de-facement diaries

The de-facement diaries:
A burgeoning genre of Facebook-quitter confessionals.

If you search for “leaving Facebook” or “I left Facebook”, you’ll see a growing list of people discontent with the site and unwilling to participate in it. We’ve collected many of these eloquent posts here. Call them the de-Facement diaries. We hope they prove useful to anyone who still has doubts about leaving facebook.
Read on. De-face. Pass Go. Don’t look back.


The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook’s paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation. The efforts of a few thousand employees at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus pale in comparison to those of the hundreds of millions of users meticulously tweaking their pages. Corporations used to have to do research to assemble our consumer profiles; now we do it for them.
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Click here to scan through your Facebook friends and realize that very few of them represent actual, current friendships or even associations that you remotely value. In fact your list of contacts feels like an eerie social graveyard of expired friendships, badly ended relationships, and vague, past acquaintances you care very little about. Begin to feel depressed by the fact that so many people have passed in and out of your life without leaving much of an impression on you.
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Facebook is a business. Nothing wrong with that. But the business they are in is monetizing us – our thoughts, wants, desires, internet wanderings, connections, networks… you get the drift. My desire for privacy is something they will do whatever necessary to get around. Because, my privacy inhibits their ability to make money.
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The thing is, I just don’t like their style. Facebook is like the hunkiest douchebag in the bar. You know the type, the guy with enormous muscles and fake tan and bleached teeth. He gets to act just as badly as he wants, but there’s still always people swarming around him. Sometimes big online services just go into that path and never come back, and I don’t need that kind of shit around me.
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Many of their decisions, from showing your friends’ faces on third-party advertising to publicly announcing your “likes,” has been geared towards using your endorsement of products and services without you having you go to the trouble of actually telling your friends about it. “Like” a company? They’d like to use that as an advertisement, please. Bought something on Amazon? Maybe your friends would be interested in that thing, too. Drinking at a certain bar? If we let the FB timeline know, maybe for folks will join you! …That’s what they really want of you. The price of using Facebook is not just that some of your information gets shared with marketers and that you have to look at advertising. The real price is a blanket endorsement deal. I’d prefer to decide for myself what I endorse and what I don’t, but it’s clear to me now that Facebook really doesn’t want to leave me that decision. And so I’m gone.
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…who in their right mind wants to open up their lives to everyone they meet or, worse yet, met decades ago? I was a totally different person back in high school—a worse person, I think—and the idea of having to field friend request from some of the guys with whom I associated back then terrifies me. And yes, I know that Facebook’s enhanced privacy settings prevent most unwanted nosiness, but you still get to snoop around your friends’ friends lists, and that opens up a whole world of agony if you’re friends with even a few people from years past.
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…Pull back the curtain and it’s a place for getting people ages 13 and over to willingly offer up the most direct ways to sell them things. It’s like being at a big party with all your friends but then realizing that the party is really a Pizza Hut focus group. And also, any pictures you take at the party are owned by the focus group forever. Sound fun to you?
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Facebook is one of the most ingenious time-sucks known to man. I’m fully willing to admit that I’m not above looking at the vacation pictures of every single crush I’ve ever had, and all while on deadline at work, but that’s why I don’t give myself the temptation. The Internet outside of Facebook is an endless black hole of procrastination opportunities; toss in the chance to wallow in schadenfreude while staring at dozens of pictures of your ex’s lame new significant other, and it’s a wonder anything gets done at all anymore.
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Oh, and also, in order to delete absolutely everything, I’d also have to re-add every single one of the applications I’ve ever had installed, and then go through and remove the content, and then delete the applications again. Because when you delete an application, guess what? Your data is still stored there somewhere.
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Social networking sites (help to) turn friendship into a passive enterprise. Whereas a real friendship involves taking an active interest in another person, spending time with that person, putting effort into a relationship and more—that is, a friendship is an active endeavor—a social networking “friendship” involves occasionally reading the postings of another, reading another’s status updates and acting as if this is a connection…. Friendship is work, as are almost all things worthwhile.
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I had a problem with the use of the word ‘Friend’. Note that I use an initial capital to refer to a Facebook ‘Friend’ and lowercase for a real friend. Because there is very much a distinction: to me, the word ‘friend’ conjures up a real sense of mutual affection. My Friends weren’t actually factually friends,1 and so it troubled me to publicize the description of Friends as friends. ‘People I know’, sure. But ‘Friends’? Nuh-uh.
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On my own site, I have absolute control over everything that is published. On Facebook, however, all of this information about a huge number of people is collected together on one site, ripe for the harvest. Someone else could post something about you in their own profile—however potentially harmful—and you’d be powerless to do anything about it
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Somewhere, somehow, Facebook started evolving into something that wasn’t very desirable. You knew MySpace was going downhill when you logged on one day and saw that you had a friend request from a bottle of Pepsi, or a can of Axe deodorant. With Facebook, it was logging on one day and seeing your mom, and your mom’s friends, trying to become your friend that may have signaled something weird was happening
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The noise of Facebook got to me one day, although it had been building gradually. The apps, those god-damned apps, and quizzes about nothing just got too tedious.
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This is my call: Make it longer.  Read more books, essays, poems; write more; watch challenging movies and plays; have lengthy discussions with wise friends; learn an instrument or how to take a quality photograph; go for long walks (or runs or bike rides etc.) and spend time with your own mind without distractions.  Spend time with difficult ideas, let them develop in your mind, take the time to articulate them in your own words.  Fingerpaint.  Whatever!  Embrace the long-form in every way possible.  We are more than status updates.
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One of the most surprising results of leaving is other people’s responses to this. “But you need to have a Facebook!” “How will you keep track of your friends?” “How will people find you?” None of these things have been a problem.
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I felt like Facebook was becoming my life… not only when I was online, but when I was offline too. Whenever the kids would do something cute, I’d automatically start writing a Facebook update in my head. Not only that, but I’d obsess with what other people were doing too. I needed my thoughts back, before they became consumed by Facebook updates.
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“…you are required to choose a “reason for leaving” before you are permitted to go. Unfortunately, “inadequate citizen rule” or “doubts about corporate governance” are not among the choices. From the available list, I went with “I don’t feel safe on Facebook.”
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The relief was nearly instantaneous, the effects remarkable. Frankly, I’m shocked at the difference.  I stopped checking my phone every two minutes. There are suddenly more hours in the day.
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People have lost their jobs because they foolishly posted inappropriate photos on Facebook or because their “friends” posted them. When you announce on Facebook that you will be somewhere away from your home for an evening, a day, or a weekend or leave on a holiday, you could be telling someone that it is safe to break into your apartment and take anything which pleases them. Facial recognition has gotten out of hand by “tagging” photos of people, I do not want, nor should you want, someone “tagging” or posting a photo without permission.
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Facebook offers me nothing that I cannot get in a phone call, a video call, a postal letter, a paper greeting card, an email, a chat or a web page with photos on it. It seems to me it is a lazy person’s way to “keep in touch.”
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that Spring Break picture of you hanging out of your blouse after 17 margaritas–you know, the one your ex-boyfriend took and is now sharing with your name plastered all over it? The one that bears the caption “Sooooooooo wasted!!!!”? That picture may be less fetching to the parents of the third-graders you now teach. And is it really wise to let the entire world know that you’re going to leave an unoccupied-yet-full-of-treasure house empty for a month while you visit Australia?
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The other down side of using Facebook Comments for WordPress is that other bloggers don’t get the back link to their own site when they leave a comment.  The last thing I want to do is hurt other bloggers who want to interact here on KTracy.com.  We’re in the fight together.
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I realized it was really a complete waste of my time. I found myself checking Facebook often, and it was really providing no value to my personal or professional life. I got tired of reading about people complaining and spreading negativity. And what put me over the edge was when I read a status update from someone that was nothing but lyrics from a rap song.
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I deactivated my account, telling my friends and family that it was a waste of time, which was part of the reason – the other reason being not wanting to face pictures of my girlfriend moving on without me. Since that fateful day, I have found other ways to justify my absence, and I have never felt more liberated. While this move is unimaginable to many of you, bidding adieu to Facebook will actually strengthen your existing relationships and enhance your social life.
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In addition, with recent changes to their development platform, Facebook applications have more and more access to your private data, including applications you have not chosen to install, but your friends have. Want to share information only with friends? You’re sharing it with applications that your friends use.
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Deleting my Facebook account was a four-day affair. It took me that long to disentangle myself from the service and to let others know how else they could find me. “Disentangling” entailed deleting my photos, “unliking” everything and disconnecting all of the third-party services that used Facebook Connect to log me in.
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…the tipping point for me — was the action that Facebook took to change my default email address in my bio to my facebook.com email address. And yours too, actually. In fact, everyone’s default email was changed to his or her facebook.com email address.  …So by “updating,” they meant “making it your default” and “Oh, you don’t want anyone else to see your other email addresses, right, so we’ll just hide them for you.” Actually, Facebook (FB), no. You can go fuck yourself.
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It was the end of a long relationship that started out with joy and excitement, but recently became dreary, burdensome, and downright abusive.  First thing Thursday morning, I deleted the  Facebook app from my iPhone. Immediately a load lifted from my shoulders. No longer did I see those insidious little red numbers telling me someone had commented or posted or tagged or friended or messaged.  I found the effect was far more immediate than I anticipated. I stopped checking my phone incessantly.
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Dear Facebook Friends;
It is time for me to go, though I don’t want to sound melodramatic about it.  I would like to correspond with many of you, but I have come to the realization we are not actually communicating with each other.  This short-form web media to which so many of us have become accustomed—let’s face it, addicted—does not exist for the sake of our connections to each other. It is constructed to be a marketplace and we are the commodities.
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… the steady stream of posts, likes, and events re-wire our brains to prefer the short, quick, and easy.  Just like pure sugar, once we’ve had a big dose and the insulin wears off we’re hungrier than ever, only we desire real nutrition even less.  Often, with my stressful job, I think I don’t have the mental energy for anything more that a stream of simple bits of input, but I do.  Anything worth doing takes time; instant gratification leads to emptiness or, worse, pain.
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Zuckerberg is positioning Facebook to be an internet hub, really THE internet hub; he wants it to be what AOL was in the ’90s, only exponentially bigger and more sophisticated.  And unstoppable.  Facebook wants to know where you are, what you are doing, and when; the best means of achieving such omnipotence is to make itself a conduit through which you consume media, connect with friends, find events and places to go, etc.
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…does Facebook really connect people? Doesn’t it rather disconnect us, since instead of doing something enjoyable such as talking and eating and dancing and drinking with my friends, I am merely sending them little ungrammatical notes and amusing photos in cyberspace, while chained to my desk? A friend of mine recently told me that he had spent a Saturday night at home alone on Facebook, drinking at his desk. What a gloomy image. Far from connecting us, Facebook actually isolates us at our workstations.
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I despise Facebook. This enormously successful American business describes itself as “a social utility that connects you with the people around you”. But hang on. Why on God’s earth would I need a computer to connect with the people around me? Why should my relationships be mediated through the imagination of a bunch of supergeeks in California? What was wrong with the pub?
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“For my own part, I am going to retreat from the whole thing, remain as unplugged as possible, and spend the time I save by not going on Facebook doing something useful, such as reading books. Why would I want to waste my time on Facebook when I still haven’t read Keats’ Endymion? And when there are seeds to be sown in my own back yard?
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…actually our quality of life will be increased by removing this pointless nonsense from our lives.
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Facebook brings out the worst in people.  How I didn’t quit Facebook during the last presidential campaign, I’ll never know.  The willingness of so many to spew half-baked punditry that almost assuredly alienates them from half of their friends—and convinces precisely no one of their opinion—boggles the mind!  Yes, these offenders are buoyed by the 10 Likes they get from the people who think similarly, but scores more harden their opinion in opposition and are likely offended in the process.  (If this point doesn’t resonate with you, you may be an offender.)
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Less is more.  I’m on a mission to simplify life, to slow it down to a pace at which it can actually be consumed, not just tasted.  I don’t want to hide behind the ubiquitous, “I’m really busy” as a badge of honor.  I want a lower cost of living (not just financially) and a higher quality of life.  I want to limit the number of [things] that compete for my attention so that I can apply more attention to those [things] I care the most about.  Less is the new more.  Goodbye, Facebook.
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“Facebook will continue to store and use your Connections even after you delete them. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. Even after you ‘delete’ profile information, Facebook will remember it. We’ve also received reports that Facebook continues to use deleted profile information to help people find you through Facebook’s search engine.”
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Facebook is an excellent example of worst practice in almost every aspect of how to run and manage an online social network, and as someone who ostensibly believes there are good and bad ways to do those things, I don’t want to be part of it anymore.
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I haven’t really noticed I quit! Instead of spending my time on Facebook, I’m spending my time cycling and exercising, talking and hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in a while, reading, or, given the activity on my blog as of late, blogging about kicking the Facebook habit.
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Facebook is a thing. It is a thing that you possess and maintain. In doing so, it robs you of an inordinate amount of time. For the average Facebook user, that’s over fifteen hours per month. Studies also show that Facebook takes a toll on a person’s mental health. There are a lot of reasons to believe it takes more than it gives, and the more it gives the more it takes.
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Facebook drama is so prevalent that the only way to avoid it is to not be on Facebook. That’s where I’m headed. Sometime in the early part of January, my Facebook page will be permanently deleted. Like me, you’ve probably wondered what life was like before Facebook. Well I’m going back to the good-old days. That’s right — the “old days” of blogs and e-mail.
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Full articles:

Why I’m quitting Facebook – CNN.com

5 Reasons Why I’m Leaving Facebook | revelife

why I left Facebook » filosophy

I Quit Facebook |It Keeps Getting Better

Why I left Facebook | Thudfactor

Why I’m Leaving Facebook : The New Yorker

An Update on Leaving Facebook: Frankly, I’m Shocked at the Difference It’s Made

Opinion: Why I am leaving Facebook | YNaija

Why I left Facebook | FeliciaCago Land

Push versus Pull relationships and why I left Facebook

Gad Zucks! Why I’m Leaving Facebook | kinnon.tv

Why I Left Facebook | PCWorld

Christopher Thompson’s Closing the Deal: Why I Quit Facebook | New Hampshire NEWS02

Why I Quit Facebook, and Why You Ought to Join Me

Why I Deleted My Facebook Account

Leaving Facebook: Breaking up is Hard to Do

We Are More Than Status Updates « Burning All Illusion

Social Networking Sucks! (Or, why I left Facebook) ❖ Richard Flynn

Why I’ve Closed Down My Facebook Account. » Transition Culture

7 Reasons I Dumped Facebook – Forbes

Bye-Bye, Facebook | The Baseline Scenario

De Nihilo Nihil: Reasons for leaving Facebook, part the first

Why I’m deleting my Facebook account | creativity/machine

The New Dinosaur: Why I’m Not on Facebook, and Why You Shouldn’t Be Either | Business on GOOD

Why I Left Facebook: | I Heard Tell

Why I left FaceBook « Beyond the Iron Sky

Five Tips on Beating The Facebook Habit | Ruminations From a Redhead

I deleted my Facebook account today – bloggy

Leaving Facebook: The KTracy.com Exit Strategy | Kevin Tracy

Why I’m quitting Facebook – CNN.com

5 Reasons Why I’m Leaving Facebook | revelife

why I left Facebook » filosophy

I Quit Facebook |It Keeps Getting Better

Why I left Facebook | Thudfactor

Why I’m Leaving Facebook : The New Yorker

An Update on Leaving Facebook: Frankly, I’m Shocked at the Difference It’s Made

Opinion: Why I am leaving Facebook | YNaija

Why I left Facebook | FeliciaCago Land

Push versus Pull relationships and why I left Facebook

Gad Zucks! Why I’m Leaving Facebook | kinnon.tv

Why I Left Facebook | PCWorld
Christopher Thompson’s Closing the Deal: Why I Quit Facebook | New Hampshire NEWS02

Why I Quit Facebook, and Why You Ought to Join Me

Why I Deleted My Facebook Account

Leaving Facebook: Breaking up is Hard to Do

We Are More Than Status Updates « Burning All Illusion

Social Networking Sucks! (Or, why I left Facebook) ❖ Richard Flynn

Why I’ve Closed Down My Facebook Account. » Transition Culture

7 Reasons I Dumped Facebook – Forbes

Bye-Bye, Facebook | The Baseline Scenario

De Nihilo Nihil: Reasons for leaving Facebook, part the first

Why I’m deleting my Facebook account | creativity/machine

The New Dinosaur: Why I’m Not on Facebook, and Why You Shouldn’t Be Either | Business on GOOD

Why I Left Facebook: | I Heard Tell

Why I left FaceBook « Beyond the Iron Sky

Five Tips on Beating The Facebook Habit | Ruminations From a Redhead

I deleted my Facebook account today – bloggy

Leaving Facebook: The KTracy.com Exit Strategy | Kevin Tracy