Facebook: How to Love It (or Leave It)

By  |  Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 6:47 am

Hey, it’s Tuesday, the day that TIME.com publishes the original Technologizer column which I write for it each week. The new one is titled “A Five-Step Program for Facebook Happiness,” and  I was moved to write it after Facebook introduced a new Groups feature last week that managed to be simultaneously neat and annoying. It dawned on me that while I sometimes grouse about the site–especially its chaotic approach to introducing new features–I’m ultimately a fan, because I’ve figured out how to make it work for me. In this column, I share some tips for making it work for you. (Or acknowledging that it doesn’t work for you: Quitting Facebook is a perfectly defensible decision, although there seem to be a lot more people who say they will leave than actually pull the trigger…)


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. The_Heraclitus Says:

    I bailed about a year ago after I found the code to be able access anyones personal data. The groups "feature", I heard about one day after they activated it. At the time I made a joke to my wife that it would be funny if someone signed up the Founder with the NAMBLA group to highlight the stupidity of the feature. Looks like there were others who had the same joke in mind and actually did it.

  2. meh Says:

    It's not that god damn hard. Delete everything on your account, except your name. Then in the "quote" or "about me" thing under your profile picture (which you'll have already deleted) say "I DON'T USE FACEBOOK. TO CONTACT ME, EMAIL [email protected]". Then move on. (You obviously have to have SOME basic account, even if you don't use it, just to prevent people from stealing your identity and posting as you).

    Honestly, what are people even missing out on? A bunch of spam from your friends who are selling things, a bunch of your whiny friends crying about the drama in their life. A bunch of passive-aggressive "you know who you are" kind of posts, lots of attention-whoring, and the exposure of yourself to all the ugly stupid things you didn't ever need to know about your friends and their personal, political, and religious beliefs. Things that, until they opened their mouth repeatedly online to hundreds of people, would never have impacted your estimation and interaction and respect with and for them.

    If there's something important to talk about in your life, EMAIL ME. Or CALL ME. Don't mass message me with 400 other people in your life.

    Facebook doesn't make people stupid. It just unnecessarily exposes the stupidity of people. When new social networks come along, stake your claim to your identity, don't put in any private information, post your email address or other preferred method for people to get in touch with you, and never go back.

  3. Nick Says:

    While it was relatively easy for me to deactivate the account, leaving facebook was hard. I live on the west coast while my friends and family live in the midwest. Like the commenter above, I thought I could get by with emails and a few phone calls. In practice most of my friends don't get back to my emails (now considered the virtual equivalent of snail mail) and phone calls are usually a bit forced and awkward. The first few months off facebook (i.e. the grid) I definitely felt socially isolated. However, I'm all the better now for not logging on every five minutes.