Like many people, I have grappled with finding a way to use Facebook that keeps me connected to people I love and care about, without compromising my personal serenity or security. I have personally found Facebook less and less satisfying to reach my objective.
I have found the platform increasingly ugly. In fact, after experimenting with a variety of use strategies since the election, I actually have found that the less I use Facebook, the more balanced and serene my life feels to me.
I could write at length about all of the reasons I find Facebook, well, frankly, disturbing, but many have already done an excellent job describing how this corporation preys upon, manipulates, gets rich off of, and sometimes brings out the worst in its user base. So, I won’t spend any time there. The purpose of this post is to inform everyone about how I am now using the Facebook platform moving forward.
Basically, all in all, I’m not. I found myself wasting too much time checking Messenger, constantly checking Messenger. I deleted the app weeks ago, and my life feels more connected and is certainly more secure!
The important out-take here: Don’t send me any messages on Messenger. I will not see them. I am no longer there.
If you wish to message me, you must use the Signal app (or the Apple Messages app). Recommended by Edward Snowden, the Signal app is fully end-to-end encrypted, and, unlike the Apple Messages app, no records of any conversations are stored on any servers. In order to use this app, you must know my personal phone number.
I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. I was fed up with how often I felt a needed to check it and how Facebook constantly harvested my data. They even managed to get my phone number, which I never gave them and do not want to the know.
I’ve even made it very inconvenient to use Facebook in my phone’s browser by deleting the automatic login, turning off browser cookies1 on my phone, and deleting the web address bookmark. So now, in order to log into Facebook on my phone, I have to turn cookies back on in settings, type in the URL in the browser, and enter my user name and password. It’s actually inconvenient enough to keep me from doing it.
I’m still very seriously considering permanently deleting my entire Facebook account. Presently, the only way I’m using it is to occasionally check it (on my desktop) and to publish links to posts here on my blog to share with you. It’s a very convenient tool for doing the latter. Currently, about 50% of the link referrals I get on days I publish a post here on my blog come from my cross-posting the link to Facebook. That’s the only thing that has kept me from deleting my account.
I love keeping up with everyone’s lives, but I’m personally paying too high a price to do that.
The first time I ever have TSA or any country’s immigration officials demand my social media account access, all of those accounts will be permanently deleted.
I don’t use Messenger any more. I’m gone. Reach me via email, phone call, Apple Messages, or Signal. Signal is my preferred method of communication. It effectively keeps prying eyes out of our business.
I check Facebook about once a month now just to see what’s happening in your lives. I will probably delete my entire Facebook account. I’ve been thinking that would make a nice 60th birthday present to myself.
Cookies is one of the invasive technologies Facebook, and others, uses to collect all of the websites you visit. ↩