On quitting facebook

I quit facebook a few days back.

I am pretty slow as it took me almost 5 years to realize how useless and unproductive facebook has been for me. In a way facebook has become the most unproductive place to be at. While it may still be great for businesses to approach their clients or writers to get to their target audience(and other such things), it doesn’t seem to hold much value for the average guy anymore.

Internet is an vast collection of information. That is pretty much what makes it awesome. Social networks like facebook tend to block access to this information. Of course I do not mean that facebook deliberately tries to keep you away from all of it. Facebook just keeps you closer to your real life friends on the internet. This is not good as this makes our friends our closes source of information. Also it makes you the best source of information for your friends.

There are many brilliant places on the internet which are primarily used for sharing information. Hacker News” and Reddit being the best of the lots. These do not enforce the ‘social’ paradigm on you and hence result in unfiltered and the best information that can be found. Also there exists tonnes of communities out there that cater to other interests not usually catered to by the two aforememntioned communities. The problem of having a closed social circle on the internet which is almost exactly the same as the real world restricts the flow of information, which is the primary purpose of the web.

Facebook is also widely used by amateurs to showcase their work. This is a great use case for facebook as it allows hobbyists to showcase their work on an online platform. The problem again is the fact that you would mostly end up sharing your work within your social circle. It is quite obvious that one cannot expect a no filter feedback from those in our social circles, they tend to be nice to us. This results in hobbyists being given way more credit for their work than should be given and thus slowing them down from becoming better. Facebook has over time become the greatest facilitator of filtered feedback disguised as compliments for hobbyists. This makes facebook an addiction. Who doesn’t like to hear great compliments from others. I sure do.

Facebook, at the same time, creates an illusion of the real world on the internet. It is hard to not fall for it as it is exactly as our real world. We end up meeting the same people over facebook that we meet in real world. Usually the one’s we chat with most of facebook are our closest friends in real life. Should you wish to host an event, you end up creating an event on facebook and invite your friends from there. Facebook is flowing into the real world. Although what is although is that the opposite holds true too. Usage of works such as ‘like’, ‘comment’, ‘poke’ etc with context to facebook has become a part of the daily conversation followed by people actually asking each other to like their content. Facebook has spawned this amazing culture of people wanting to get more likes to gain popularity among those who already know them. We all want to be popular afterall.

I haven’t had an account for a while now and I don’t really feel like I have missed out on anything so far. Also as a matter of fact, it has highly increased my productivity. Also those whom I have known who deleted their facebook don’t feel like going back at all. Interesting on a recent post on reddit, I came across a comment by a certain user called jesushatedbacon, it went something like this

Been over 7 months for me. The people I truly care about call or text me. Others that need to get in touch with me can email me for work related stuff and what not. The only things out of my life are all the pages I followed and old coworkers/acquaintances that I have little or no connection with. It may be different for you, but it has been a good choice for myself. No more friend requests from people I do not need in my life. It just clutters your internet existence with so much unnecessary crap that you only realize how bad it truly is once you leave. I’m so over that addiction.

I completely agree.

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