Facebook Hiatus

If you have an account on Facebook, you may have come around to the idea that maybe it’s not as great as you once thought it was. UI changes and algorithms aside, the use of Facebook has diminished greatly in the last several years and has become a fount of stress in my life.

I can only begin to tell you how it breaks my heart to scroll through Facebook and see people I consider close friends sharing thoughts and points of view I didn’t know they had—vantages that I consider not only opposed to my own, but dangerous to our very society. [1] Perhaps learning about this sort of stuff online means I’m not as close to these people as I thought I was. In any case, reading such bigotry and hatred coming from people I know and care about is very discouraging. While I think the United States as a democratic body has made great strides in acceptance and open-mindedness, my local circles are still unquestionably conservative to the point of denial and ignorance. I’m choosing to duck out of that where I can.

This isn’t Jake taking a shot anyone or their beliefs. If I thought I could change anyone’s mind about religion, politics, or sexuality I would part of what I consider a bigger problem. I’m simply through with feeling awful for logging into a website. It’s time to take action.

I’ve deactivated Facebook twice before. Both times I came back for work-related reasons and stayed for the habits I fell back into. Using Facebook to share my work and connect with colleagues has been very important to the way I operate. The dream is to have a Facebook account by which to use messenger and share my work with the people that find it interesting, leaving the follows and timeline stuff out of it. Achieving that is going to require either painstakingly removing everything from my timeline that induces stress or creating an entirely new Facebook page that will, in every likelihood, become as cluttered as my current one. This is what I have to think about.

Starting tomorrow and for the next two months, I’m leaving Facebook entirely. My page will be deactivated until some point in early February. At that point I will hopefully have a plan to create a better balance on the platform or abandon it completely. I am open to suggestions.

If you need to get ahold of me, my email or Twitter work just fine.

UPDATE: I'm back on Facebook. The experiment worked just fine. I've decided that Facebook is a relatively necessary evil that I just won't pay much attention to. More than anything, it's a tool to reach an audience I can't get to on Twitter. I don't like that I need it, but I think—at least for now—I do.

  1. I’m not talking potential ‘active shooters’ here, folks. However, I have witnessed threats of violence and reported them to employers and authorities.