A Month Since I Left Hell

It’s been a month since I left the Facebook empire today.

Thomas Gaudex
Mar 7 · 4 min read
Illustration: Cat Finnie

It’s been a month since I left the Facebook empire today.

Wow, finally! At the time of writing, I no longer have a Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp account. Dude! How is it possible?

Don’t worry, I’m fine.

I breathe normally, my heart is beating at a regular rate, my tension is good, my hair doesn’t fall out, I can still talk, my vision is clear, both my ears are in great shape and my fingers can still be used to create.

My family relationships are healthy, my friends are still there, my girlfriend is always laughing at my crappy jokes, I’m still in love with my surfboard and my parents’ two cats always purr when I pet them.

Anyway, I’m perfectly alive and well.

But then, why did I decide to leave the boat once and for all?

I jumped on the Facebook ship in 2008. At that time, no one suspected that the beast was to become what it is today.

We were fans of hundreds of pages and subscribed to all kinds of groups with stupid names.

We were amazed at the incredible life of our friends (really?) and we pressed the like button from morning to night feeling like great people. Remember that endorphin surge when someone liked your incredible post.

The network was growing, but there was no visible sign of gangrene. The empire did not seem to have moved to the dark side.

Eleven years later, things are much more terrifying.

We all know the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed by The New York Times and The Guardian in 2018. I think that’s when the story started to become really serious. If you’re interested, here are the 21 biggest Facebook scandals of the past year. And It’s scary as hell.

Testimonies from former Facebook employees revealing the terrible backstage of the social network have emerged all over the Internet. Executives of the company have left (and are still leaving) one after the other.

Outrages are multiplying day after day. A Wall Street Journal survey revealed on Friday, February 22nd, that a dozen mainstream applications had sent data collected on its users to Facebook, without their being notified.

Imagine, even people who don’t have a Facebook account see their data collected by Facebook through other applications. Don’t you think that’s shocking?

The reality is horrible: Facebook knows literally everything about you.

The question must be: should we accept this and act as if nothing is wrong?

I’ll tell you a little anecdote.

Last spring, I was sitting at a restaurant table having lunch with my parents. A few green plants separated us from another table where a couple was settled with their daughter, who must have been sixteen or seventeen years old.

I observed them during the meal. I was stunned. They didn’t exchange a word. The girl was taped to her smartphone and ate her pasta while holding the device in one hand. The husband and wife had each put their smartphones next to their glasses and took them from time to time between two bites of food.

When we got up to pay the bill and leave the restaurant, the father, mother and daughter had not spoken to each other for the entire meal. No doubt the girl was scrolling on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp or Snapchat.

A family, sitting at a table to share an ordinary friendly moment, which is not spoken to each other.

Welcome to the new world!

After several years of reflection and hindsight, I finally decided to distance myself from the evil empire.

I’m tired of the system that abuses humans in the worst way. I just don’t want to be part of the world’s decadence anymore.

Game Over.

Sometimes you have to be able to walk against the rules. I chose not to do like almost three billion human beings. I may be an extraterrestrial (I love you E.T.) but I will not follow the trend. And I still have the freedom not to be part of the system.

I’m scared and I wonder what more would it take for people to realize the toxicity of Facebook and its ecosystem for the whole of humanity. When I talk about it around me, people seem to know what’s going on, but keep acting as nothing happened.

My old sister, I say this with tenderness because she’s just seven years older than me, used to tell me one day about deleting Facebook:

But I can’t leave, my childhood friends are all on Facebook.

I can’t blame her, but is it impossible to keep in touch with friends outside of Facebook? The social network has invaded people’s daily lives so much that no one seems to be able to do without it.

I don’t worry about what I might miss since I’m no longer on Facebook and its applications. I know by heart the birthday dates of the people I love.

As for my friends, I always have the same pleasure in writing or speaking to them orally when we feel like it.

Everything seems clear to me. What is happening is very worrying. And maybe there’s still time to react.

We can perfectly live without Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Better still, we must relearn how to live without these applications. I promise life is even much better this way.

If you still have doubts, read this piece from Nat Eliason: Yes, You Should Delete Facebook.

So please, dear friends, when are you going to stop feeding the monster?


Stories that matter. Emotion first and foremost.

Thomas Gaudex

Written by

Writer. Dreamer. Editor, Scribe. I like to surf and look at the stars. thomasgaudex.com



Stories that matter. Emotion first and foremost.

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