with my grandchildren. I found myself being asked to friend an awful lot of people with whom I communicated fairly regularly in a chat group. Now I have discovered that many of the latter no longer post in the chat group but only on fb, but - and it's a big one, a frustrating one -- no-one seems to scroll down the next time to read any comments. One might as well be invisible. The whole thing is absurd. But then I'm old, too, so I suppose that makes a difference.

With age comes wisdom...

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