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No. I actually created a Facebook account in 2018.

The problem is that without Facebook you will miss out. Sure, close friends and family will invite you to their social events, but more distant acquaintances will not; you know, the bloke you met at the pub last week and had a 20 minute chat with, or that cute girl you talked to but then she suddenly she was dragged off to a birthday party by her friends. By missing out on the social opportunities you lose the chance to upgrade these people from acquaintances to friends (or even lovers), as well as meet new people.

Some back story: I moved to a different country two years ago with my ex-girlfriend (for her job), and we both didn't really know anyone there. I work remote, so I don't meet a lot of people from work, either.

We broke up after a year and much to my dismay I discovered I had not really made any new friends in that year, and that I was quite ... alone. So I set out to change that. Facebook – as much as I dislike the company – was helpful. I moved to yet another country two month ago, and again Facebook has been helpful.

I dislike Facebook for all the standard reasons. I had an account but I deleted it about 5 or 6 years ago, but I decided that having a good social life was (and remains) vastly important to the quality of my life, and that Facebook is a tool to help achieve that goal.

(Facebook didn't really "delete" my old account, as after I rejoined it remembered many of my previous friends; some of whom I had no contact with outside of Facebook, like many Egyptians I was in contact with during the 2011 rebellion whom I had met through a friend and only knew through Facebook; my "suggested friends" list was full of Arabic names).

On a more deeper level, I am a little bit exasperated of always being the "different" and "difficult" person (which extends to things beyond Facebook). Standing up for your principles and "voting with your wallet" is good and all, but ... I'm not so sure it's all that effective. In this case, a more effective strategy is probably to first create a really good Facebook alternative (I'm not so sure there is one now), make sure decent privacy laws are enacted, etc.




> Sure, close friends and family will invite you to their social events, but more distant acquaintances will not; you know, the bloke you met at the pub last week and had a 20 minute chat with, or that cute girl you talked to but then she suddenly she was dragged off to a birthday party by her friends. By missing out on the social opportunities you lose the chance to upgrade these people from acquaintances to friends (or even lovers), as well as meet new people.

Man, missing those events is the BEST part about not being on facebook. I have way more than enough stuff to do, I don't need more things with random people. I have enough time for my wife, my kids, and a few outings a month with friends. I can fill that time easily, the thought of having to politely accept invitations from some bloke you met at the pub sounds horrible.


From your comment and the one right above, it seems that you two are at very different life junctures. If you're married with kids, Facebook is probably the last thing you need to bother with. If you're single and looking to socialize, Facebook is probably a great enabler.


Yeah, I understand that needs vary widely based on life stage. I realize many people want those things, I just was hoping to point out that for some of us, those things sound horrible.


Great point. I used mine in college extensively now it sits and collects digital dust.


I missed my friend's 50th birthday party because I wasn't on Facebook (haven't been for around 3-4 years), and he assumed that everyone he wanted there was. That stung enough for me to think about it, but whenever I see people scrolling through their feeds there's so much drivel that I immediately go off the idea again.


Use Facebook News Feed Eradicator (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/news-feed-eradicat...) and use it only on the desktop (no mobile app).

You'll get the benefits of Facebook (real identity with almost everyone on the platform, events, groups, etc.) without loosing hours reading crap on the news feed.


Kind of interesting, but then what's the point of Facebook? Asides from invitations - which, perhaps naively, this friend did through a post in his feed - the only thing that I'd be interested by is maintaining a light-touch connection with friends who are overseas by looking at their posts in the news feed.


Biggest use cases for me has been events and groups.

1. Events: Facebook's provides a streamlined experience for hosting events and all my friends use it for birthday parties, house warming and so on.

2. Groups: Facebook's group experience is quite good and I am a part of 4 groups of like minded people that I get to have conversations with quite frequently.


Makes sense in terms of network effects I guess. I wonder where the tipping point is when enough people aren't on Facebook so people go back to other services and / or email.


I missed my good friend’s moms funeral because Facebook decided that 2016 election bullshit was more worthy of my attention.

I’m sure he thinks that I’m a real heel as a result. Screw Facebook.


If he didn't message you or at least mention you, he has no right to be upset at you.


> I missed my friend's 50th birthday party because I wasn't on Facebook

Hate to break it to you, but he's not really your friend. You would have known about it directly or through someone else if so. Facebook is for finding out about events / people who aren't close to you, but you're still interested in. That's its value.


I think this is too harsh. Organising a grand 50th birthday is a lot of effort, and forgetting that one friend (who may not be a close friend but still a friend) doesn't have Facebook is easy enough.


"Easy enough" - only if your default way of thinking is "all my friends are facebook friends".

That's plain lazy thinking, it's completely giving up on your privacy-aware friends because Zuckerberg makes doing that so so easy. What a surprise.


There are many systemic wrongs that are worth fighting to change, and a single person can't possibly fight them all at the same time. You can't expect everyone to be deeply invested in the privacy cause; some people care more about, say, feminism, or veganism, or homelessness, or something else. That's okay, too.


Oh, I 100% agree.

We all choose our own battles and our own hills to die on.

And deep down, I suspect many of us (or at the very least "me") choose those battles and hills for not entirely rational or "for the greater good" reasons.

Having said that, if your battle is feminism you don't remain engaged with and support "locker room talk". If your battle is veganism you don't remain engaged with groups of butchers or hunters. One of my battles is privacy - I'm not going to support or enable surveillance capitalism, even though I know the social cost I'll incur there.

There's an unkind stereotype about vegans "Hoe do you know if someone's a vegan? Don't worry, they'll tell you..." - but that reveals an admirable trait shared by "them" collectively, if you aren't speaking out for what you believe in - you're enabling and maintaining things which you do not believe in.


This was well-articulated, and your example was good. I'm not vegan, but I dislike the vitriolic 'jokes' that many of them are subjected to -- voicing your beliefs is certainly an admirable trait to me.


It is indeed lazy thinking; but it doesn’t make it insincere or wrong, just inaccurate.


I’m not sure why you’re being downvoted. I feel the same way. I’ve been invited to multiple social events that were largely organized on Facebook since deleting my own account. I was always informed either directly or indirectly through mutual friends, usually by phone or SMS/iMessage. I’ve also been made aware of multiple events I did not attend because I do not consider myself close friends with those hosts and I’m happy to avoid that awkward ‘has not responded’ status that Facebook would mark me with.

In a world with email, SMS, and iMessage I do not fear being left out by my true friends.


>I was always informed either directly or indirectly through mutual friends, usually by phone or SMS/iMessage.

Precisely this. A type of thinking which includes Facebook being a persons only means of communication is very simplistic. While there are some unusual user cases -- such as my coworker who had to use wi-fi for Messenger -- and they pop up in certain circumstances, I do not think this is as widespread as some make it out to be. To explain my standing, it comes from my observation of hearing people say using Messenger is "easier" and they're able to stay in contact with people they may not want to on a more personal level (i.e. SMS, voice calls) or they are international.


That doesn't have to be true. I forgot to invite the guy who sits left of me at work to my 40th birthday, because he does not have Facebook. I coordinated the whole thing on Facebook because "everyone has Facebook". And it didn't cross my mind that someone didn't. I talk to him a couple of times a day about non-work related things, it just never came up for some reason.


I agree. I think many of us throw around the word 'friend' too liberally.


Thanks for making this point, as (I hope) banal it can be. This assumption that everyone uses FB needs erasure.


Funnily enough I can categorically say that's not true. He's one of my closest friends, was extremely upset that I wasn't there, and was kicking himself for months afterwards for the lazy assumption. The almost total ubiquity of Facebook leads to an assumption that everyone is on there. Hopefully that's going to change over the next few years, but there are hard lessons along the way.


Do you ever talk with him directly, via sms or whatsapp? How often? Was the party really never brought up?


We go long-ish periods without speaking. We have that kind of lifelong friendship where we just pick up wherever we left off. He lives in London, I live on the south coast, so we only really speak when I'm in London for work and I stay over at his place. That's usually relatively frequent, but I wasn't going up much at that specific time. I should also say that he's not particularly good at organising these things and usually totally ignores his birthday, so it wasn't a huge party. Still stung though!


> Facebook is for finding out about events / people who aren't close to you, but you're still interested in.

That's one use case, I don't think it's the only one though.


I am currently on my fourth military deployment. I have just learned to get used to living in a pseudo-isolated vacuum from life. I have missed many important life events. Facebook would really help where it doesn't matter and not where it does.

I just learn to focus on what is actually important and fortunately I have people that keep me in mind so that I don't get completely lost. Simply being married solves for much of this.


This is the most important thing people cite when the subject of removing Facebook comes up. I've certainly missed events because I logon to Facebook every few months... Then I spend a few minutes responding to people letting them know to email me instead. I think email is the go to place for invites 9 out of 10 times now...


Counter point, I deleted my account (not just deactivated.) I haven't missed any significant events. You can absolutely have an active and fulfilling social life without.


Would you class a party hosted by that guy who was talking to that girl who was friends with the coworker you went drinking with three Fridays ago as a significant event?


Sure; it's just harder. Although it also depends on who your friends are. It was easier back in the Netherlands as I was living in the city I grew up in and knew people there. I also had a regular (non-remote) job.


Is there a reason to believe, given how little we trust Facebook, that deletion and deactivation are different things? I've built multiple consumer web apps and if there's one rule, it's that rows are never really deleted from a database. Not to mention backups, caches, Google crawls and so on. I'd worry that the naive consumer thinks they can post embarassing content to Facebook, delete their account, and somehow believe it will never be found again.


I'm the other way. I _know_ I miss out of a lot of things I'd know about and be interested in attending if I had a FB account still. And I'm still happy with my choice not to be there. There are groups I've lost touch with, because they no longer bother running a website or mailing list, and do everything through FB these days. Even groups I'd have bet money on _not_ going that way (looking at you, DorkBot Sydney...)


A Facebook account which is accessed only via web browser with third-party cookies and notifications disabled is not the worst thing. It essentially becomes just another website.

What is the worst thing though, it's installing one of the Facebook's apps on your smartphone. Because then you basically give up the entire private data of your day-to-day life.

(I imagine, very few people have actually seen the full permission list of Facebook for Android, which includes almost every single possible one.)


Sure - but it just enables the behaviour of selling out your entire social circle to Zuckerburg.

I know we've lost that fight - but it doesn't mean it's not worth resisting.


> but it just enables the behaviour of selling out your entire social circle to Zuckerburg.

If that's the main reason to quit Facebook, the question should have been: "Did you delete your Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts in 2018?". Yet, somehow nobody asks that question.


Well, not _quite_ "nobody". But yeah, I recognise I'm many standard deviations away from "normal" here... (I've also booted Twitter, and exiting Google is in-progress - except for the work GSuite account...)


"Did you delete your Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp accounts in 2018?"

Not possible, because I did not have any of these accounts in the first place. And I have a pretty normal social life with lots of technology, friends and activity.


Would mind elaborating about what part of the world you live in, and what are your strategies to finding out about events and interesting things to do? Because here in my country, more and more people use facebook to spread the word about events.


The reason your friend suggestions were still there is because your email or phone number is in your friends contact list on their phone, and that data is shared with Facebook. This indirect information about you is called a shadow profile, deleting your FB account does not delete the shadow profile because the data belongs to your friends, not you.


I'm pretty sure that is not the case here, or at least not completely. These are people I never met outside of Facebook and I initially got involved through IRC. They certainly never had my phone; besides, it had changed from my old Dutch to new UK number anyway. My email has been stable for some time, but I never used it to communicate with this crowd, I'd consider it unlikely that it matched there, too.


A very close childhood friend of mine got killed last April. I didn’t learn the news till August cause I didn’t have a FB account.

There is a price to pay for sticking to your principles.


I left Facebook as soon as I realized they weren't reputable (some time around 2010 or 2011). By the time I left FB had already repeatedly betrayed user trust via "opt-out" security settings.

    having a good social life was (and remains) vastly 
    important to the quality of my life, and that 
    Facebook is a tool to help achieve that goal.
From 2017: "A New, More Rigorous Study Confirms: The More You Use Facebook, the Worse You Feel"

    Standing up for your principles and "voting with 
    your wallet" is good and all, but ... I'm not so 
    sure it's all that effective.
From July of this year: "Facebook on Thursday posted the largest one-day loss in market value by any company in U.S. stock market history after releasing a disastrous quarterly report."


Imo, those are valid points but still not worth giving up your privacy to Facebook for. I’d rather keep my data to myself until a non-ad supported version of either FB or some other platform comes out


I think I want to start using Facebook more in 2019 for these reasons. I have barely used it at all in the past ten years, mostly posting 3-4 pictures per year, and I never look at my feed. I'm actually afraid of looking at my feed today due to social anxiety, similar to entering a bar full of strangers talking.


> The problem is that without Facebook you will miss out.

Yes, you will. You will miss out on things that are completely fine to miss out.

We need to learn that we can't and shouldn't be everywhere, know about everything, get constantly updated about everyone.

Go to meetups. Find classes. Sign up for a (make|hacker)space instead.



> Facebook didn't really "delete" my old account, as after I rejoined it remembered many of my previous friends

Do you happen to live in Europe, by chance?


He probably merely deactivated it and thought deactivation equals deletion. It does not.


It's been a few years, but I'm reasonable sure I actually deleted it and didn't just deactivate it. Or at least, that was the impression Facebook gave me. There was a big "you will lose all data!" warning as well as a cooling down period of a week or so, during which I could restore my account in case I changed my mind.


Perhaps you logged into Facebook unconsciously or through an app within that time frame? That is enough to stop the deletion process.


Perhaps, but unlikely; I didn't own a smartphone until January, and I've set up my browser to selectively remembering cookies for ages (I don't have Facebook in the whitelist, for reasons that should be obvious).


Yes; I was living in the UK when I created the account, but am Dutch. I now live in New Zealand. Does this matter?


Does the GDPR apply to you?




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