Facebook is always loosing and regaining users. I’ve had five friends this year that all said they were quiting Facebook once and for all. They deleted their accounts to take affirmative action. Of course, it’s never easy to dump Facebook if it is primary source for online social interaction. All frive of my friends eventually returned to Facebook. I’ve had another friend that has deleted his account and returned to it more than six times.
So if you’re serious about quitting, let me help you. And, if you decide after you kill your Facebook account that you still want social interaction, let’s review your options.
Why You Should Leave Facebook for Good
1. It’s the Not-Cool Party Without a Purpose
Let me use a metaphor: Facebook is a never ending hangout in your friend’s loft, but there is a good chance he’s not even at the party, and other strangers come and go at will. All the while, you came to the hangout because you thought you would see that one friend there, but, alas, that’s not the way this party works.
Then, while you’re hanging at this party, you begin to realize the overwhelming variety of people who are in your midst: there are your distant relations, your immediate family, coworkers, acquaintances and total stranger are all surrounding you, and there to “party” together. Then, because some stranger sees that you know this mutual friend, he friend requests you. Even so, you don’t know more about this guy than his head of red hair.
2. Ads, Ads, Ads, And More Ads.
Facebook fosters ads catered to you, which is scary—like big brother. Ads are everywhere you go. And when it’s not an ad popping up in your face, it is sometimes a pointless built-in app that wants to absorb more of your time just so they can collect your personal info and spam you later.
3. Always Hearing the End of Conversations
On Facebook, you see the latest baby pictures, and the cool motorcycle trip video your distant relatives are taking. But you didn’t even know they were pregnant until the baby was born, and you can’t appreciate a vacation crossing the country when cousin Larry forgot to mention where he’s at in the video. So you’re wondering where those mountains in the background scenery come from while Uncle Larry is too busy cruising to tell you for the next three days.
In this way, you are endlessly hearing the end of a conversation on Facebook. At best, you then hit the rewind button and search through the annals of your friend’s Facebook walls to find out when they knew they were pregnant in the first place. And guess what: they forgot to mention it because they thought the grape-vine had already spread the news far and wide.
4. The Loft Itself is Boring
Your friend told you that the loft would look cool, and that’s why he through this party. But now that you see it, there’s nothing that makes the loft all that interesting to see. Likewise, Facebook is a bland site, and one that you visit not because you like the way it works and looks, but because “all” your friends are there.
5. You’re Usually No Happier When You Leave
So you ultimately leave the hangout in the loft tired and frustrated, wondering “what just happened?” As best as you could tell, you were playing catchup with others’ lives, but not actually enjoying a relationship with them.
You were reporting to each other, and claiming that what you had to share was interesting; like reading, yet again, a “cool” quotation your intellectual friend shared; then there is that news headline dissing Obama for the 12 time today because all of your friends are re-sharing the same article. Few on Facebook know how to intelligently introduce and keep up a good conversation that the public can join without a moment’s notice.
So that’s Facebook’s problems. And if you have left Facebook for reasons like these, and possibly other great reasons (like you were wasting too much time on Facebook), then let me give you some reasons to join another significant social network.
Why You Should Turn to Twitter or Google+ Instead of Facebook for Online Vicarious Relationships
If you leave Facebook it will most likely leave a void in your life. Most people want a social network—they just want something better than Facebook. Have you honestly tried Twitter or Google+ lately? You might be pleasantly surprised by how they have come along in recent years. They are not lesser versions of Facebook. In many ways, they are superior. So, believe it or not, here’s why the party at Twitter or Google+ is way cooler:
- Limited to practically no ads that are not as noticeable.
- The instant messaging and video hangouts are far more efficient and well-designed.
- The whole user interface is 3 times more aesthetically pleasing than Facebook’s.
- You login to Gmail anyway, and you’re already set in Google Plus. Cut your logins in half.
- Less is more. Both Google+ and Twitter cut a lot of the crap out. There are far less spamming apps, and less annoying strangers that care to bug you.
- It’s a smaller community, which means there is far less noise. People aren’t talking about new babies. They’re discussing engaging subjects (no offense to the newborns,) and the new topics roll in at a rapid pace if you know who to follow and converse with.
- The privacy settings are based on advice Steve Jobs gave Google before he passed away. He told them the privacy controls on Facebook were not in the interest of the users, and if Google wanted to survive/differentiate themselves they would need to excel in the privacy controls. Based on various reports, it would seem that Google is taking his advice to heart (at least when it come to G+).
- Facebook is often caught up in the old. It’s looking to the past, and struggles to find the new and make sense of it. The other networks are almost always about the new; a new frontier, expansion… what’s on the horizon at the top of your Twitter feed. Subjects usually relate to what’s about to happen, or what people are cooking up for tomorrow, or the latest timely happenings in culture.
- Facebook assumes your friends have something to say. G+ assumes you want to find people who have something to say, then that you want to add to the conversation because you actually have common interests (which you probably don’t have with 90% of your Facebook friends).
Of course, Google+ doesn’t serve the same reasons you thought you would use Facebook. Not many of your immediate friends are there, per se, and you will have to search for new online connections based on interests you have in common with the people on Twitter or Google+.
Twitter and Google+ are a mashup of slightly different services, so don’t expect them to be a glorified carbon copy Facebook-like experience.