I shut down my personal Facebook account yesterday. It was a long time coming.
I’ve received a dozen emails from friends asking me why I decided to pull the plug, so rather than email that answer over and over again, it seems that maybe I should blog about it. So here goes…
The bad parts of Facebook have been outweighing the good for a long time now, at least for me. As much as I enjoy seeing pictures of my friends doing fun things, or watching their kids grow up, or keeping in touch with distant relatives, the fact is that Facebook is mostly a place where I went when I was bored. When I woke up in the morning, when I went about my work, when I lay down at night—I checked Facebook and just kept scrolling. I don’t even want to think about the number of hours and minutes I spent every day just scrolling down and down and down.
It would be one thing if all that scrolling made me feel better about life, or made me a happier person, but the truth is, it didn’t. Between the endless fanaticism (about politics, religion, diet, coffee, literally everything) and the empty comment trolls that exist solely to run other people down, Facebook has become a place that is both addictive and endlessly depressing. Even at its best, it’s vanity. Look at me doing something fun, tell me how great I am. Do you like watching me eat this donut?
I kept hanging on, telling myself that I need Facebook in order to market my books, but I’m not sure that’s true. Facebook ads are effective at getting more likes, but do likes translate into sales? I don’t think so. Ultimately, when you buy ads, you’re paying for people to stroke your vanity. That money is probably better spent on Amazon ads. Amazon is at least in the business of selling books. Facebook is just in the business of selling likes.
Another thing that drives me crazy about Facebook (and all social media for that matter) is the comment section. Everyone has an opinion about everything. I get it, that’s the world we live in, but I really don’t need to hear it. Every single day I saw people post things that I disagree with. I just moved on. I don’t need to agree with you about everything. Why is that so important to so many people? If you hold a different opinion about a politician or eating meat or religion… who cares? But that isn’t good enough for so many people out there, they just have to get their dig in. The truth is, your opinion really isn’t that important. Neither is mine. Go do something useful, or just shut up.
So I’m taking a break. I don’t know if it will be a month or a year or forever. My author page will still be active, but I won’t be. I need some time to focus on myself and my work. I’m planning on doing some more blogging, on making my Patreon page more interactive, and sending out more newsletters. But mostly I’m going to be writing, getting my word counts up, and trying to be a happier person. Want to keep in touch? Send me an email.