Recently, one of my friends deleted his account with Facebook and quit the platform. I inquired, what could have informed his decision to quit. He replied: “Facebook sucked my life; I cannot continue to expose myself to the daily outlandish lies, cacophonic hate speeches, fictitious opulence and disturbing images being peddled on the platform. My life is better now,” he added. I concurred with my friend and wished I could do the same because of my personal experience with social media.
Ever since I registered on the platform in late 2007, I have been wondering, how the giant social media platform, Facebook, successfully made its way into my life, which I could not just resist for good. But I discovered that, I’m just one out of millions being trapped in the same terrible predicament.
As a matter of fact, I had made several efforts in the past to quit the platform just to reassure myself of the very attitude of self-restraint which I had earlier known myself with, but, I failed woefully. With my profession fully linked to social media at some point in time, it even made it more difficult for such restraining measure to come into reality.
Few days ago, after the revelation of alleged facebook data scandal by a research firm, Cambridge Analytica, I decided to take the bull by the horns and forcefully turned my back on Facebook. Two weeks after, the result is so wonderful that I wish I would not go back to it again. My decision was so difficult at the beginning that I doubted my ability to avoid the platform without any uncontrollable constraint, such as lack of access to internet among others. Surprisingly, I have been off the facebook for the past two weeks without even missing it. Though, they have been bombarding me with several alluring notifications which I didn’t even care to open. It is a bizarre scenario of a typical social media lover like me – a passive and avid user of the new media.
Interestingly, during the period of my self-imposed restriction on facebook, I noticed several positive changes in me. Without mincing words, I became less depressed, more productive, very efficient and wonderful night rest. Therefore, I became more convinced that Facebook sucks our life by bombarding us with distressful contents. It utilizes psychological theories to hack into our brain to keep us glued to our phone screens.
We pay them by wasting our time clicking, sharing, liking and scrolling – again and again, and again, in the name of connecting us with our friends and families. They make their money by putting photos, personal posts, news stories and ads in our front. Because they can measure how we react, they just know how to get under our skin to collect data about us in order to have algorithms to determine what will catch our eye.
The recent controversy surrounding facebook data scandal attests to this claim. Indeed, Facebook is not only toxic, it has assumed a demonic position that kills our happiness, depletes our well-being, spreads resentments, erodes trust, polarizes our world and creates a pervasive sense of inadequacy in our mind which in turn undermines our faith and suppresses our internal peace. In support of this claim, research findings published late last year revealed that spending time on Facebook can leave people “feeling worse. Facebook negatively affect our well-being.”
Reacting to the findings, Facebook admitted the authenticity of the findings but deceitfully suggesting that “spending more engaging time on the Facebook can serve as an antidote to the danger posed by its platform.” A platform that forces people to act against their wills (we must react) indeed, does not worth using. Dear readers, don’t deactivate or delete your account with Facebook just yet. Try taking a little breather from it and see what happens. After then, you can do the needful. However, the question that may crop up in your mind is: “what is the alternative to Facebook that wouldn’t suck our life but add value to it?”
Indeed, there is an alternative that is far more beneficial to our well being. This alternative is devoid of hate speeches, gory images, outlandish lies and fictitious opulence that can lead you to engage in unrealistic social comparison. Just go to Quora.com and register asap.
You select topics that are of interest and beneficial to you. Thousands, perhaps millions of answers cum solutions provided by experienced and professional individuals to numerous problems are already there waiting for you. If you spend two hours reading quora, I can assure you, your time is not wasted.
Rather, it will add value to your life. It’s unlike Facebook and its likes. The sad tale of my predicament is that, I would soon return to Facebook.
Well, I hope that one day, I would be able to totally quit the platform for good.