I’m leaving Facebook on the 1st of March. Join me for a break-up day.

It’s not just you who will benefit from this decision. It’s the whole society.

Sign at Facebook HQ on the 1st of March 2017, showing the now redundant employees the way to the exit. Image: Chris Griffith / Creative Commons

I have a confession to make. My Facebook account is not the first one I’ve ever had. Not a second one. Not even a third one. In fact, I had an on and off relationship with this fat blue whale for the last 9 years. And now, I’m leaving her.

You might say: “Ah, but you’ll be back on her doorstep in no time, begging her to let you in.” And maybe you’re right. But this time, I feel it’s different.

The Red Flags

Facebook data analysts sifting through its users private messages. Image: Thomas Mues / Creative Commons

She has not always demanded to be fed with human sacrifices while having political ambitions with dystopian consequences. But time flies and since I took my first Which Disney Princess You Are quiz, things got worse every year.

I have to admit, there were some red flags from the beginning.

On our first date, she asked me quite a lot of personal questions. Later on, she wanted me to report where I am whenever I was out with friends. Then, she started to write down what I said in her secret diary.

She interviewed my exes to get more information.
She read my messages.

She put herself between me and the world, demanding that I only speak to other people through her, shop through her, sell through her and get my daily news from her curated wall of irrelevance. Whenever she wanted my attention, she just rang her bell and I ran to her, expecting a reward.

But what is worst, she wasted my time and energy. The time I could have used in a better way. Not just to be more productive (that’s another obsession worth avoiding). But to be present. To be focused. To relax.

Facebook is not for free.

A final goodbye to the fat blue whale. Image: Isaac Kohane / Creative Commons

I know that you have a reason to be on Facebook. Whether it’s keeping in touch with a friend abroad, stalking your crushes or promoting your hand-made business. However (borrowing this from Cal Newport), when deciding about whether to use a certain tool, having a reason to use it is not enough.

There are always both benefits and costs. In case of Facebook, the costs are your privacy, time, attention, satisfaction, real connections to people and even openness to opinions different from yours. In fact, it seems we are never going to run out of reasons to quit.

And you are not the only one bearing the costs of staying. It’s the whole society. Wherever populists are elected, nations divided, fake news spread, innovation stiffled and private data handed over to bullshit advertisers or governments with totalitarian fetishes, there is always Facebook — willing to lend a hand or turn a blind eye.

With the recent release of the newest Facebook manifesto, things got even scarier. We need to go.

Come fly with me.

Let’s take the next 10 days to prepare for the final step. We can archive our data and reassure our friends, fake friends and followers that we are not going to dissappear.

Let them know there are at least 3 other ways they can reach us (apart from phone calls, SMS and e-mail, I recommend the Signal messenger).

Let’s share this appeal with them.

On the 1st of March 2017, pour yourself a drink of your choice (banana milkshake for me), go to this address and finally hit the button.

Let’s send a little (but not insignificant) “fuck you” to the fat blue whale.

Let’s build something meaningful instead.