The Archipelago
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The Archipelago

I Left Facebook, And You Can Too

Facebook doesn’t want to strengthen your relationship with loved ones. It wants to strengthen your relationship with Facebook.

Why I left, and what it was like

When I left Facebook at the beginning of 2011, I disconnected in one click from the roughly 100 people with whom Facebook had been my only form of contact. I felt the need to leave quickly, and I don’t know if my wall post telling people I was leaving even showed up in everyone’s feed, so there are lots of connections that I have just lost and never recovered: Susan, who was just about to get married; Shannon, who had become one hundred times more vibrant since she’d left the social strictures of our suburban high school; Jack, who was still singing in choirs.

Going Viral

Facebook wants us to think that it aims to strengthen our connections with the people we love, but this claim is just as much doublespeak as that 2009 open letter. Facebook wants to strengthen our relationship with Facebook, using our friendships as vectors.

Why don’t we kick Facebook out of our friendships?

I think we can expect, if we keep trusting Facebook, to keep having our trust abused. We have no reason not to expect this, and yet we’ve been letting Facebook stay in our most intimate relationships. Facebook has so far succeeded in convincing us that we have to let it stay so that we might keep our loved ones close. It does not have to be this way.

Okay, but what are our options?

I want us to excise Facebook from our relationships. Honestly. But when we do that, I don’t want it to feel like an emergency. I want us to be able to get rid of Facebook because we are building something better.



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