So long, Facebook and thanks for all the nothing

So long, Facebook and thanks for all the nothing

Summary: Call it a New Year's resolution or call it finally coming to my senses but I'm dumping Facebook. This time for real and for good.

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I don't like Facebook. I don't think I ever did like it. I think I joined it just to see what it was all about. I don't find any real purpose for it. Sure, it was nice to catch up with some old friends but that thrill didn't last long. We messaged back and forth a bit for the first few days when we reconnected but since that time it's trailed off to nothing again. Mostly what I use Facebook for now is just a place to post links to my stories. Maybe, as some have told me, I just haven't gotten engaged with Facebook and that's why it holds no value for me. Sure, that could be it. I just don't have the time to dedicate to it. And it seems to be a big time vacuum for many who do see value in it. I see people messing with it for hours on end. As the song goes, "Everybody's looking for something."

I'm looking for time to do the things I want to do: Spend time with my family, spend time on my neglected hobbies, spend time writing the great American novel and spend time just watching some Dr. Who* with my wife** and kids.

I digress.

Facebook is a nice little playground for those who have sufficient time for it. You can connect with old friends, see who ate what for breakfast, see your long lost friend's kids and chat with friends who live two miles from you. It's an awesome forum for those who wish to display their political viewpoints, their raucous nights on the town or air their dirty laundy in other clever ways. It's great fun.

However, there's a downside to Facebook.

Have you heard that there are companies that require you to provide your Facebook ID and password to them as a term of employment? It's so rampant that some states are outlawing the practice. Thank goodness for that. I don't want anyone to see the pictures of me building sand castles at the beach, driving a golf cart or feeding seagulls. No one really needs to see any of that. Nor do they need to see my posts about God or links to my articles.

Some Facebookers aren't so lucky or tame with their postings. Facebook has become a virtual chalkboard for those who previously had no voice. In most cases, they should have remained muted.

Part of the problem with Facebook too is security. Privacy is a big deal. Even Mark Zuckerberg's personal photos were leaked on his Facebook profile. Heck, if Zuck isn't safe on Facebook, no one is. That is a total fail.

For me, Facebook amounts to little more than a grand waste of time. If doing that sort of thing is what you want to trade your life for then please do so with my blessing. Live long and prosper. Just be careful what you post. Your children might see it. Or heaven forbid, someone else's children.

I used to say that you should never post anything on Facebook (Or elsewhere) that you wouldn't want your children to see. However, I realize from watching The People's Court and reality TV that simple rule, sadly, is really not applicable.

So, I would say this to the millions of Facebookers: Post only what you can be proud of and only post positive things about yourself and other people. Make that your New Year's resolution. That should be an easy one. If you can't do that, then perhaps you too should say "So long" to Facebook. After all, you're not required to have a Facebook account nor are you required to post comments or pictures that are self-defaming.

But for me, Facebook is just a thing that I was into for a while. An annoyance. Another time waste. If you enjoy it and can resist the temptation to spend hours on it, good for you--enjoy. If, however, you find yourself with a Facebook addiction, do yourself a favor and bail today as I'm about to do.

So long, Facebook and thanks for all the nothing. Fish would have been better.

*I was never into Dr. Who until recently, when my kids started watching it and now that Netflix has almost every available episode from 1963 on, well, what are you gonna do?

**My wife loves David Tenant--to her, he is Dr. Who.

Topics: Tech Industry, Security

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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11 comments
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  • A very sensible point of view

    All too many people jumped on facebook as the next big fad. More and more people are starting to realise it's not quite the life changer it was marketed as. Personally, I've never been on it other than via links to people's public profiles and I never will.
    More and more people I talk to are losing the faith and disconnecting from it gradually. Similar to your experiences, sooner or later they realise why they lost touch with people and now see it as a chore to communicate with friends of 30yrs ago. I must admit, I never fully understood the craze to be on facebook 24/7 collecting 'friends' like badges of honour and airing all your dirty laundry to the world. At least it brought us a new word - 'Like' - for some reason people now think FB invented it!!
    Little Old Man
    • My Facebook solution

      I joined Facebook the week they went live, and used it briefly and sporadically. But after receiving many emails from strangers who wanted to "friend" me, and all of the articles about how my information was being sold by Facebook and used by others, I closed my account.

      Recently, I've run into organizations and Web site that require a Facebook account to access things. My solution was to create a Facebook account again, but this time leaving it totally blank and blocking others from seeing it.

      It's innocuous and it gets the job done. ;-)
      Harvey Lubin
  • I quit it before I even started to use it

    and that's where I am now, and happy for the change..

    people are simple not that interesting, and knowing what you had for breakfast is a bit trivial for me..

    if facebook left this planet tomorrow, I would not even notice.. or care..
    Aussie_Troll
  • Nerver understood the "benefits" of facebook

    Glad to see I am not the only one not to understand the "benefits" of facebook... and all the likes.
    I thought I was stupid. Maybe I am not the only one ?
    Benjy_a_708
    • Facebook potential

      the issue with facebook now is that it is geared to collecting and then marketing your data.
      it isn't useful for the user - there is some movement to change this from 3rd party facebook apps

      There is a facebook recommendation engine app that is better called recomendo.
      http://recomen.do/

      it recommends facebook likes for a user based on their taste and in addition.
      you can designate friends as tastemakers in specific categories and that influences what is recommended to you.
      Fred Roosevelt
  • I've got no issues with Facebook...

    Use it, don't use it, who really cares? Not one of your better articles mate. Your rant against Facebook is no less a time waster than Facebook itself - its just posted in a different forum.
    Anycolouryoulike
  • I do not use it...

    To communicate online with some businesses one must log in to Facebook. Hum, I do not have a Facebook login so I cannot communicate with those businesses.
    BubbaJones_
    • This is my only gripe with FB

      As has been said above, use it, don't use it, I don't care. What annoys me is contact and promotions only on FB. Well they lose at least one customer, and I'm probably not alone, as I won't create a profile just to take up the offer. Surely they must see that they aren't hitting the entire market by just offering it through FB. Maybe it's so cheap to reach a decent sized audience they don't care.
      Little Old Man
  • Zuck's "Leaked" Photos...

    Seriously.. they weren't "Leaked" by some bad Facebook setting. They were posted to be accessed by Friends Only. Then one of those Friends, downloaded the photo and posted it on Twitter. This isn't a Leak in the security or privacy settings. It is exactly what the settings allow.

    Annoying that people don't understand, that NO amount of privacy settings can protect you from someone else posting a picture of you... or from you having your trust betrayed by a "Friend."

    As the Kenny Chesney song goes... "Everybody's Business is Everybody's Business and that's big business now." "Welcome to the Fishbowl."

    Quitting Facebook will not save you from this. :) Sorry.
    Techdelirios
  • People might...

    People might be better off expecting that Everything they post anywhere into the internet, can be seen by others, even by people who they do not intend or want to see such posts. "Posting only what you are proud of" certainly is a great way to think and help protect yourself and others also.
    sg1efc
  • Is it just me, or is there a facebook like button to the left. ;)

    I like Facebook personally. Yes, it can be time consuming, but coming from a rural region, it really is great to connect with old and new friends. I use it in other ways too, not the least for local information as aprobe during emergencies and other circumstances. With that said, I get it, that privacy and information harvesting is a 'real' problem period. But using marketing information was getting way sophisticated before facebook--I know this for certain.

    The push-pull models of information has one back-door of control--the user. This means yes, websites are always trying to pull one's information. At retail stores I have at least 20 phone numbers I give them as a result when requested(funny story excluded).

    So no, I really don't get the bah-humbug spin on Facebook. With a well built responsible network , one can get a lot of personal satisfaction by throwing one's self out there. It is, an information revolution. Now put on the big boy pants, and get on out there! :)

    Seriously though, it is a personal choice. I get that too.
    eagle1979