Note: since writing this, I’ve re-activated Twitter to keep in touch with friends.
I decided to delete my Facebook and Twitter accounts a few days ago, having been a user of both services for about four or five years. There’s been a few times in the past when I’ve thought about doing this, but the thought of being disconnected from old friends and work colleagues always persuaded me otherwise. (Although there’s still Skype. And email. And speech.)
The main reason for doing this is really a practical one: noise. I became conscious that I was becoming distracted, spending more and more time consuming and filtering noise (and occasionally adding to the noise.) Twitter can be used for good (and great) purposes, but for the most part 140 characters just isn’t enough space to say anything meaningful (as far as I can tell.) So I’ve decided to cut down on the noise.
I’m also concerned about Facebook for creative, legal and ethical reasons.
After reading Jaron Lanier’s book You Are Not A Gadget : A Manifesto I realised how much (creative) control and personal information we give away for free. Facebook goes against the original idea of a decentralised and open world-wide web; it’s a privately-owned database of people’s memories, thoughts and relationships – and a potentially insecure central point of failure (as is Twitter.)
All the pages conform to a single web page template; they’re uniform, bland and there’s limited expression in the form of cover photos. There’s also a load of adverts and money-making psychological experiments disguised as games, which I don’t agree with.