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Why you should delete your Facebook account

February 14, 2014

Facebook still gets a lot of press these days, and it supposedly has more than a billion users. But I’ve pretty much given up on it for business and personal use. Over the last couple of years I’ve found that Facebook just wasn’t worth the effort and time that I was putting into it.

First I deleted the Facebook pages for my blogs, and then I eventually deleted my Facebook account altogether.

Why I closed my Facebook pages
Facebook is supposedly a great source of traffic for publishers. If you set up a Facebook page and you get a lot of “likes” you are told you can build an audience on Facebook that will see your content and click through to your site.

Unfortunately, Facebook has changed its algorithm yet again and in doing so drastically dropped the number of people that were seeing the content I posted there. I went from having hundreds and hundreds of people seeing it to anywhere from ten to twenty people, despite having more than nine hundred likes for my blog’s page.

To add injury to insult (yes I reversed that old saying), I did a search on Desktop Linux Reviews (my distro review blog) and found to my horror that the Facebook page for the site was ranking quite close in Google search to my actual site!

Think about that for a second. The Facebook page that gave me very little traffic to my Linux blog, and that sucked up my time and energy posting content and responding to readers, was placing way too close for comfort to my actual blog in search engine results.

In effect, I had set up a page that was routing traffic to Facebook’s site at the possible expense of my own blog! Talk about a bad deal! It just made no sense to keep a Facebook page that might divert search engine queries from my actual blog so Facebook can make some money by showing those searchers advertising.

Once I realized this I made the decision that it was time to end all of the Facebook pages for my blogs. So I posted an announcement for the few who might see it, and then pulled the plug on all of my Facebook blog pages. It was a huge waste of time and energy maintaing those Facebook pages, and I’m sorry I ever set them up in the first place.

Facebook is clearly using its algorithm to try to force users and businesses to pay up if they want their posts seen. I don’t make enough money on my blogs to even consider paying Facebook for the privilege of having my posts seen, and I doubt there are many other bloggers or users who will want to spend money that way. Perhaps some larger businesses might find it worthwhile, but even they might discover that it’s not worth the money.

Why I deleted my Facebook account
Eventually I decided that Facebook wasn’t just a waste of time for business purposes, it was a complete waste of time for my personal use. So I deleted it completely, and I’m very glad I did.

As I noted earlier, the Facebook algorithm does not show you all of the posts by your friends or the pages you have “liked.” So you never see what you are really interested in, you see what Facebook wants to show you.

The algorithm isn’t the only problem with Facebook though, there are other things that make it pointless. Here are some of them in no particular order.

- Facebook has become chock full of annoying advertising, and last I heard they were planning on forcing users to see auto-play video advertisements in news feeds. Ugh.

- Facebook as a company has never cared much about user privacy, and each iteration of the site has made it harder or more confusing to keep track of privacy settings.

- Quite a lot of Facebook posts can only be classified as low information garbage. I really don’t care what somebody ate that day, or that their dog took a big poop on the lawn. Why do I need to know that stuff?

Is Facebook doomed?
I might be early in saying this but, frankly, I think Facebook is headed toward a slow decline and death. Oh sure, there are still lots of people using it…for now. But the quality of the Facebook experience has been going downhill for users for a while, and now Facebook has taken the drastic step of angering many sites and businesses that post content on it.

I can’t see people sticking with Facebook for the next twenty years. In some ways Facebook is in the process of becoming the MySpace of today’s social media. We all know what happened to MySpace, and it wasn’t pretty. Nothing lasts forever though, and so Facebook’s days are probably numbered.

I’m glad I got rid of it, I don’t miss it at all and I’ll never go back to it.

What’s your take on Facebook? Is it worth your time and energy? Tell me in the comments.


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13 Responses to Why you should delete your Facebook account

  1. Hans Bezemer on March 5, 2014 at 6:08 am

    I have had a Facebook account for several years, mostly because other people invited me. From the start it irritated me that privacy settings were so complex, you just about needed an AI application to have it remotely “secure”. After several FB changes, their political position on certain IT-related legislation was the final drop: I deleted it. Never looked back. Later I realized FB had mostly the attraction of a Jerry Springer show: ultimate c**p, but for one reason or another you keep watching. So, yeah, drop it. You’re not missing much.

    • Jim Lynch on March 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      Heh, heh. I like the way you put it, Hans. I hadn’t thought of it as the Jerry Springer show but that about sums it up!

  2. Gary Newell on March 5, 2014 at 4:29 am

    I don’t have a Facebook account. I tried it for 2 weeks and just didn’t really like the experience. I really admire Mark Zuckerburg’s achievements though. He made a site that everybody seemed to want to be a part of. Unfortunately the money men have since become involved and it is now a corporate machine.

    Lots of sites start with good intentions. eBay is a good example of that. A place where you can list unwanted items and the worth of the item is based on the amount people bid. The trouble is that there were too many thieves and scam artists. eBay and PayPal continually change their rules yet the rights still seem to be with the scam artists and thieves.

    I don’t think Facebook will die like MySpace did. I think it will be around for quite some time but maybe not quite as big a sensation as it has been.

  3. finid on March 5, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Nice info Jim. I’ve never had a FB account, even for my blogs, so I decided to set one up last month. I’ve never bothered to post anything on it because I’ve not had the time to. It will soon be deleted.

    I find even with my Twitter account, I get very virtually no traffic from it. But I don’t mind keeping it, because all posts to Twitter are auto-posted via FeedBurner, so it’s not taking up even a second of my time. I really have to question the level of user activity on Twitter.

    • Jim Lynch on March 5, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Hi finid,

      Yeah, you have to wonder how many Twitter accounts are just bots. Probably a lot of them. I hate the 140 character limit too, I can’t imagine spending any of my time reading tweets.

  4. Arun on March 4, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Is this a coincidence?! A week ago I deleted my Facebook account for the same reasons!

    • Jim Lynch on March 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Great minds think alike? ;)

  5. Joielechong on March 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    +1 with John. The ads is telling otherwise.

    Jim, I think facebook is getting more traffic now because of your post :D.

    • Jim Lynch on March 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Doh! It figures! Well, I did my best but adsense hoisted me on my own petard! ;)

  6. John on March 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I found your post well-reasoned and informative. The only problem I had with it was the advertisements telling me to sign up for a Facebook account! #irony

    • Jim Lynch on March 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Ha! That’s funny, John. I guess it’s Adsense trying to be humorous. Heh. ;)

      • Ricardo on March 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

        I imagine it’s because you used the word “F*ceb**k” in your post. :)

        • Jim Lynch on March 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm

          Yep, probably. Ironically, I haven’t seen any Facebook ads. I see ads for other things on this page but not a one for Facebook. Go figure. Must be Google tracking people or something.

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