A break from Facebook

Breffni Potter
Jan 17, 2017 · 3 min read

After reading this you might be indifferent but if you are challenged, ask why that might be.

Facebook for better or worse, is a company that is trying to be the place that you view the internet on. Did you know:

As of the third quarter of 2016, Facebook had 1.79 billion monthly active users. Active users are those which have logged in to Facebook during the last 30 days

With an estimated world wide population of over 7.4 billion. Almost 25% of the planet are considered active users of Facebook. With billions in revenue from advertising. Not bad for a 12 year old company.

I have spent a bit of time pondering

  • Does my quality of life improve with Facebook?
  • Mentally, do I go away from Facebook more positive or negative?
  • Is it laziness that prevents me from connecting with the people who matter?

We have practically limitless technology for staying in touch with the people who matter to us, whether they be friends, family, all around the world. We can subscribe to sources of news to stay current, we can search the internet for things that interest us.

Yet, many of us view the world through Facebook, we communicate directly using Messenger. We like/share and now live stream our activities. Something that is supposed to bring us and the people we know joy, yet it leaves many of us feeling…empty.

Why does this matter?

Facebook has had huge success but they are not slowing down. They don’t want 25% of the world, Their goal is 100% coverage. every single individual viewing the world through the tinted roses their machine decides works best for you.

Now in an ideal world, Facebook would be a harmless platform where we could just share the latest funny video, post a photo or two and carry on with our lives.

The problem is that Facebook as a business, the very reason why it is able to generate $7 billion dollars in revenue in a single quarter of the year is because over the 12 year period, as we consumed the content, the photos, the viral videos, we had taken out an agreement.

The terms of the agreement are simple, you get to enjoy Facebook as much as you want with no limits and your payment is that everything about you as a person is handed over to their computer. Where you have been, who you talk to, what your preferences are, even to willingly take part in mass social experiments.

None of this is new at all…

But are the benefits worth the cost?

Imagine what would life be like without Facebook.
Could you go one month without it?
How about one week?
Why not a day?

Try deleting the apps off your smart-phone. If Facebook is something that is totally benign, harmless and good for you then prove it to yourself by deleting it off your phone to avoid temptation and filling the time with something else.

What is the worst that could happen?

As a technology guy, as someone fairly busy rushing about, Facebook absolutely scares me. Google, Microsoft, Apple, none of them scare me anywhere near as much as Facebook do.

My biggest fear as we go into 2017 is that we become (as a majority) more addicted and reliant on Facebook.

Take a break from Facebook

Decide how long for and be disciplined. No one will be watching to know if you gave up early, you have only yourself to prove it too.

Better yet, leave a post on Facebook to say “Going cold turkey on Facebook for a period of X, everything is fine just taking a break from it”

If you do not feel any different after the break, then great. I would love to be wrong about the influence Facebook is having on us as a culture.

I’ve deleted the messenger app and facebook app from my mobile and will be going cold-turkey on Facebook for a period of 30 days ending on the 17th of February.

Will you also take a break? Let me know if you do and if you don’t let me know anyway. I might be completely wrong.

Breffni Potter

Written by

I help people tell stories and spread ideas that matter. breffni.co.uk

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