Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I deactivated my Facebook account several months ago, and it's been about 90% great, 10% frustrating. It's great for all the obvious reasons (less timesuck, less compulsion to endlessly scroll your life away, no notification interruptions).

The frustrations are real, though. Primarily it's around events and photos. There are some communities I participate in that regularly organize events through Facebook, and now I don't really get invited to those anymore. It's also harder to organize events where you casually invite people you don't know as well.

It's also occasionally annoying not being able to dig up a certain photo you wanted for reference. Even if you have a copy of the photo somewhere, if you don't have it hosted online then you can't really bring it up to show it to someone.

Still, frustrations aside, it's 90% great, and I recommend everyone try it for themselves.

I've enjoyed roughly the same experience but without the downsides.

As far as events go, the neckbeard in me hasn't actually minded. I still get invited to "high quality" events (things my real-life friends are going to) and haven't really missed the lower quality events.

Photos I just conveniently had solved by having all my photos on Google Photos anyways (I stopped trusting offline storage long ago).

I think my Facebook account is reactivated at the moment (due to logging in to search for something) but I disabled notification when I'd originally left and haven't looked back. Life's easier (and way more productive) without the Book.

Interestingly, I still find a lot of value in Messenger. But they've split concerns so you can use that without reactivating your FB account.

I was probably one of the first 1000 to join Facebook beyond the American borders, back when it was still a University-only endeavor. I've been off Facebook for more than 4 years.

Life is generally more rewarding. I'm much more in contact with the life that I want to live, instead of the life that I want to portray. People I know have "unlearned" Facebook - I actually receive emails and phone calls to catch up.

I think that Facebook must be dealing with some unknown human behavior. Back when I was on it, everyone I knew (myself included) would have registered as psychopathic. Photos in relationships revolved around posting to Facebook, not creating a treasury of memories. "Not being official until you're Facebook official" was a thing; such a belief was acceptable back then, even though it's absurd and cold in retrospect. It really brought out the most disgusting part of me and everyone that I knew.

Being off the Book is great. From day one it doesn't get easier; life gets better - especially in terms of avoiding the lower quality riff raff.

I'm kind of surprised to see these posts describing how it's possible to get off Facebook. For me, it doesn't really make much of a difference whether I'm on or off. I barely ever log in, barely ever use it, and things don't really spread through Facebook.

However, that just may be that I don't live in the US, and it just might be more pervasive there.

It's... it's not that Facebook itself is the issue. It's the resulting network effects and how you interact with people while still on it.

For example: not being on Facebook means you actually have to keep in touch with people to know what they are doing. That sounds like a "duh" moment, but it's also key to how FB is replacing real social interaction with "social interaction".

The knock on effects of this are deep, because without it you have to have meaningful and importantly intentioned social interaction with people.

That changes things.

I get that it's the network effects, but I guess I don't understand how your relationships are structured. I have a core group of friends with whom I talk every day on IM or the phone or face to face, then a larger group with whom I talk a few times a week, and then the rest are acquaintances I talk to rarely.

If anything happens in any of the first two groups, I hear about it because I'm directly invited. There aren't things that I hear about from Facebook, unless it's some club organizing an event or something similar.

How do you* interact with people, generally? Do you talk to them less but see what they post on Facebook?

* By "you" I mostly mean "people who use Facebook for socialization".

I am a student and I think I can answer how I use Facebook and it provides "some" value to me.

I also have the same three tiered social circle. The first circle I have regular contacts with on the phone, WhatsApp or in person. The second circle tells me when something happens in their life like them getting placed, winning a competition or getting into a relationship.

Facebook helps me immensely with the third group. I can get to know when people are placed in jobs and can then call them up to rekindle the acquaintance (so that I can later get them to introduce me to other people to expand my professional network). If I call regularly (like maybe once each two months) then it quickly turns into silence because we don't know what the other person is doing at the moment, where they are or even what has lately happened in their lives. I can't also talk about common acquaintances due to the same lack of information.

Personally for me Facebook events serve no purpose because if any of us want to plan a meeting we can do so by phone, email or WhatsApp. It does help to plan school reunions though. Facebook's utility to me exists because the people on Facebook keep posting parts of their life on it and I can keep interacting with them without too much effort of having the pain of keeping track of over a 100 acquaintances.

I see, thank you, that makes sense. My problem is that I'll go on Facebook, and see people posting stuff I don't care about, and unfollow them (and obviously lose their important updates as well). Pretty quickly, I have nobody in my timeline, and I just talk to people to see how they're doing.

I agree. Facebook either needs to allow more fine control on what we want to see (education updates, work updates, photos but no text statuses) or improve it's algorithm so that a new comment on a month old content doesn't make it conquer my feed.

I deal with it slightly by checking the "See updates from these people first" for certain people. It causes them to appear in a cluster at the top of my feed. The best thing is that the cluster is collapsed to show just two stories and I can then expand if there are more.

Your core group of friends may use Messenger for IM and FB events for meeting up. You can still probably catch up but it will take a _lot_ more effort.

0riginal neckbeard here - I have none of these problems, I have no friends, personal network, relationships, photos, or social interactions. I have never had Facebook, and I feel absolutely fantastic.

I can attest to that. It is like herding cats.

The question is why then keep an account?

> That changes things.

No, that's exactly what it doesn't. Rather, it leaves them as they were before this stupid and insufficient replacement was invented.

> I still get invited to "high quality" events (things my real-life friends are going to) and haven't really missed the lower quality events.

Just to run a counterpoint to this, there are Facebook groups that have opened up whole new social circles for me and provide opportunities. I'm into whitewater kayaking and the "Where's the Whitewater at?" group has people planning informal trips at a few hours notice when someone drives by and notices a river is runnable. You go out and paddle with people you haven't met before, make new friends who share your interests, etc.

Also, it is great for learning about new hazards in a river, i.e. fallen trees, that make a certain trip either possible or much more dangerous.

Yes, I go to a few underground dance parties a year and it would be a lot harder to find those events (let alone discern which ones I'd prefer to attend, who of my friends will be there, etc) without the networks I have on FB.

Putting my old photos on Google Photos is a good idea and I think I'll do that - thanks. Although it doesn't fully solve the issue of photos that had me tagged but were uploaded by someone else, which FB doesn't give you a copy of when you download your data (afaik).

Funnily enough, I found Messenger to be the worst of all their offerings. The lack of searchable history, the terrible (terrible) scroll-back, the default always-on-screen notification bubble, the way they forced the standalone app down users' throats by disabling messages in both the FB app and the mobile web version, all really turned me off to it.

> The lack of searchable history, ...

Use https://m.me - It's the web app just for Messenger; on my desktop I launch it via Chrome with the --app= param so it runs in it's own window.

Click on the ⓘ that's located in the top right of a conversation, and you'll see the search option (among other things).

A long time ago I used to setup IFTTT to automatically backup Facebook photos with me tagged to a Dropbox folder. This included photos posted by others with me tagged.

I've long since abandoned Facebook, but I wouldn't be surprised if a similar IFTTT feature exists to export tagged photos into Google Photos. If I recall this only works for 'new' photos posted that you are tagged in, it doesn't appear to pull images from before you enabled the IFTTT service. At any rate, this lets you see photos you are tagged in without ever having to actually use your Facebook account.

Messenger has searchable history. It's not great and it's pretty hidden, but it's there.

I never installed Messenger mainly because I was satisfied with using Facebook app's messaging feature. When it was disabled in the app, I moved to using Facebook in the browser (uninstalled the app). They later removed messaging support in the browser as well so now I request "Desktop mode" when I want to read/write a message. What started as "I don't want to install another app I don't need" became "I will uninstall all apps by Facebook" and now I'm happy I never receive FB-related notifications, I only browse it when I feel like it :)

Protip: try mbasic.facebook.com for messaging, or the "Toffeed" app on Android which is just a thin wrapper around this.

That's very helpful, thanks!

There's also https://touch.facebook.com for the not-quite-as-light-as-mbasic version.

wow used to use this one before having the app back in the day, good to know it still exists and a perfect alternative for m.facebook.com with messenger support.

Suggest adding FB to your hosts file:


No more accidental or ambiguous re-activation...

Yes! I've done this with a number of websites! It's been a really useful tool in developing self control.

Filtering: not just for censorship.

> (I stopped trusting offline storage long ago).

Do you trust online storage? Meaning, do you have backups of your photos offline somewhere, or are you only in the cloud?

> Interestingly, I still find a lot of value in Messenger. But they've split concerns so you can use that without reactivating your FB account.

Afaik when you deactivate your Facebook account, you have the option to keep the Messenger account, but just deactivate/delete the Facebook account.

If you _deactivate_ account you can keep using Messenger, and you are able to reactivate account in the future. Facebook doesn't delete your data. If you _delete_ account then Facebook will delete all your data and Messenger will be gone too.

Thanks! I didn't know this was possible. I was locked in Facebook because of the Messenger: that's how I communicate with most of my friends. I just deactivated my Facebook account and kept the Messenger.

Facebook was great in the early years.

No ads, no political spam, no viral garbage, no pictures of what your friend ate for dinner, no psychologically manipulative algorithms. Just people talking to their friends and posting pictures of themselves hanging out.

If someone made a new social network like that, I'd sign up today.

> Facebook was great in the early years.

That seems to be depressingly true of any social website. There seems to be a sort, sweet spot that exists briefly between the implementation of a good idea and when the parasites catch on and move in to ruin it.

Eternal September is the term for that. When the social site begins to accept too much trash because of it's size.

For those that don't know, September was when all the freshmen would get their first access to the non-commercial internet in college. It was a pain because they (we) had to learn all the nuances of how to interact with the people already on it. Newgroups, IIRC, etc. Eternal September is the term for when the internet went commercial in 1995.

Wow that happened 27 years ago. Time does fly.

Not to quibble, but it usually refers to 1993, which was when AOL created a bridge from its proprietary network to USENET.

It's about time we all went back to USENET really.

Time does fly, but 1995 was only 22 years ago!

Hah. Damn rum.

I'd say that's depressingly true of any software that's in continuous development. The only difference is the relative proportion of the parasites that do the damage (users, product managers, and developers) to each other. Apache, I feel, is a counterexample, software with continuous development that hasn't turned to shit yet despite being around for quite some time. Some videogame series are also often quite strong over time. Most everything else is subject to this 'rule', sadly.

I'm not sure I'd blame Facebook's problems on it's users. You can always unfriend someone. No, it's Facebook itself that has changed for the worse (by far).

> I'm not sure I'd blame Facebook's problems on it's users.

I am blaming Facebook. The parasites I was thinking of are the people and impulses that pervert the successful formula to push some agenda (e.g. push for some "engagement" metric, push people to use this or that app, unscrupulous monetization, etc).

What was great about Facebook, especially compared to other social networks, is that you had real control over privacy. It was made to communicate with your "real life" friends and family, and keep control with who can see what.

But year after year they've stepped back on privacy, while still being a completely closed platform compared to the open web.

Excluding the "ads", how would you prevent users from posting "political spam", "viral garbage", and "pictures of what your friend ate for dinner"?

Part of the Facebook problem is that they mostly took control of the feed away from users. They now surface the more "engaging" posts at the top and more frequently. This leads to the overemphasis of viral images and videos. If you post a simple personal status message without an image and Facebook's sentiment analysis considers it to be non-engaging many of your friends won't even see it as Facebook will favor marketing spam over your actual personal post. Users also become trained over time by the number of likes they receive to tailor their posts to conform to Facebook's whims.

I tried to write an extension that would hide all video/photo/link posts and only show pure text posts from my friends. It was really nice, although there wasn't much to the feed once all the garbage was hidden...

Even worse, purposely optimizing for engagement isn't too different from accidentally optimizing for outrage.

I'm kind of in the opposite camp. The way-too-excited responses from people reacting to the silly video of my kid just remind me how I often don't like the FB-version of my friends and family. So I really avoid interacting with them there.

Easy: Stop littering the feed with pictures, videos and articles. Exclude them altogether or show them very rarely. You can also easily identify "viral" content that doesn't belong to the user and remove it. Eventually they'll learn not to waste their time posting those things because they'll get no responses. And if someone posts an article, leave it as a plain old text link instead of creating a massive preview of the article (complete with title, picture, lede, etc.).

Facebook does the opposite now, which leads people to use it as a content consumption platform rather than a social network. Obviously that's what Facebook wants, since content consumption is infinitely more profitable than people posting on each other's walls all day.

But, there's a reason people post those things. Excluding the viral repost content for a second, people post their pictures and videos of what they're doing because they want to share it with people and have others see it.

...Which is reason #387 I don't use FB.

Allow people to tag their posts, and have friends who tag their posts. Then have an option to not see posts of type X (link, photo, text, video, audio) tagged with Y by contact Z. Have further options to display little icons with some info for hidden posts to easily expand them inline. And so on.

Yes, you'd have to manually curate some things, but otherwise I think it's mostly just a matter of not hiring any marketing people, and creating the features first and looking how to make them easily usable second. Especially if the goal isn't to "kill FB", but simply offer an alternative to those who want the good bits and actually like, uhh, reading manuals and being proficient with the tools they use.

They can't come if there is nowhere for them to come to, and then it's easy to pretend they don't exist. But they do, even among the old and young and not so technical.

UI can help with that. If there wasn't a share button or URL previews, the percentage of original content would be greater.

AI can help with that. Facebook already has automatic alt text for images, for example:

* Image may contain: 1 person, standing, selfie and phone

* Image may contain: cat

* Image may contain: food

And for an end-user, simple filtering can help with that. I sometimes use the FBPurity browser extension to hide everything that's a link or shared post, leaving almost exclusively original content. It can filter on that automatic alt text too if you hate cats, but I don't mind frivolous posts that are original content from my actual friends.

You'd only let people in with a .edu email and marketing as a hookup app

.edu is only used in the United States.

Remove the like, and let the feed be the actual feed and not an algorithmically-filtered list, would be a great start IMHO.

Try switching your feed from "Top Stories" to "Most Recent"

That doesn't stick between sessions

Thank you!

You'd get most of the way there by making it possible not to see things your friends have shared.

> If someone made a new social network like that, I'd sign up today.

Make your own.

Here's what I did for my local network of friends (who also all hate Facebook). Install Wordpress, add the free Buddypress plugin, purchase $50 BuddyPress theme. Throw on a server.

There you go, your own private social network in under a week.

This. I tried the exact same thing for a family network a couple of years ago (but the network did not hate Facebook intensely, so it was a bit of an uphill battle). Before I could get them all fully on board, I got sucked into some large gigs so no business resulted in the end. I still hope to revive it some day.

Actually I spent 5 years building a social networking platform to let people design and host their own social networks and apps. And no it isn't as simple as just Wordpress + BuddyPress.


Awesome! I found buddypress through https://github.com/Kickball/awesome-selfhosted, perhaps you could have your project added there!

How active is it with your friends?

High activity when planning events or gaming sessions, low otherwise. We already did all of our talking and planning in a Facebook group, so this allow us to expand on that without the privacy issues. The Facebook group itself was similar in activity.

There is still convenient Google+ with its Communities.

Or you can make your own social network with Diaspora* (https://diasporafoundation.org) or GNU Social (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11062757)

The only problem is that it takes a group of people to make the move, you can't go their without convincing your friends to tag along

> No ads, no political spam, no viral garbage, no pictures of what your friend ate for dinner, no psychologically manipulative algorithms. Just people talking to their friends and posting pictures of themselves hanging out.

> If someone made a new social network like that, I'd sign up today.

Get into the world of finstas, that's basically the concept behind them.


If someone made a new social network like that, I'd sign up today

Lots of people have. There was for example Ello a couple of years ago. Me and many of my Facebook friends created accounts, used it for a couple of weeks and slowly kind of ended up back on facebook. Apparently no one else stuck around either since Ello seems to have turned itself into something else.

Ello didn't feel like a personal space for me. Its sleek design screams 'present yourself, show me what you've got'.

The picture of what your friend ate for dinner sticks out as something that doesn't belong here. That actually _is_ a means of connecting directly with our friends/family. The other things you list are not. I'd still signup, even if I saw food pics occasionally.

You cannot exactly enforce the nice-ities though. You would have to structure the community around using your service like that, but that still can be broken down.

Manipulative algorithms can be taken out though, I suppose.

It was like MySpace but without the shitty customisation, and without the need to pick a list of your top friends.

you know you can sort your newsfeed to "most recent" right? And mute your obnoxious friends from appearing in your newsfeed. You can also hide posts from particular websites from appearing on your newsfeed.

In a short period of time, that would solve 90% of your problems.

> you know you can sort your newsfeed to "most recent" right?

Just looked through settings and wasn't able to find anything for order of posts in news feed.

> And mute your obnoxious friends from appearing in your newsfeed.

Yep this is pretty easy to do.

> You can also hide posts from particular websites from appearing on your newsfeed.

This isn't helpful since you cannot block the entire class of "transitive" posts. Eg a Honda ad because a friend of mine liked a Honda page. Sure I can block Honda. But Toyota or Volkswagen can still show up until I block them individually...

It's not in settings, it's in the News Feed toggle on the top of the navigation pane on the top LHS of the home page.

And I think after a couple weeks hiding posts you'll significantly reduce the variety of content hitting your newsfeed.

> no pictures of what your friend ate for dinner

Posting pictures of your food should be a criminal offence. Nothing too serious, just a couple of years in prison or something.

I can't help but laugh when I imagine what this would've looked like before the internet existed.

"Look, honey, we got something in the mail from Katie and John! It's... oh... just a bunch of pictures of food. That's odd."

Meanwhile Katie and John are still at home, furiously stuffing envelopes with the same food pictures so they can send one to everybody in their address book.

I always figured photos of cocktails and food were a standard part of the after vacation slideshow you'd invite your friends to. A few once a year isn't bad. People complained about those slideshows also though.

I hear you but I actually enjoy some pictures of peoples food, e.g. when my brother has made a nice wok.

I also miss the "going to the beach", "this was a nice day" etc.

I don't miss "join me on farmville", "1000 reasons why Trump and/or Hillary are dumb" etc.

I just miss the pokes. Remember when it was fun?

I deleted the app last year. Kept the account because as far as I can tell it's the same difference and I haven't summoned the strength to go retrieve my photos yet. Haven't missed it at all. Meanwhile my wife is increasingly addicted...

If you made a nice meal, yeah, show it off. If you bought a nice meal, I fail to see the point in showing it off, unless you are specifically saying "wow, this place has great food!".

> If you bought a nice meal, I fail to see the point in showing it off, unless you are specifically saying "wow, this place has great food!".

I don't understand your comment at all. What else would you be saying when you show a picture of nice food other than "this food is great"? I'm not in the habit of posting food photos but I've never understood the hysteria around it on places like HN.

"Look at the taste that I have, in choosing this experience for myself", or "Look what I'm doing right now!"

"Look at the taste that I have, in choosing this experience for myself"

I cannot remember thinking that about others but maybe I don't follow the same people as you.

"Look what I'm doing right now!"

Isn't this just like a smaller version of Show HN?

I mean: you make something, you post it and someone else chimes in with ideas or (hopefully) constructive criticism?

Is there any reason that I cannot see why making food isn't a form of making that we can be proud of?

> Is there any reason that I cannot see why making food isn't a form of making that we can be proud of?

No, but we were talking about why people post pictures of food that they buy, not that they make.

Making something yourself is about pride of creation and ability. Some people want to show that off.

Prison costs too much. Corporal punishment would fit this crime, and besides lots of people would just volunteer to swing the cane upon hearing the phrase "posted pictures of food".

This sounds to me like nothing so much as the setup for a Milgram-esque study of just how willing people are to inflict violence upon one another for engaging in trivial but annoying behaviors like ... posting pictures of food on the internet.

Because, yeah. Caning is totally commensurate with that.

Can't you just have Facebook and only use it for the events/photos? I've got a Facebook but never use it for posting/looking at other people's posts. Every now and then I'll get an invitation to an event which is really all I use it for.

I do this as well. No app on my phone (including messenger) and I purposely only use the site in one browser on one device (Safari on my Macbook), and only check it maybe once per day. Added bonus is that Facebook isn't getting all of that tracking cookie info from me (or at least not as easily) since I don't use Safari for anything else.

I do the same thing (but more than once a day; sigh), but I still see creepy tracking ads. Recently I saw ads on FB for an item that my wife had been shopping for on a different computer. I'd be curious to know how they're making this connection — based on IP address, or using something like Drawbridge? https://www.drawbridge.com/

Oh I'm sure they've got plenty of info on me and have their ways of collecting more. I used Facebook pretty regularly from 2005 to 2013 or so, so they know stuff about me I've long since forgotten (as evidenced by looking at some of my old posts from college...yeesh, don't ever do that unless you want to be embarrassed about what the you of 10 years ago was like).

Yeah I'm just curious how they're tracking my family in real-time across devices. And geez, what a way to ruin birthday/xmas/etc presents. I expect to see a preview of my father's day gift in the sidebar any day now....

> I'm just curious how they're tracking my family in real-time across devices.

With your help? The moment you declare (or any friend declares) a relationship in the profile, they 'have' you both.

I've cut out Facebook without 99% of the hand wringing here. I just stop browsing the site.

If someone wants to talk to me I get a popup on my Messenger app on my phone, and if I get an event invite it shows up there too.

Problem solved.

Indeed. You can have a Facebook account and just... Not use it unless you need it for something. All the benefits of the 'I deleted Facebook' crowd without the downsides.

Almost all of these quitting posts just read like people coming to terms with their addiction.

Good for them, but they seem to mistake it as some sort of universal lifehack.

I'm looking forward to seeing this theme worked into n-gate's coverage of the thread next week.

> Good for them, but they seem to mistake it as some sort of universal lifehack.

Does it have to be universal to be useful? Helping 0.01% of the US Facebook userbase save 1 hour every week is still huge...

Facebook will still learn which websites you visit (provided they have the "like" widget) and what articles you read on the NYT, unless you use a good tracking blocker.

So, that's one downside, I think.

I run uBlock Origin everywhere and I rarely visit Facebook anymore. But when I do, I use a private window in a different browser.

Additionally, on macOS you can use Fluid.app to create a Facebook-only browser with separate cookies, etc. Keeps it isolated from the general web. Do the same for google apps.

That requires self control and a resilience to peer pressure, things we are encouraged to devalue for the sake of "followers".

FWIW, I've used Facebook for I think 11 years now and I've never once seen anyone refer to or even remotely care about friend count.

It's not necessarily the number of followers people obsess over, it's their validation.

This is exactly what I do. I use Facebook for a few "Close friends" that are across the world and I still like to know what they're up to.

There's a few communities that I'm in that I wouldn't even know about, event-wise, if I wasn't on Facebook. I can't imagine missing those- I'm surprised others don't use Facebook more for events.

As others have mentioned, I also use News Feed Eradicator, so I don't even see anything on Facebook, unless it's one of my close friends. It's fantastic, and my time on the site is probably less than 2 minutes/day.

I started thinking of FB more as a channel to publish notifications of content I keep on other sites, like blog entries, Flickr photos, etc. Once I started thinking of it as more of a pub/sub layer for the content I manage externally, I felt better about staying on it.

I'm a part of the local Bay Area music scene and Facebook events has basically become the standard for posting about shows. Without a Facebook I just don't hear about them.

I'm considering making a dummy account with a few friends just for the purpose of finding out about events.

Side note, does anyone know of a service that allows you to track FB events without having to be in the Facebook app? Not sure if there's an API for that.

I feel you. Facebook virtually grants a certificate of existence. It's almost unimaginable why someone that wants to play music wouldn't have a facebook presence. (Don't know if that last sentence was correct, non native here).

My point is the following: I was one day on the street and saw a flyer glued onto a wall, it looked kinda funky and hand-drawn, interesting; some DJ's were going to throw a party and spin salsa, funk, latin jazz, cumbia... And I didn't recognize any of the names or the venues, I was mildly shocked because I believed I knew the local scene pretty well.

Almost always I can contextualize a music genre/scene, and see their connections and collaborations. But this random flyer I came across was so obscure! No relations, no known names, and the mix of styles and originality was very interesting! For the first time in many years I felt again what is like to find an underground scene, which I like a lot (like when dancing drum&bass in a basement in Berlin or listening to rap in Mexico).

This is a magic that is sometimes lost in the believed omniscence and omnipresence of online/facebook. I bet people soon will want to have those kind of experience, and the new thing will be to find scenes that people don't even know about online.

I miss the old message board days where everything was really DIY and local, just a table with location and bands. People would post to some homegrown site maintained by a devoted local fan. Also miss the days of fliers!

Now I have to scroll through ads and a bunch of irrelevant "local events for you" just to find what I'm looking for.

Posted about this above, but check out the app "Events for facebook"

Deleted my facebook account in January. For me it is 100% great and do not miss it even a little.

Deleted my account 2 years ago along with Twitter's and Instagram's. It's just a better life for me now. Less stress, less anger.

Facebook and Twitter I get, but you were being angered and stressed by Instagram? It's the only social media I actively use precisely because it's not stressful or rage inducing. I'm into photography so it gives me an outlet that way (even though taking a picture with a real camera, editing it on a computer, then sending it to my phone to post on Instagram is a bit of a pain), and the annoying content from other people is very rare.

I will say, however that they've stepped up their ad insertion and display algorithm a bit recently, in a bad way, which is unfortunate. But I certainly see much less of the spammy ideological content that I do on Facebook and Twitter.

I feel that pretenses of the life you pretend to live are more evident on Instagram than anywhere else -- the site is all about portraying yourself in the best light possible, or at least, that is how many of the people I know seem to use it. Having not had it for a couple years, I can safely say that when I do want to be on it again, it's usually just a play on the part of my ego that wants some attention from the like notifications. I can't divorce my use of Instagram from my inner cravings of external validation. It can't just be about what I'm posting, it's always about something that's me me me. This may be true of all interactions, I don't know, but when it's systematically in front of me on my phone every waking hour, it becomes problematic.

In other words, most of what I saw on Instagram was people trying to get followers and likes, trying to be like some "adventure photographer", whatever the hell that means. The feeds became clogged with homogenous shots of feet over the same beaches, curving roads, VW vans, etc. It became about the aesthetic you show, rather than the person and events that you are.

>In other words, most of what I saw on Instagram was people trying to get followers and likes, trying to be like some "adventure photographer", whatever the hell that means. The feeds became clogged with homogenous shots of feet over the same beaches, curving roads, VW vans, etc.

That still happens, and it can be a pain, but it's also easy to ignore.

And I do play the hashtag game; not to garner followers or likes but for the rare occasion where another photographer with a similar interest in "real photography" happens to be checking that same hashtag and comes across my photos, or vice versa.

On average I'm getting about 100 likes and 4 or 5 followers per shot. A lot of that is noise, but some of them are real photographers with an interest in the hobby and it's nice to meet people based solely on their photos. I've had conversations with some folks on Instagram local to me suggesting what parks I should shoot at, and I've chatted with others different film development techniques, and so on. For those situations it's worth it.

I will say that Instagram's saving grace is that it's hard to blindly share content since it requires a separate app currently. If that ever changes, and it probably will, I'll be gone.

I should add that very few of the people I follow post anything about themselves. Lazy selfies get them unfollowed. I'm in it because it's a more active photographer community than flickr/500px/whatever.

Hey it depends who you're following. For designers, artists and wannabe bakers, it's a goldmine of inspiration. Cat accounts are good for the soul too ;)

Same social media rule applies: if you don't like it, just unfollow. I'd argue that it's easier to do that on IG than FB as it feels less personal.

"Hey all, look at this amazing new thing I just got (for free from the company that sponsors me that I don't disclose)!" Maybe it's the same on the rest, but it seems there's a larger portion of it on Instagram.

Maybe I'm unique in my usage of Instagram but I only follow people I know in real life or other photographers, amateur or otherwise, and they typically aren't posting sponsored content. I've only ever seen one person post sponsored content out of hundreds I follow, and it was pretty easy to unfollow them.

That's likely the difference. My wife follows people with similar interests, rather than only people she knows, so undoubtedly sees more of it.

Unfortunately it does happen. One of my coworker's mothers writes a food blog and he asked if she could follow me because she likes my photos. I said of course, and that she didn't need my permission. I followed her back out of courtesy, but then I started seeing occasional posts about "Certified Angus Steaks" and said nope. Good for her for getting money, I guess, but I don't want any of that.

I follow a lot of random people I don't know on Ig, but I actively unfollow accounts that start posting sponsored content.

I see 0 ads on Instagram. When it first started, I just blocked and reported every account that posted an advert. And I marked every advert as uninteresting (or whatever the function was called) and I haven't seen an Instagram ad in over a year.

The same was true for me until about a week or two ago. These aren't sponsored content that I'm seeing -- it's actual Instagram ads, and I've been marking every one as irrelevant with the hope (in vain) that eventually they'll go away.

I wonder why people are so extremist. Just like 'mobile phones are the new cigarette' you don't need to throw them out. You just need to know where to draw the line.

I deleted the main FB app from my phone and use the Events app which works really well as a standalone product.

I also use Google photos, which has all of my photos, not just the ones I've uploaded to Facebook. Plus the search is great.

Maybe these suggestions could help your problem and clear that 10%.

I'm not sure why it has to be deactivated though. I've had a FB account for a long time and maybe check it once every few days if that. My main use case is to upload shared photos. I would prefer everyone use Google Photos, but that hasn't happened yet.

for whatever reason, I have a mental hang up about just checking once every few days or something. I'm incapable ofjust ignoring communications that I get. De-activating is much, much simpler for me.

Why would you want everyone to just move from one walled garden to another?

What's the downside to keeping the account but just not posting to it or checking your news feed? That's roughly what I do, and so can still use it for events and such. I also have it set to email me if my wife or my mom posts a picture. (My mom posts about once a month, and it's more often than not a picture of one of my kids... ;) ) Anyone else I care about (and only the people I really care about) I have on Instagram, which I check every day. But my Facebook feed I view approximately never.

I had the same problem, but I found out there is an app "Events for facebook," It means less endless scrolling for me. And then I use the messenger app to communicate with some friends.

So far it's been about a week, and it's been 90% great, and 10% meh. I just logged out of facebook on all of my devices and don't save the password, so it at least makes me think before putting in my password. The meh part is the services I use "login with facebook" on, but it's not that big of a deal.

this has been my experience almost exactly. It's not my nature to be part of an online community where I don't actively participate, so the idea of having a facebook account which I "never check" wasn't appealing to me at all.

And while my reasoning was less idealistic than Gruber's, I think he makes a bunch of great points and I very much agree with the spirit of his post.

I haven't deactivated my Facebook but I've used it much less over the past few years. Same for Instagram. I've actually moved back to MMS, WhatsApp, and email to communicate with people I care about the most. I end up using Google Photos to host and quickly share individual and groups of photos. It's not perfect but does the trick for the most part.

> It's great for all the obvious reasons (less timesuck, less compulsion to endlessly scroll your life away, no notification interruptions). The frustrations are real, though. Primarily it's around events and photos.

I was almost done with college when FB suddenly became a cross-generational phenomenon and started being about more than photo sharing and event planning; I still fondly remember those days.

The one advantage I would add is the rare occasion when someone needs to get in touch with me easily: I've had extended family who lives on the other side of the world get in touch with me through FB on short notice when they were visiting my city. I could definitely imagine that some of these cases wouldn't have happened without Facebook, since they would be required to 1) know that I happened to live in this city and 2) go through probably three separate people across different continents to get my phone number. This is infinitely harder than searching their FB friends for my city and going "oh dang! wutbrodo lives there now? I haven't seen him since we were kids, I should reach out!".

That being said, all of the 90% downsides of keeping Facebook are, to some extent, within your control. I won't pretend that I'm congenitally immune to them, but all it took was a little discipline and a little time and it really wasn't that difficult to avoid the timesuck/endless scrolling/notification issues.

I've never really been able to relate to the idea of completely deactivating Facebook and losing the 10% benefits, with the possible exception of the few people who have a completely insurmountable psychological compulsion to use Facebook. This is especially true because of all of the levels of FB exposure you can have without going all-or-nothing: Chrome extensions to remove the newsfeed, disabling notifications on your phone, only visiting FB on the web and not the app, etc.

I deleted my Facebook account in 2011 as I was graduating high school. I do not miss it one bit, and I am glad I do not have an account. Although, I have missed out on social events. However, if someone​ is not going to go out of there way to invite me because I don't have a FB, I probably don't want to be a going anyways.

About the fact that you miss events, I found the following website really useful: http://carpediem.cd/ (no https access)

They scrape Facebook events, allowing you to browse them without a Facebook account. It's not perfect but it's better than nothing.

Virtually all of the Facebook events I care about are private events among friends. Don't see how this site is useful for those.

What you miss are pretty much the only things I do on FB anymore. I'm just not sure why you had to deactivate to make that happen. I guess it has never sucked me in and wasted my day because I just don't find browsing FB very interesting.

I have an account for a long time now, because some groups, people and activities require it. But I've disabled notifications for a long time, and rarely log in except to check on events. I don't see a reason to deactivate it complete.

I have to say though, FB tries really hard to reactivate your notifications. It's especially annoying when it hooks into your mobile Chrome browser notifications (took me a while to figure that out!). And the fact it can't be uninstalled on Samsung devices - at least you don't have to login.

I have found a nice middle ground by only checking it every week or so via a web browser and installing the News Feed Eradicator Chrome extension.

A lot depends on the geographic distribution of your friend network. Many of my closest friends live on the other side of the country. Not to mention that I got to know them through FB.

I'm really not that worried about it any more. FB is gufe, but so was AOL. It will in turn be disrupted by a future innovation.

I kept my Facebook account but deleted all my friends and most of my personal content (and locked down the privacy settings to prevent people from finding me). This lets me access content on Facebook without using it as a social network. I did this years ago and I have no regrets.

> It's great for all the obvious reasons (less timesuck, less compulsion to endlessly scroll your life away, no notification interruptions).

You're not able to exercise self control? I have Facebook, but I never use it apart from the events and Messenger for chatting with certain friends.

> You're not able to exercise self control?

Ability to exercise self-control most likely varies significantly among people. It's not like the ability to breath. Also Facebook is explicitly designed to "engage" people, meaning that a piece of information shared on Facebook is going to engage a larger fraction of people than that same piece of information in ... a newspaper (for example). Engagement/attention hacking is a different issue than the walled-garden issue for the most part though.

I just removed the app from my phone. That way I can still access stuff my PC and get invites and see photos but I do it far less often. Saves lots of time but still allowing me to connect with others or see photos.

Been 4-5 years without Facebook. Life for me has definitely been better than without. Same goes with Instagram. Something toxic about both of these platforms.

Just install Todobook (or even News Feed Eradicator) and you'll be fine. I check my FB usage using TimeYourWeb and it fell down by 90% since then.

There's the half way option of having a Facebook and only using it for invites/events, which is what I do for the most part.

If u can stop using facebook when u deactivate it, cant u just not deactivate it, and use it for the 10% to stop ur frustration?

I treat facebook like i treat my phone. Its a tool. Not a way of life. Been on the internet since '95, back when i was at school i was the only one who would spend hours on the computer, they called us nerds. Now its the opposite, i use the computer at work everyday, and when im home, i stay away from it, my phone, tv, as much as possible and call everyone else geeks who need to stop obsessing over there hands (cause they dont know about computers, they just use them)

Did a wormhole temporarily merge HN with yahoo answers?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact