For the first time, I deleted the Facebook app off my phone, with the intention of keeping it that way.
My life has been no different. Actually, if I really think about it, it’s actually better.
Over the years, I built up the habit of periodically checking Facebook and zombie scrolling. Sometimes, I’d do it without even thinking. But I’ve come to realise that actually…maybe the app doesn’t have my best interest in mind. So why should I give it the most valuable thing I’ve got? (My time)
With its current business model, Facebook has to maintain a 3-way balancing act. There are 3 parties which must remain content & in constant harmony:
- The user
- The advertisers
Now who’s the most important? It’s obvious. The user of course.
If the user isn’t happy. They won’t use the platform. The advertisers won’t have an audience. Facebook won’t make money. Simple as that.
However, data is now suggesting that users, like myself, are severely limiting the time they spend on the platform, or turning away from it completely.
Here, I will state the reasons why I’ve deleted the app off my phone and why I’ve severely cut my usage of Facebook.
1. It’s a Cesspit Of Negativity
It seems like we’ve got cancel culture mobs patrolling the internet, news outlets trying to compete for attention and lord have mercy when it comes to election season.
Apparently, negative content gets shared more than positive content. Now whether that’s because Facebook built the algorithm to show more of this kind of content or not, I don’t know. But what I do know is that people can be nasty to one another, especially if they follow a ‘group-like’ mentality.
People behave differently when they see themselves as part of a group. Your standard local estate-agent Jerry might be a right nice fellow who’ll find your perfect property – put in in the middle of some rowd Watford F.C. supporters, and you’ve got yourself a potential hooligan.
That’s kind of social media in a nutshell. People haven’t just formed groups, they’ve formed social militias that use bullying tactics, moaning & complaining as their primary weapons. Oftentimes, they’re as hard to reason with as a shoal of sardines.
2. Bit Too Political For My Liking
It’s almost like everyone’s got to be a little careful now on what they say in case of getting sniped by a ‘fake-news’ or ‘too sensitive news’ elimination bot.
Certain people who post regularly on my feed have mentioned the warnings they’ve received. Some were even temporarily thrown in ‘Facebook jail’.
Now going back to that 3-way balancing act, Facebook needs to balance the needs of 3 parties (the user, advertisers & Facebook themselves), and it might be getting a bit much with the hundreds of millions of users.
People naturally form groups. Users come from various different cultures and they all hold their own unique political beliefs. But for obvious reasons, they don’t all get along.
In an ideal world, Facebook wouldn’t need to side with anything because people would get on fine and everything would be all hunky dory.
Blanket rules must be enforced and in order to do so, Facebook needs to take a stance on certain things, like how they should deal with vaccine mandates, or political seasons, or who gets punished for saying what.
I can’t help but feel that in their attempts to please all users, they’ve done the complete opposite, by pissing them off.
3. Home-Feed is Like a Slot Machine
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen anyone scrolling on Facebook, but the next time you do, ask yourself this…don’t they look like a gambler? Sitting at a slot machine hoping the next post is going to be more interesting than the last.
But they’re not gambling money, they’re gambling dopamine.
At a casino, it’s easy to see what’s being transferred. The gambler picks up coins. You can see the coins. If you watch them long enough, you can tell whether they’re winning, losing, or if they’ve gone too far and it’s time to stop. You can’t see that with Facebook.
Plus, you never really know what you’re going to get, the next thing you see is always decided by an algorithm. And who creates or tweaks the algorithm?
4. The Advertisers Are Getting Good, & It’s Pissing me Off
Certain marketers, like Sabri Suby are so good at getting my attention, that it’s starting to piss me off. Yes Sabri, I bought your book, and yes, you’re probably smart enough to figure out how to get my attention if Facebook dies, but for the time-being other advertisers are starting to catch on to the techniques & it’s pissing me off.
Facebook’s advertising model is basically a digital system of the 20th century mail-order business. However, in the mail-order days, advertisers had to wait a while before gathering data on what worked & what didn’t work. How quickly they could A/B test their headlines and sales copy depended on how quickly the post services operated – it could take days, even weeks to get the data on what part of their ads needed tweaking.
Now, advertisers can gather data in mere milliseconds and make instant decisions on what needs tweaking, at least the good ones that understand these fundamentals, and more of them are catching on.
Ads are getting to the point where they’re quite enticing, but oftentimes, the products being sold are utter crap.
5. Hard To Mass-Unfollow Things
Facebook sent a cease and desist letter to Louis Barclay, a developer who made this ‘mass unfollow’ tool for Facebook users. That’s a real shame, because if I had access to that tool – ironically enough, I’d probably use Facebook more!
That’s because, if I could, I’d unfollow everything and start over. I’d be able to follow only things I find meaningful.
I have a couple thousand ‘friends’ on Facebook – most of whom, like 99% I’m not really friends with.These are various contacts & acquaintances I’ve built up over the years. They, along with various other brand pages I follow, change their posting habits over time.
Surely, quality is better than quantity – but I want to be able to CHOOSE what my version of ‘quality’ is, not what some algorithm thinks is good for me.
6. Full of Energy-Sucking Ego-Posts
I have a theory that when someone creates something to show to the world (in this case, uploading a post to social media), it serves one of two purposes. It either empowers you or it sucks your energy and empowers them.
Most ‘value posts’ on Facebook actually have the intention of sucking your energy and empowering the poster.
- ‘Look how much money I made’ = I am better than you, pay attention to me.
- ‘Look, I’m travelling…again!’ = can’t you see how my life is better than yours?
- ‘Here’s an opinion I have about the government’ = if posting this stuff didn’t get me likes, I probably wouldn’t care
- ‘Here’s a provocative picture of me’ = whatever you were looking at, stop, and you BETTER LIKE THIS OR I’M GONNA DELETE IT
All these posts are designed to suck your energy dry. They empower the person who posts, not you.
These kind of ego posts paint a warped reality of life.And even though most of us realise it’s a warped reality, we’re not wired to handle information like that – oftentimes, we can’t help but compare our lives to what we’re seeing, it’s just biology/ psychology, whatever you want to call it. So the best cure sometimes is just to stop things like that from entering your life.
On the other hand, content that empowers the user is harder to find – these are created by what I call ‘true artists’ – in other words, those who truly suffer for their art and care not about transfering the users’ energy upon to their own ego, but instead, to offer the user a ‘gift’, perhaps in the form of a new way of thinking, or seeing the world. These people are rare to find.