Facebook seemed to have bucked the trend of short-lived social networks (Bebo, Myspace). Until now? I’ve seen people deactivate their Facebook accounts left right and centre, so is it time we all jumped ship?
So why are they leaving Facebook behind? Is it to join another social network, like Google+? Or is it just to get away from the relentless stream of useless information?
After using it for a solid four to five years myself, I have also decided to deactivate my account. Why? For the simple fact that I was fed up with the constant notifications of people needlessly telling me about what they had had for dinner, or a sport I had no desire to watch.
The reaction to my split with Facebook was amazing – many were confused with why anyone would think of leaving, and some even worried about my well-being. But, in fact, I feel more at ease listening to music and reading the newspaper on my train journey home, rather then scrolling through my Facebook news feed.
All of these updates were fantastic at the beginning, fulfilling a need we all have to know what others are doing while we’re at home in front of our computers. But the arrival of smartphones, which lets us post information on the move, has taken things too far. Is there really a need to ‘check-in’ to places all the time?
Facebook isn’t personal
I thought I would miss Facebook. It was a safety net that was always there if I had nothing to do. But let’s be honest, the people who are important in our lives have our phone numbers or we have theirs.
Keeping in touch with old friends has lost its personal touch compared to when we used to email or even write letters to them – this always seemed to have a more sentimental element.
There’s just no need to think about anything with Facebook. You don’t need to remember birthdays, as Facebook will tell you. How is that in anyway special? I had hundreds of birthday wishes, which I appreciated, but all my “friends” did was look in their news feed, rather than actually remembering it was the anniversary of my birth.
Time to deactivate
In the last year more than fifty people I know have deactivated their Facebook accounts. And there was a similar feeling in reply to Ben Steven’s Conversation which argued that there were much bigger things ahead for Facebook. Dave Harsh explained why had “deleted” his account:
‘By publishing your entire life on Facebook you are clearly seeking attention. They are not the type of people I normally hang around with, but it turned out that most of my friends and family were in fact that way inclined.’
So is this the end of Facebook? In some respects, yes. People are beginning to toy with the idea of leaving – inconceivable a couple of years ago. But will everyone actually have the courage to leave their social networking safety net? Only time can tell. However, I for one am glad I got out.