Home > Uncategorized > I quit Facebook and my life is better now

I quit Facebook and my life is better now

December 6, 2016

I don’t need to hear from all you people who never got on Facebook in the first place. I know you’re already smiling your smug smile. This story is not for you.

But hey, you people who are on Facebook way too much, let me tell you my story.

It’s pretty simple. I was like you, spending more time than I was comfortable with on Facebook. The truth is, I didn’t even go there on purpose. It was more like I’d find myself there, scrolling down in what can only be described as a fetid swamp of echo-chamber-y hyper partisan news, the same old disagreements about the same old topics. So many petitions.

I wasn’t happy but I didn’t really know how to control myself.

Then, something amazing happened. Facebook told me I’d need to change my password for some reason. Maybe someone had tried to log into my account? I’m not sure, I didn’t actually read their message. In any case, it meant that when went to the Facebook landing page, again without trying to, I’d find myself presented with a “choose a new password” menu.

And you know what I did? I simply refused to choose a new password.

Over the next week, I found myself on that page like maybe 10 times, or maybe 10 times a day, I’m not sure, it all happened very subconsciously. But I never chose a new password, and over time I stopped going there, and now I simply don’t go to Facebook, and I don’t miss it, and my life is better.

That’s not to say I don’t miss anything or anyone on Facebook. Sometimes I wonder how those friends are doing. Then I remember that they’re probably all still there, wondering how they got there.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 6, 2016 at 6:52 am

    one recommendation I would make is, log in one last time and “Disable” your account. This preserves it so nobody else can squat on your name, but removes the ability of anyone else to tag, write on your wall, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. December 6, 2016 at 7:01 am

    CONGRATS! (…he typed, smiling smugly)


  3. Anders Tornblad
    December 6, 2016 at 7:35 am

    I still have my account, but haven’t logged in for months. The amount of time that has been liberated for me, and the amount of stress that I now go without, has made a world of difference! I still use the Messenger though, for convenience.


  4. December 6, 2016 at 7:45 am

    I quit commenting on blogs and my life is better now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • December 6, 2016 at 9:31 am

      You have to go a step further; I quit READING the comments on blogs. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lars
      December 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      I quit replying to people who quit commenting on blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. December 6, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Facebook has some great groups. They are easy to administer. I also connect with people without the anonymous trolling that is so prevalent elsewhere.

    It is has an amazing infrastructure.

    It also has even more drawbacks than the one ones you mention. It curtails free speech by algorithm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 6, 2016 at 11:20 am

      There is no Facebook group that can beat a Slack channel for organizing or discussion power.


      • December 6, 2016 at 12:31 pm

        Perhaps, but there aren’t any slack channels for a lot of my interest. I run a facebook group with 19,000 members to keep me engaged with my favorite show: CBS Sunday Morning.


      • December 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        Does anyone use slack for sharing their photos?


    • Anne
      December 11, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      Free speech isn’t guaranteed. We’re only guaranteed the right to speak without the government preventing us from speaking. However, we are not guaranteed the right to say whatever we want to others without consequence. If a private group or entity does not want to hear or publicize your “speech” they have a right to block it. Also, if people don’t agree with something you say, they also have a right to tell you that. Your freedom of speech is enacted when you say whatever it is you want to say. There’s is enacted when they respond (including blocking you from saying it again).

      Liked by 1 person

      • December 11, 2016 at 10:14 pm

        Actually the courts interpret free speech more broadly then that.

        In any case you are correct that Facebook can limit my speech, and I was giving an example of where that is problematic.


  6. JSE
    December 6, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I haven’t quit Facebook, but the phone app stopped working for me, and I never got around to fixing it, and I definitely don’t miss having it on my phone.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. fbhater
    December 6, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I used a different ploy when I saw I was re-enabling my account back multiple times since Facebook has certain benefits you really want (chat, groups, etc). I took a few weeks to get any tangible benefit, but has saved a lot of time in the long run:

    1. Unfollow every friend you dont need to know about (I went a step further and unfriended people I hadn’t even met and still were FB friends) and mark them as an acquaintance. This clears of three-quarters of your feed
    2. Militantly use the option “stop showing stories from XYZ” for junk clickbait sites and news you don’t want to follow (option is available through top-right arrow on the post field). Have stopped getting worthless buzzfeed articles, game links, memes, etc. If you really want to keep a blank wall, you click the like button on posts you prefer seeing and use the “Hide post” option on absolutely everything on the wall; this way FB knows you prefer posts which you liked, and algorithmically hide everything else the next time.

    This dramatically improved my Facebook experience overall, FB doesn’t feel like a junkyard now, I still get updates on my good friends’ lives and I still can participate in groups and use Messenger. I no longer spend more than 2 minutes a day on the site because I’m not able to, my news feed is almost blank.


    • December 7, 2016 at 7:15 am

      Which groups do you participate in?


  8. December 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I’m a non-smug non-Facebook user. By that I mean that I don’t quite dare to sign up, in case I end up spending too much time on it, but part of me wonders if I’m missing out on making contact with lots of people I haven’t been in touch with for years or even decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 6, 2016 at 9:51 am

      I think you can go ahead and start being smug now.


    • RTG
      December 6, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      I’m like you gowers. I keep thinking I should sign up, because I was missing out. Cathy, you’ve now convinced me not to join. I’m very susceptible to internet blackholes, so this is probably for the best.


  9. dzetland
    December 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Yep. Saw that. Same logic 🙂


  10. Me
    December 6, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I did it too and I love it… don’t miss it either.


  11. Jonathan Cook
    December 6, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Quitting social media was one of the moments I can point to where my life became much happier and fulfilling. I wish there was a way to help my friends reach this point. I’ve tried, but you can only lead a horse to the water, you can’t force him to drink.


  12. December 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I signed up on Facebook a long time ago when some e-friends asked me to “like” a community page they created for criticizing Wikipedia. Was not real trusting of social media back then so used a pseudonym. I soon created a dozen or so community pages to sort out my various scholarly interests and most of my blog traffic still comes from those places and other groups I joined. I eventually discovered that I needed to create a separate page for political commentary, so as not to upset my friends and family still living behind the Cactus Curtain,

    But I have just recently made a new rule not to go on Facebook until after noon, and that has done wonders for my productivity and overall well-being …

    I’ll have to look and see, I’ll bet there’s already a Facebook page for FB Anonymous …


    • December 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Please let me know when you find it. Especially if it helps with other sites as well.


    • Lars
      December 6, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      I have just recently made a new rule not to go on Facebook until after hell freezes over.


  13. December 6, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Your post gave me an idea for one of my own, and I gave you credit with a link back to this post. Thank you for that brain storm. :o)

    “The Facebook Sucker-Berg Phenomenon and the Deliberate Destruction of Community-Based Public Ed”


    Liked by 1 person

    • December 7, 2016 at 8:04 am

      FB = Zucker-Borg


    • Lars
      December 7, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      I thought it was Suckerboard


  14. Joe Strummer
    December 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Why is there a link below the post to share it on Facebook?


    • logosamorbos
      December 7, 2016 at 10:36 am

      You can’t stop the signal…?


    • Lars
      December 7, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Welcome to the Hotel Zuckerberg

      You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.


  15. December 6, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I am leaving, I am leaving …

    Liked by 1 person

    • logosamorbos
      December 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Tangential: I’ve often thought that the song The Sound of Silence was rather prophetic of the rise of social media (“people talking without speaking / people hearing without listening”) in general. Simon & Garfunkel sing it as if they saw the vision of what was to come, and The Disturbed sing it like one who realizes its fulfillment.


  16. Marvin
    December 7, 2016 at 6:48 am

    For similar reasons to yours I took a different path and recently removed all past and present friends, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, etc. and follow only my spouse now – since that was the reason I finally joined 2 years ago and suddenly the connections proliferated from there. Also removed all liked pages, interests, groups, brands and bands, etc. Its so much more quiet yet together we can still share videos of the pets should one of us miss out or swap articles without cluttering email. Did likewise with Instagram and Pinterest. Messed the FB algorithm up so bad it thinks I’m a recent joiner, welcomes me, prompting me to find friends. ‘Hi, you’re new here! Let’s find some friends!’ For some reason it reminds me a bit of the overly pleasant cheery door in HHGTTG


  17. b19690103
    December 7, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I only look at select people’s status updates, and not shares websites. Every single outrage in 2016 — every single one (yes, THAT one, too, whatever “that one” is for you) — was at best misreported, and at worst entirely false. Facebook has become an echo chamber of virtue signalers unwittingly embarrassing themselves. It’s to the point where I have to actively refrain from being intentionally offensive in the face of the idiocy. I do that by generally avoiding facebook.


  18. logosamorbos
    December 7, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I abandoned FB a week after the election. I couldn’t handle it anymore. Once I made the decision, it was as though a thousand clamoring thought streams fell silent in my brain.

    I am still depressed and still battling the anxiety, but the burden became a little easier.


  19. December 9, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Thanks for this story Cathy… we posted it to the Anti Facebook community on reddit, which keeps track of the privacy violations and psychological techniques employed by FB, as well as provides a supportive community for people quitting.


  20. Lars
    December 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Facebook is Fakebook
    Friends can be fiends
    Smile can be fake look
    Not what it seems


  21. December 13, 2016 at 10:41 am

    I’m still on FB because it’s the easiest way to keep in touch with all the people who have wandered off to parts not Boston. I’ve given up on trying to convince anyone of anything there, though. I’ve also taken it off my phone when it’s gotten stressful. Really, I don’t think it’s specifically FB because I’ve been many other places online where nasty echo chamber bs occurs. It’s just the most well known. I’ve avoided Reddit entirely because of the toxic atmosphere.


    • Lars
      December 14, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      I’ve never been on Facebook, but have considered joining because it is the easiest way to keep in touch with the NSA.


      • December 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

        Which is why I never say anything on FB that I wouldn’t say to my 93 year old grandmother.


        • Lars
          December 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

          Good rule, but I don’t have a 93 year old grandmother, so I just never say anything at all on Facebook.

          That, and the fact that Facebook is waaaaaaaay too much like high school (fake “friends”, cliques, “beautiful/popular people”, bragging, bullying, etc) Enough to give a person nightmares all over again.

          No surprise that it started at Harvard.


  22. Ginger Chualck
    January 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Happy New Year y’all!
    I read about Cathy in the L. A. Times and zoomed to my keyboard to bookmark this incredible mathbabe.
    Should have expected to find a whole band of gentle-type radicals on a rantette about FB.
    Good to know I’m not the only one who quit November 8.
    FREEDOM!!! Isn’t it wonderful to be an independent thinker?
    Social media is lowering the bar so fast.
    (fifth grade teacher, here)
    We’re suffocating and deluding ourselves with data.


  1. December 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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