Less Facebook == more happy. It's the best advice I can give.
Last month I deactivated my Facebook and have yet to turn it back on. In the months prior I started finding alternative sources of news: NYT, Pitchfork, HN, various sub-reddits, Bandcamp, what have you. I outsourced social media to Twitter and Instagram. I outsourced messaging to text/Slack. A bunch of my friends have done the similar things in the last few years.
The lower levels of cognitive dissonance are noticeable. It's not like Facebook has a monopoly on the things I hate: notification spam, stupid arguments, unfulfilling articles, and vacuous political rants all exist elsewhere. Maybe it's the dissociation between who a person is and what is posted. On Reddit you don't know the person and they don't get a big platform to express themselves outside of the comments. On Twitter you can't go on these huge rants and following/unfollowing people is fairly impersonal. On Instagram, you never get "why haven't you posted?? come back!!" notifications. And news sites do what they do best - deliver the news without some other third party getting to give their doctoral thesis on what they think it means.
I am going to fight your shitty operating system updates that take away my privacy
I am going to fight your massive personal information sucking network
I am going to use alternative shopping services, no matter how easy you make it for me to click once and have stuff I really like appear in a great user experience.
I am going to fight these things because privacy matters and in the long run without privacy as consumers and human beings with inalienable rights we will give away something essential in there.
It isn't hipsterism. It isn't being a luddite. It mass-scale experiment about how much these organizations can concentrate before people really understand.
They didn't hate machines or novelty per se, they hated the specifics of how the machines were affecting their quality of life.
Same with facebook - networked communications might be OK (remains to be seen if you ask me), but the socio-technical-political blob that is facebook's implementation of same has side effects that lots of us find horrible.
Seriously, if I could upvote you several times, I would! You just said everything I believe in, including naming the corporations that worry me the most and make me feel hopeless sometimes. I try to educate people at every opportunity, fully knowing that it will take a long time for any effect to be visible. But I'm kinda used to that as an activist in other areas.
I don't know if there will ever be a decentralized and privacy protecting social networking platform that will beat Facebook and the like (pun unintended) in network effect, but I'd be ecstatic to see such a day! On the same lines would be reducing data collection almost everywhere and ensuring that privacy comes first - by governments or private entities. I have very little hope on the latter because information security is truly an afterthought in our Internet connected world where anyone can spin up WordPress, add some random plugins and start a "gig economy" or whatever the fad of the day is. It's too easy to start something software based that is completely insecure!
I participate in a couple of groups which have come to replace older forums running PHPbb or VBulletin type software. While the old style forums offer too many features and almost excessive permanence for discussions, Facebook offers too little in that regard.
Conversations are not meant to be searchable, archived, permanent, or long or detailed. Unlike VBulletin, where it's easy to find a post you saw 3 days ago or all the posts you've made in a forum, on Facebook everything effectively disappears after a week or two. The content is still there, just very disorganized and difficult to access. Search is inconsistent and very basic for groups.
Most significant is the impact this has on the discussions that take place. On the old forums, posting seemed like a bigger deal and people rarely posted one word responses or sentence fragments. The FB format seems to encourage that. Long, detailed responses about technical matters are difficult to post and read, so people don't post them as often. Discussions are often repeated because nobody can really find the last one to link to it.
Uninstalling messenger was hard at first, as some people I don't have a number for or they aren't on Whatsapp, but you either find other ways to keep in touch, or you realise that you were actually just on the periphery of each others lives, and liking that they got a new car or similar didn't actually have a positive impact on each others lives. And when you do meet again, you'll have a bunch to talk about.
I've debated making a 'fake' account for facebook groups (esp local sales groups, which seem far better served on fb in my area) but so far I've come the the conclusion that I don't really need to buy more crap from strangers - I have enough of my own already.
Now I basically only get posts directly written by my friends, event notifications for concerts, and updates from my favorite bands.
I don't use Facebook for news, I don't engage in political discussions or stupid arguments. I guess I use Facebook for what its original intended purpose, to keep in touch with friends.
The main advantage to me is still that it's an easy and stable way to discover and communicate with people I know in real life: there's still nothing that beats the ease of finding someone on Facebook after meeting them, and I very often forget to exchange info with someone in these situations (esp if I've met a lot of cool people that night).
The company itself has been sleazy from day one, and I think they're largely to blame for the trend of fuck-the-user product design in the last ~5 years. But putting a firewall around what I let them do to my devices and my life and taking advantage of what value they do provide has proven really fruitful for me.
 There are plenty of things that used to be deal-breakers for me, like spamming the notification bar to increase engagement: companies like Google held out for a long time against this, but Facebook led the charge into making it ubiquitous and now the new equilibrium is that most large apps do it (even @#$%ing Google Maps!)
I had to create another standalone Spotify account and contact their support to migrate everything from the FB connected account to the new one, otherwise it would keep reactivating the FB account.
For third-party app logins I use a friendless FB account under a pseudonym.
Less pressure to expose one's self to the psychological pathogen that is the Facebook Timeline.
(The only reason I don't close my account: I check it once every week or so, because I have older family members for whom this is probably as far as they're going into the world of social media and I feel a bit guilty either pressuring them to use some alternative or disconnecting from them further, as they are unlikely to understand my dissatisfaction with the FB product and much more likely to take it personally)
With Messenger Lite, not only does it take a lot less space, it's a lot faster, and feels less bloaty. It's a lot like what Messenger was a few years ago, nice and simple.
I don't want to use Messenger to play games, or send giphys, or any of that other rich interaction stuff. The only thing I miss is the ability to send a pin of your location to someone, which is actually a really useful feature.
Interestingly if I leave the tab open I also get notifications if someone responded.
You're right about the IM apps being not great. This and the poor state of desktop email clients on Windows and Linux are my pet hates
I've had facebook messenger, gchat/hangouts installed on my phone for some time. I don't know if I'd call it great, but I have a hard time arguing that it doesn't immediately solve my instant messaging needs.
What exactly do you want that gchat or facebook messenger doesnt solve?
Whenever I’m stuck using a centralized service (Twitter, facebook, some web forum, whatever bullshit IRC replacement businesses are buying this week, ...) their client invariably does something different than what many people want it to do, but we have no recourse because everything is locked-down proprietary bullshit, even though most of the messages are plain text and could have been delivered just fine by open protocols in 1990. Not to mention these apps are all poorly designed resource hogs that spy on everyone, inject ugly ads, and burn mobile battery.
1. gchat (or "Google Talk" I think?) was a nice simple app that was replaced by a rebranded one that had different functionality and a UI that was either different or flakey/slow/unreliable (I forget all the details). I later learned that actually we were all duped by google - gchat itself was only turned off completely very recently, but at the time they managed to convince us that we had to use Hangouts instead. In any case, the whole thing was annoying enough that we left because ...
2. Whatsapp was starting to be very widespread and was a natural replacement for us as most people either had it or could quickly get it (you just needed a phone number and nearly any sort of phone, many feature phones support it) and it had a simple chat-only interface.
3. FB Messenger was not a separate application at the time, it was integrated in the FB app iirc and you still had to be a member of FB and add any contacts as "friends" to communicate. At the time it wasn't seen as a general-purpose chat app by _anyone_, just a way to talk to your FB contacts.
Hope that makes sense. If you're curious about the gchat->hangouts switch, I'm sure a quick search will turn up a few disgruntled articles - there were quite a few people who were annoyed. It probably didn't help that Google were in the habit of dropping products, so a few people may have assumed that they'd do the same with the chat app.
I realize there are per-thread mute settings, but the whole experience of using these things is highly intrusive. At least with text messaging (or calling) we still have, to some extent, the social expectation that it is known to be intrusive, so people (in my social group at least) are less likely to text for frivolous reasons.
Notifications from people are fine, e.g. 'x messaged you'.
Notifications from machines are the problem, e.g. 'x just did y'.
Now if I could only do the same for reddit...
It's the same reason there are only a few phone numbers that can actually make my phone ring (my wife, the school my children attend, and pager duty (:P))
My device exists for my convenience.
Not sure if there's a better way for gmail, but the way I did it was to have a second gmail account, then create filters that send only important messages to that account. Then in the gmail app you can control notifications on a per-account level.
Could you describe briefly how to configure that state of affairs? What OS do you use?
Settings>Sound>Do Not Disturb>Priority only allows
You can limit notifications to starred contacts only for calls and also SMS, and then only star the contacts you want to allow.
My wife exclusively uses messenger for buying and selling stuff on Facebook. She doesn't need nor want notifications.
There's also the creepy factor. I assume if there is any kind of exploit or corner case that allows an app to abuse privilege on iOS, Facebook is scummy enough to always ship it.
Additionally, FB messenger does not allow you to disable "read receipts," it always shows the other party when you have opened a message. Buzzing my pocket and then telling the other person I read their message feels very intrusive to me.
If I don't have notifications enabled it's because I don't want to be distracted. I check my phone often enough, I don't need to immediately stop what I'm doing to read a message.
Equally. When I send a message to someone, I don't want to distract them either. Of course there's no sophistication (e.g. busy mode, notify for messages flagged urgent only) because facebook wants people to drop whatever they're doing and use facebook instead.
The thing with optimizing for engagement is that the numbers will tell you to do things that eventually burn out your users. The more thoughtful people leave first, and the community becomes dominated by addicts, and the news feed increasingly dominated by oversharers who spend several hours a day facebooking. That infinite slurry of crappy content rots your brain faster than watching daytime TV.
There appears to be a significant negative correlation between Facebook activity and wellbeing.
So much of social media is dependent on triggering anger or anxiety to get you to share. Which is effective political memes make you mad. Because they're designed to.
I decided that being on a platform that uses me as a transmitter of memes to make cash by making me mad or anxious was (a) sociopathic on behalf of Facebook and (b) stupid on my part. I logged out, deactivated, and deleted. I've done it before, but now it feels permanent.
I'm on twitter sometimes (because there's much less social pressure wrt following/unfollowing) and Goodreads, where I follow people who read and write the books I like to read.
First week or so was string of surprising moments where I would suddenly find myself at the FB login screen having mindlessly tried to navigate there.
More productive, less distracted, etc., sure but was FB really getting you down that much? Am I just using Facebook "wrong" in that it's not upsetting me the same way it upsets others?
It's not like they are putting a gun to my head but, they are using a billion dollars of research and my friends' faces to entice me into doing something I don't want. I'm more or less a monkey and my social circuitry just is so super-stimulated that it's annoying.
And all of that is before the FOMO kicks in and I start feeling bad that my life isn't as nice as my friends even though among my friends, I have a very enviable life (my friends have confided in me as much). But, my every day life cannot compete with the highlight reel of all the best moments of all my friends' lives.
Even though I know all of this stuff consiously, it still affects me because keeping guard and watch over everything constantly is hard. Falling into how it's designed to make you feel is easy.
Deleting FB off your phone is the best thing.
This overwhelming feeling, I'm convinced, is one of the driving factors that created Instagram and Snapchat because it was smaller and less invasive. Ironically, they became just like FB or in some ways (to some people) worse as they grew.
We are social animals and FB weaponizes the faces of all of your friends to suck as much attention from you as possible. It's as unfair a fight as there ever has been in the history of commerce.
In a sense I'm a lot happier not knowing that Great Aunt Gertrude shared that post. And most of the time Aunt Gertrude didn't even think about what she was sharing so the opinion wasn't based in fact.
I have too many friends spread across the world to ever quit FB, but I only really use it for messages. I only post things if they promote my website and pull people to my content and away from Facebook. Since that's all I do, my posts obviously don't get as much reach. It's kinda the opposite of the Silent Bob effect. You have a friend who always says crap and you ignore them. If someone says things only once a week; you pay attention when they have something to say.
Facebook basically penalizes people who only speak when they have something important to say and rewards people who cannot learn to shut the hell up.
*I realize it has bold now, but it doesn't work universally across all their tools: mobile, web, etc. I know people who just use unicode symbols for italics because it's more reliable.
Facebook, per se, maybe not. It could be anything that fills in the holes
Maybe you just don't have an accurate baseline and it's not that using Facebook upsets you but that not using it increases your well-being.
Try not using it for 2 weeks and see if you notice a difference.
I deleted my Facebook account completely last fall. It was interesting to see what happened over the period of about a month. Two weeks in my spouse's status changed from "Married to Ollie" to "Married." About three weeks in I got a notice saying my account to pay for "boosting" posts was cancelled.
My FB fanboy brother is annoyed, because if he wants to tell me something he has to make an effort.
People don't "tag" me in pictures any more. I don't have to cope with the little burst of emotional juice when somebody pushes the little thumb button on something from me or about me.
And, the fake nuz just stopped. Hooray.
Do we really need researchers to tell us that prolonged heavy anything usage increases the chance of unhappiness?
But I do have the basic mobile site bookmarked:
Instead of getting notifications and getting pulled into the app I can visit the site when I have downtime, or have something I actually want to accomplish on FB.
Reddit is something else, and my reddit time has taken a dive over the last year or so. It's no longer useful to me and the 'community' have become rude, antagonistic and there's always a large group on any sub, including the smaller ones, where users take a contrary argument just for the sake of appearing intelligent, which they never succeed in doing. Only thing keeping me there are the Linux subs and sometimes the hilarity of askreddit (intentional hilarity and otherwise).
I also find people who ask for my facebook account or try to get me to join are the same people I find least interesting and I'm less willing to spend my time with.
Now if I want to access it I have to open the Password Manager, copy the password and then paste it ... which are too many steps for me to take in order to check it out :)
So, in the past 1-2 months I think I spent in total 1-2 hours on facebook.
The course is clear, you need to delete your web browser too.
I'm pretty much in an FB and HN dopamine loop all day.
Not sure if I'm ready to pull the trigger.
Nice! You're almost to nirvana. ;)
Very liberating indeed.
I regularly organize big board game parties, which are attended by 10-15 people (out of ~40 invited). How easily can I invite / manage so many people without some platform like FB, which (almost, at least around me) everyone uses? And I really appreciate easy info / updates events on FB provide for e.g. info about how much food should I cook, telling people about changing time (or day! We just had poll on FB because people liked this sunday more than saturday) of the party, telling them what to bring . . . emails just wouldn't cut it, it would consume much more time, and would be really clunky. And on the other hand, people attending who DO NOT have FB, are PITA to manage, they consume literally 10times more time to keep list of, message, get the answer from . . . FB has it all in one neat (even though sometimes smelly) package.
Similarly for e.g. GoT (also boardgame) events, as exactly-six-people is pain to manage generally. For someone going to such events it also has great UX, without any hassle of mass-sms or mass-email events.
Not to mention classic FB advantages like photo-sharing, communicating with friends on the other side of the world, etc. . .
It seems to me like deleting FB is not an option if I would like to stay as social. And I am actually quite introverted too, but thanks to channeling social interaction to FB (of course no app, just mbasic.facebook.com and desktop website) and particular events I can enjoy my time alone (which is vast majority of the time) without any regrets or being left behind in my social circle.
I completely agree, and this works for me too. I take long breaks from Facebook and find it refreshing. It also becomes painful to think of logging in to Facebook afterwards. The tons of notifications and tags and replies. There's too much on the platform manipulating people to stay on it. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real, and I know people who cannot stay without checking Facebook everyday. The main reason I haven't quit Facebook is because I use it for some activism related topics, and a huge audience exists on the platform.
For privacy reasons, to protect myself a bit more and to avoid ads, I mostly Facebook only from a browser on a computer. I don't use the app even though I know I can deny permissions for contacts, photos, camera, mic, location, notifications, etc., on iOS. Sometimes I visit mbasic.facebook.com from the browser on the phone for kicks and to get to messenger directly without jumping through hoops.
I no longer infinite scroll, and things load quicker... I've noticed that I check FB a lot less now that I can't just mindlessly scroll down.
I didn't actively touch Facebook throughout August, and I really feel my general outlook has improved. I'm also more social with people in real life, and not getting my saccharine hits from little snippets of conversation or internet point validation.
Now I'm rarely active with it and feeling better for it. I still reluctantly have to use the messenger for communication with certain people, and login for access to other websites that rely on facebook (e.g. Goodreads).
It really is good advice
I actually used to be able to use the browser based messenger to talk to friends but that has been broken lately and now tries to force you to install the app - more dark patterns here (I don't want the app!).
Now I just ignore Facebook completely. I cringe when I need to open the site for some reason. I'm just happier without it.
I'd love some open source thing like this that was mine first and foremost, but I don't really need that either. I thought I needed social networking way more than I really do.
The idea is very attractive, but it seems like the rest of the world is stuck with the mindset that you have to have a phone number, email address, and even a physical address.
When I sign up for something I usually use a fake number.
I think a decent compromise will be using another prepaid cheap phone, although building my own phone would be pretty cool too (lots of hobbyists doing that now)
At concerts, I've found it hugely helpful to simple take a picture from where I'm standing, and sending it to my friends.
I've got lots of radios though, and I use them sometimes if I'm doing a convoy or camping, etc.
It doesn't even feel weird for me now. I have POTS copper line going to my house but no phone plugged into it at this point.
It probably wouldn't work for most people, but I'm the type who just wants to work on my projects alone and be at a computer most of the day. I do think most people could get away with the prepaid phone and spend under $100 a year on phone service.
I'm a linux user - I'm pretty sure I'd go crazy on macOS without a phone. Giving up iMessages and thousands of dollars of phone/mac apps was tough but now I'd never go back.
Social media is engineered to be addictive and hooking us while the BS reason that we give to be on social networking for is to gain popularity but popularity would follow us when we do Deep work! https://hackernoon.com/hackers-guide-to-internet-minimalism-...
Oh my lord, the Facebook app eats battery life. I haven't had to charge my phone yet compared to my 2x charges per day. Whether through less usage or less Facebook doing its thing I can't confirm. I'm not going back either way.
Wasnt there some stanford study that concluded that more people engage with social media like FB more unhappier they felt. something to do with selection bias in feed.
I simply use the mobile website which is pretty good - and if I need to take a peek at messenger, I request the desktop site, which is sufficiently inconvenient to prevent me from doing it too often - about once a week.
Even if you aren't both in the middle of a conversation, I suggest to you to slowly start talking to her about all these shaddy things about facebook (important: is not an addiction but a mental conditioning, as "addiction" is a very strong word for some people and "conditioning" is a much fuzzier concept). Then, slowly, start noticing that her "conditioning" on facebook is a turnoff on certain situations. Be honest and frontal about that..
Uses less battery power, too!
As much as they want to force you into messenger, they don't want to cut off users of feature phones.
Some friends asked me to sign up for it because they wanted to use the messenger service for a groupchat. When I registered it immediately propagated my profile with information about my highschool (10 years ago) and suggested a lot of people I knew from back then as well as some devs I've collaborated with on Github. All this from a new email.
So I went into the settings and changed all privacy settings I could find, and was suddenly banned for "suspicious activity". To unlock the account they demanded my phonenumber, surely only for 2FA. But because my friends kept nagging I gave them it so I could chat with them.
After about 10 minutes of chatting I got banned again for "suspicious activity". This time they demanded a recent photo of my face to confirm my identity. But also said that I shouldn't worry because only their servers will see it. So I just sent a photo of some random from a local magazine and they replied that it was not me in the image.
So although I've never posted any photos online, never used the email, never posted my phonenumber online. They know everything about me, including what I look like. Can't imagine what data Google has if Facebook has all that..
Joe-Z probably thought you were Convery because your comment seems to flow from his seamlessly, I made the same mistake.
What I mean by that specifically is putting things into your feed that nobody actually intended to share. e.g. "XXXX liked this thing!" Or generating notifications of non-events, like "Hey, share a thing!"
The share button is literally right next to the 'uplike' button. And they specifically did not press it. But you're gonna press it for them, because you gotta have content and folks keep pretty mum on facebook (and everywhere else) lately. There is very little I'm interested in sharing with every single person I know. And even less I'm interested in sharing with strangers a la Twitter.
To say nothing of the overall click-baity trollish quality of aformentioned articles. Every time one of my dear friends gets triggered and feeds the trolls, facebook is dutifully shoving it in my face. There is a high correlation between virality and unredeemable shit stirring.
Facebook is doing it. Twitter is doing it. Reddit is perhaps the most shameless of all with their mobile app working hard to spam you with posts that you.... haven't commented on, or even upvoted. (I can't say one way or the other about Snapchat because I'm not a millennial.)
I do believe this is the intersection of 100% social media saturation and the public markets' relentless demand for growth. This is peak social media. They're flogging live video hard, but news flash: I grew up when you had to make plans to watch your favorite TV show, and it's the worst. Live video sucks. I got shit to do. I can't even be bothered to DVR things any more.
I want something that shows only what my friends explicitly posted, in chronological order, and without a tiny character limit.
I also noticed I get a lot of "this female friend of yours who just like you also doesn't have her relationship status revealed to us is interested in going to X tomorrow" reminders. It's like Facebook wants me to be a creepy stalker male friend.
I started taking screenshots of it and sending them to them - "hey, Facebook wants me to stalk you" style (they're privacy conscious so we can joke about it together instead of them thinking I'm creeping on them)
This is why I stopped using Facebook. I really didn't mind the platform until they crossed the threshold of being a useful product to reminding my each time I used it that I AM the product.
I like to fly under the radar and prefer people to find my pictures and posts naturally. Once they started force feeding people my content I decided to stop inflicting my peers with fuel for facebooks social cannons.
Is FB getting more aggressive because it wants even more or because it is actually losing clicks/logons/attention?
Probably the latter. I only recall getting the clingy email messages when I haven't checked it in a few days.
I've never had a problem with Facebook over-use, but I know people who have. Those notifications are so slimy and akin to waving a drink in front of an alcoholic's face.
Every time Facebook turns up the notification rate, they see more engagement. Every time they encourage Boosting a post, they make more money. And then later, when they can't link cause and effect, people like you and me and OP give up on the site completely.
Similarly, sites that A/B test and adjust features and "improve" their design constantly pay a real price - their users feel like guinea pigs and can't ever learn to use the product fluidly. But a .1% conversion boost is measurable now, while a slow bleed of users who want reliability can't be proven.
At a certain point trading goodwill for bigger numbers actually does become a problem, and I think we're getting there.
(I've closed my account on 2013, so I don't know exactly what happened since then.)
Robin, get back on Facebook by clicking: https://fb.com/l/someIDhere
I am OUTRAGED by this. My phone text messages is one of the only communication medium that has no spam, and i basically use it for urgent stuff. I never agreed to fb using it for anything further than 2fa. If it wants to spam me, it may send emails.
This was basically the last straw for me. I'm going to send a message to all my friends telling them to send a mail if they want to contact me, delete everything on my profile and wall, and bid farewell. My account will stay up mostly to keep scammers/impostors at bay.
At one point in time, text messages were extremely expensive (several cents per message, depending on the plan you had). At that time, laws were passed (in many countries, I don't know where you are) that made it illegal to send unsolicited text messages.
You should see if you can scare Facebook.
Most everywhere the cost was always borne by the sender (except when roaming)
If you need to receive an 2FA token, well, you need to receive an 2FA token.
Since this summer, roaming charges are also banned altogether within the EU.
After the roaming change my contract includes ~6GB of roaming data within EU. When that's reached there is a 0.0057€ per MB price in data abroad.
To be unsolicited, you must not have had previous business contact with the company before they contacted you. If you have a business relationship with the company, for example because you opened an account and gave them your phone number, then these laws do not apply.
In all honesty, you really can't.
## Linkedin - Trash useless email
address :is "From" "email@example.com",
header :regex "Subject" "^(Congratulate|Say happy birthday to) .+",
header :regex "Subject" "^Check out .+ (updated profile|new skill|new photo)",
header :regex "Subject" ".+ is a?waiting (for )?your response$",
header :regex "Subject" "^News about .+",
header :regex "Subject" "ou have [0-9]+ (unread message|new update)",
header :regex "Subject" "Do you know .+",
header :regex "Subject" "^.+, you have .+waiting for you on LinkedIn$",
header :regex "Subject" "see who you already know on LinkedIn$",
header :regex "Subject" "^.+, more than [0-9,]+ new jobs in .+$",
header :regex "Subject" "^Connect to your classmates from .+$"
Have a look at Me (menu) > Settings & Privacy > Communications (tab) > Email frequency (controls not only overall frequency but frequency per message type, i.e. group message notifications, invitations, job notifications, connection update notifications, etc.).
Also, you can entirely disable classes of notifications you no longer want to receive/see (even when you're viewing the site) by going to the Notifications tab, then clicking the context menu ("...") on a given notification and selecting "Turn off" (stop receiving this type of notification) or "Unfollow" (stop receiving updates from the given source).
Facebook does too, but it's also slimy too. You can't preemptively opt out of specific notifications, but you can unsubscribe to types you've already received via a link in the email. The slimy thing is that some of these are fairly generically named and you can never be sure exactly what you're unsubscribing from sometimes.
I want to receive ONLY event invites and messages notifications from Facebook, but there have been a couple times where those stopped and the only way I was able to get them back was to resubscribe to stuff until I hit the one that suppressed them.
Although I run my own mail server, there are other good providers out there which allow you to use sieve based filtering. Fastmail for example:
It also uses regexes so it would be easy to convert mike-cardwell's rules.
I deactivated my account yesterday and look forward to a FB-free life.
If I open the app after not having posted something in a day or two, it's quiet.
I'm not quite "done with facebook" but I'm getting there.
Almost a year ago now, I deactivated it and haven't turned it back on.
Keeping in mind that this is Facebook we are talking about, I doubt the data is actually removed.
"There are a billion active accounts on facebook and other than the 208 that are set to private, I can communicate with every single one of them. I don't know what other word I can use other then Power. This is great power, just like the power held by the presidency, with great power comes great responsibility, and loneliness.
The worst thing about Facebook is not the power it gives me. The worst thing about facebook is what I chose to do with the power it gives me.
I certainly couldn't handle it. You might as well say the worst thing about facebook is me.
On facebook, why would I give someone privacy when I have access to all this information. And I don't even need their permission. I can watch your private pictures because you made them available. It's not that I can find out where you work, where you live, where you eat, everything about you. It's that I actually do find out without ever hiring a private detective. It's not what I can do, it's what I do!"
I just want to buy a damn pillow! (Don't forget to review it, your opinion is important to the world! And the manufacturer would like to know how useful it was to you but won't do anything if it wasn't!)
This reminds me of the quote, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
Every A/B test makes your site less predictable and straightforward for your users. Every push notification dilutes the value of every other notification sent. Every 'fake' event undermines the thrill of real engagement with other users.
At a certain point you're burning real value to create better metrics, and that's not sustainable for a company that actually wants to endure.
Every time I log in I somehow have around 6 notifications. Facebook always finds something to notify me about. It's never a daunting number, but it's never zero either. If I log in twice in a week, I'll have something under a dozen notifications both days. So you'd think that after not logging in for 3 months I'd have dozens of notifications, right? Nope. Always some kind of number that I imagine Facebook has decided is the ideal number of notifications to keep me interested.
I've tried in vain to limit my notifications to things that I actually care about, but I've never been able to get rid of the random noise. Facebook is determined to send me push notifications about something. I can't stand it.
For Facebook employees: Is this really the company you want to work for? Is this the impact you want to have on the world? Is this really the best place in society to apply your talents?
I've wondered the same about a few companies, Facebook and Amazon in particular. Even if one may be working on some storage deduplication or scaling the system or other seemingly dissociated pieces from the obnoxious front end, how is it possible to imagine that you're truly doing something for the good of humankind (net-net)? I can understand the higher pay, facilities and probably technical and other challenges. But impact on the world at large with consideration for the future being created? I personally don't get it.
The "Facebook reaches coveted non-existant people (NEP) demo" story would be amusing, if it weren't symbolic of greater industry-wide risks concerning click-fraud scrutiny.
But of greater concern as investigations into Russian meddling of the election heat up, is that $FB profited enormously from microtargeted ads specifically engineered as part of a program of mass psyops. With everyone looking for a scapegoat, this could result in actual indictments.
Why Nobody Can Trust Facebook
Facebook Wins, Democracy Loses
And... you might tell me that I could just unsubscribe. Yeah. I did, multiple times. The notifications still come. They just go to the spam bucket now.
Facebook is one of the worst "products" on the market and I'm pretty close to telling family to find some other means of communicating with me. Like, you know, a good old fashioned phone call.
Messenger seems to be moving more and more towards a snapchat clone, where as I just want something to message people. I don't want to post updates, play games, see ads, make phone calls, get spammed when someone new signs up.
iMessage before iOS 10 was perfect, except not all my friends use Apple.
The article is pretty careful to use the term user - undoubtedly we are users.
But here is the problematic statement:
"This is what happens when the metric of how much time users spend using your thing supersedes the goal of providing legitimate value to your users."
The thing is - sure, the user time spent is measured, and "providing legitimate value" is not. How would one measure that, exactly?
But - more importantly - the metric, the ONLY metric, that really really matters is revenue. From real paying customers - ie: advertisers, some alluded to in the article.
So that is the one for which all optimizations are directed - via the indirect metric of "user engagement" where "user engagement is a pretty good proxy for "users see ads" and perhaps "users click on ads."
It does not appear that "providing legitimate value" is part of any of that, nor is there any reason that it ever would be.
IFF sufficient value could be provided that people would actually pay money just to use Facebook, so much money that it dwarfs all other forms of revenue (and perhaps even anti-correlates with ad revenue).... THEN we'll see Facebook focussed on user value. But not until then.
If you want to be really shocked you should search for some of the host files out there that attempt to list every known Facebook-owned host; there are hundreds of lines or more. It is extremely difficult to prevent Facebook tentacles from being loaded by other sites, and it’s surely a losing battle (I bet they register new domains daily).
…/~ cat /etc/hosts | wc -l
Too much mental stimulation, specially from things that don't have much interest, was making my mind very shallow and easily distracted. I still read a lot of HN, but I'm trying to reduce my internet leisure time to 1 hour per day at most.
Since now I easily get bored, I started doing some sudokus (on a paper book) and I am finally starting to feel my mind a little bit sharper. I also feel the need to find more productive things to pass the time. For instance, three days ago I explored, quite in depth, C pointers and pointer arithmetic because of the first comment on this hn thread . Also, yesterday, starting on the hn thread on microkernels , I started reading about these "alternative" OSes (Minix, HelenOS, etc), checked the source code of some of them, and eventually played a bit with nasm assembler and made a 32 bit and 64 bit "hello world" app for MacOS. These are things that I wouldn't learn and do if I was being mentally "stimulated" by facebook and that kind of things.
However, one positive thing about facebook is that those friends that used to send emails with funny memes, videos and what else, now use facebook for that. As a result, my email inbox is now much cleaner and calmer.. :)
Funny now that you mention.. I've been doing less and less side projects since my life got 'invaded' by social media. I wonder if I'm suffering from a similar problem...
The content quality is abysmal. People simply do not care to share on Facebook in ways that they have in the past. Their awful algorithm ruined the user value.
I think if they returned to a default chronological sorted news feed, with still sprinkling in ads as they do, they could increase the amount of time people spend on the service, show more ads, and increase revenue all while providing a superior experience. Why they don't return to this level of simplicity that the platform once had is beyond me. Too many engineers and too many PM's pushing for their pet projects, I assume, and you really just end up with an overdeveloped product.
"I sympathize that the company needs business users to keep it afloat" does not justify the kind of begging they've been up to lately.
The author's (and all our) collective sympathy keeps them soliciting us with their bullshit
Using your adversary's virtues against them is a strategy as old as humanity. With social media it's baked right into the name. Who doesn't want to be social? Who doesn't want to share? Is something wrong with you?
As a heavily connected individual, work in tech, I find that disconnecting does alleviate mental baggage. I have gained more time to read and that brings me more joy than scanning an insta-feed.
This one is worse because it also uses the iOS/OSX notifications system for maximum passive aggressiveness: https://twitter.com/minimaxir/status/887740777031278592