I haven't left yet. But my proverbial bags are packed with my data and I'm heading out the Facebook door.
In addition to downloading my personal Facebook data I also downloaded data from pages that I have been administrating. (Here's how to download your Facebook data.)
I must commend Facebook on the data dumps they create. The data dump comes as a nice folder with an
index.htm file that you can double-click and you're greeted with a simple dashboard over your data that you can navigate. Neat! Even though you might have no plans of leaving Facebook I recommend downloading your data just to check out this functionality. I was worried I would lose track of my friend list but they are there as well.
Some thoughts on the why
Well, it's certainly not because I think I'm better than anyone.
The news feed doesn't give me much anymore, its algorithms provide constant bait and switch tactics by juggling ads and friends’ posts. It feels like I'm conversing with friends in a loud, angry shopping mall not over a calm coffee scented with jazz music.
Facebook is a business not a friend. Furthermore it's also a weapon of mass-misinformation and hate. My heart sank when I learned about research which pointed to the Facebook platform playing a sinister part in fuelling violence against the Rohingya people in Myanmar (source).
It feels like I'm tidying up and making room for something else. Maybe I'll get lonely and return to the Facebook fold, or maybe I'll discover some better ways to stay in touch.
How to reach me
You can find me on Signal, a privacy-first, open-source, non-profit application. Send me a message on Facebook for my phone number (while I'm still around), or reach out to me by e-mail (which you can find at the bottom of this page).
I'm giving it a go.