Earlier this year I stated that I would be leaving Facebook by the end of the year. That self-imposed deadline looms. During the past several months, I have thought long and hard about whether to stay or leave. Dozens of folks, to my surprise, have asked me not to leave. I am humbled by their pleading to stay. The platform has allowed me to connect with dear friends and family; participate in life celebrations of family members and friends; discover articles that have enlightened me; follow people I respect; learn from those who are smarter than I will ever be; delight in wonderful photographs from around the world; learn about the breed of my new puppy; and stay in touch with causes that I support. This is not an easy choice.
Also during this time of reflection, much has been revealed about Facebook and its leadership. Their complicity and under-handed actions with regard to nefarious interests and “fake news” has been, to say the least, disheartening and disturbing. Their laxness in protecting data is inexcusable. On the one hand, staying on the platform is a complicit act and endorses their actions—and, of course, increases their bottom line. Leaving will disconnect me from the positive and send a message about the negative. It is an interesting social and political conundrum.
Besides these reasons, Facebook also has all of the attributes associated with addiction. Not logging on leaves one wondering what one is “missing.” Its secretive algorithms keep enticing one to stay connected in hopes of finding those gems of connective tissue that reinforces ones ego and desire to be part of a community. Its seemingly random news feed is infuriating—especially since one has very little control over who shows up in the feed. Some days I quietly wish the platform had never been developed. Other days, I am genuinely touched by connections to friends who are suffering and reaching out to the common community.
To stay or go?
I have decided to enter what I am calling Phase 3. This phase, which will last another six months or so, will include the following:
- Posts from my regular Instagram account will automatically be posted to my Facebook account. I will “refrain” from posting directly to the Facebook platform. I know that life is not pure and simple–so there will be exceptions to this. I also realize and understand that Instagram is owned by Facebook’s parent company—which means that I am still enabling their actions and supporting their bottom line.
- I intend to limit my time on Facebook to a few minutes first thing in the morning and in the evening.
- Posts from my artist Instagram account will be automatically posted to my artists Facebook page. I do not know at this time if I can keep my Artist Facebook page if I delete or deactivate my normal Facebook page. That research will take some time.
- Post from this website (my “articles” like this one) will be posted to my Artist Facebook page.
My commentary and interactions with my normal Facebook page will be more passive and dwindle over the next six months or so. The artist page will be a repository for articles from my website (such as this one) and my artwork. Phase 4 will be to deactivate, if possible, only my normal Facebook page and keep my artists Facebook page. Phase 5 will be to delete the normal Facebook page. The posts to my art Facebook page will only be related to my artwork and articles about art that I believe are worth sharing. I have not yet decided about messenger—or whether I can even keep it active.
Ideally, if you are reading this, you will “connect” with me through this website. You can add your email on the “subscribe” form at the bottom of the home page. You will get an email altering you to a new article posting. Alternatively, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the list of followers. My ideal will be to only connect with folks who want to connect with me through this platform. I will never add someone without their permission.