About a year ago, nearly 40,000 people vowed to delete their Facebook accounts to mark “Quit Facebook Day,” but since that time I have yet to know somebody who actually removed their profile from the social network. I’ve always wanted to chat with somebody who went through with it and ask them a few questions. This week, I crossed paths with a former “friend” who I had lost touch with – perhaps because she quit Facebook. During our conversation it came out that she had deleted her account and she was open to answering a few questions.
Not surprisingly, she had some privacy concerns that contributed to the decision, but I didn’t expect that this user’s biggest issue with the social network was the lack of interest she had in many of the posts from “friends.” I love the perspective of this person who went against-the-grain (especially for her demographic) and quit Facebook. Ultimately, she stopped doing something that was no longer working for her. She even feels she’s more productive at home and work without the distraction.
Here are the highlights from the interview:
Q1 – How long were you thinking about deleting your Facebook account?
I hadn’t thought of actually deleting my entire account until about a week before I went ahead and did it. A couple months before that someone I knew from before my highschool days commented on one of my photos. I didn’t even know I had that person as a “friend,” so I wound up going through and deleting a bunch of contacts I never kept in touch with. The more I thought about it, the more it weirded me out that people I hadn’t seen in more than 10 years could “creep” me and see what I’ve been up to without me knowing.
I also found myself actually getting frustrated with peoples’ status updates. What makes people think their lives are so intriguing that they need to post that they’re “stuck in traffic” or “had a bad day”? I more or less just lost interest in it after that and finally decided to delete my account before going away on holidays.
Q2 – Were you addicted to Facebook?
There was a time that yes, I definitely think I was. I was in a car accident a couple of years ago. It wasn’t serious, but I updated my status from my phone while waiting for the police to arrive. It got back to my parents (who aren’t on Facebook) before I could even call them to let them know what had happened. Looking back, I realize I was one of those people [who think their lives are so intriguing that they need to post EVERYTHING]. What makes me so important that I need to update my status with something so useless? It’s kind of embarrassing.
Q3 – What were your top 3 reasons for quitting Facebook?
- Lack of interest
- Pressure to always be monitoring what people are doing or how they’re interacting with your profile (photo comments, wall posts, etc.)
- The idea that people I didn’t know anymore could easily “keep tabs on me”
Q4 – Do you miss it?
I sometimes miss the “idea” of Facebook… that it’s easier to keep in touch with people or to get involved in upcoming events or gatherings.
Q5 – What has been the biggest change in your life since leaving Facebook?
Overall, I’m more productive (at home and work). I’ve started calling people again instead of messaging them through Facebook or writing on their wall. I didn’t realize I missed that aspect of human interaction until I deleted my account.
Q6 – Would you delete your Facebook profile again?
Q7 – Any final thoughts?
I understand the allure, the convenience, and the “entertainment” aspect. I think that there definitely were ways I could have better managed my Friends list or security settings, but in the end, for me, it was just easier to delete the entire account because I didn’t feel I was getting anything out of it anymore.
Has anybody else quit Facebook? Is anybody thinking about it now? Leave a comment and share your experience/thoughts.