Why I quit FaceBook

I got my FaceBook account back in 2006 after I finally switched High Schools to one that gave out .edu email addresses. This meant that I could finally get a FaceBook account, which back then required email authentication to prove that you were a member of an academic institution. It provided a functionality similar to what I was used to with Myspace but with a UI that wouldn’t crash my browser every time I went on a friends profile. It also provided an easier way to manage and keep in touch with friends.

For about a year or two this was great. The functionality was great, my friends on FaceBook were great. Everything was fantastic. For me the problems started around 2008. I began noticing an exponential increase in FaceBook applications. This cluttered FaceBook and almost made it feel like Myspace 2.0. The clean system that I had come to love was gone. Ever since then FaceBook apps have in my opinion gotten better and less intrusive but often appear places I’d rather them not. This was the beginning of FaceBooks shift in order to try to monetize their efforts. I understand that they need to make money off of their product to appease investors and keep the service running. They should however attempt to do this without ruining the service.

Now the actual reasons that I quit FaceBook began occurring much more recently. About a year ago I began noticing that FaceBook would make rapid UI and development changes. As a software developer, I love being on the bleeding edge and testing Beta software. The problem was FaceBook would roll out half-baked changes. The UI would change on some pages but not others and half the time it would not even work. The notification icon would often not clear itself, the chat system would often be broken and my wall would be extremely unreliable. So I understand them wanting to get the latest changes out but they should also fix bugs as soon as they were made aware of their existence.

A lot of tech enthusiasts and more accurately security enthusiasts dislike FaceBook because of the privacy implications. I however am not one of those people. My FaceBook had barely any privacy blocking at all. The reason for this was that I wanted the information I posted on the internet to be accessible by the internet (crazy concept). What did bother me was that the settings I would set on FaceBook seemed to have no permanent hold. They would be reset every few weeks and this would create an annoying cycle of me having to tweak settings consistently.

The final and primary reason that I quit FaceBook was that it offered me nothing. It offered weaker messaging that I had an obligation to use since everyone else uses it. It provided a stream of posts most of which I don’t care about in a less readable format than what G+ or twitter provides. It provided tons of fan and business pages which are nothing more than meme generators. And it tried to consistently pull me back in to check on stuff I really didn’t care about.

The only problem I’ve had since deactivating my FaceBook is on other services. It is ridiculous that you can’t use Spotify without a FaceBook account. It’s trying to force me to use a substandard service in order to use a great one. Similarly the number of Android apps which have a recommended login of FaceBook is obscene. If any Android Devs are reading this use this logic, if my user has an Android phone they most likely have a Google account. Use the Google Account do not just assume that they have a FaceBook. Not to mention the Google account is probably already linked to the device.

So to sum it all up FaceBook is now a replacement for a bunch of better services with interfaces that actually work.

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