I have completed step 1 of leaving Facebook. I have signed up for MeWe (see https://mewe.com/myworld). This relatively new social media site is the only site with a Privacy Bill of Rights. This is their mantra: “The Next-Gen Social Network that actually respects your privacy, and where you are in control over your communication & connections. No Ads. No Tracking. No BS.” Tom Berners-Lee was one of the creators (Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) w3.org, the place to agree on web standards. Founded webfoundation.org – let the web serve humanity). It has a very simple interface. I will only connect with true friends through MeWe—by being very vigilant about reviewing invitations from folks and scrutinizing carefully groups I sign up for (mainly philosophy and art). Instead of over 2,500 “friends” on Facebook, I will have maybe 100 on MeWe. How I even got over 2,500 “friends” is bewildering to me in the first place.
Once I understand the site and begin to use it, the next steps to get untangled from Facebook will be to:
- Complete my data down load for my personal archive.
- Finish adding the names and email addresses of friends who want to follow this blog.
- Allow 3-4 months for an occasional posting on Facebook reminding my friends that I will be leaving Facebook and that if they want to connect, they will have to join MeWe or sign up for my blog.
- Keep this blog’s auto-posting to Facebook until the end of the year.
- December 31, 2018 I will leave FaceBook.
- I will continue to use Instagram—even thought it too is owned by Facebook. I enjoy following artists and will continue to do so.
I was one of the early adopters of Facebook (early adopting technology is trend for me since the early 80’s). I learned a great deal and met some truly interesting folks who have contributed to my understanding of the world of the environment, art, politics and libraries. I will miss them. But the downsides of this platform far outweigh the benefits. And I fully understand that this entanglement of friends, connections and “social media inertia” is precisely how Facebook has grown to 2 Billion users and growing more each day—and why folks are reluctant to leave. I am not naive to think my action will change them one iota. But it will enable me to embrace change and the simplification of my social media life. Change is good.
Update: Here is an excellent discussion about “social” media that was published on March 24, 2018 in The New Yorker magazine.