I've just deleted my Facebook and Twitter. Here's why...
IT WAS MARCH 2009 WHEN I CREATED MY FACEBOOK.
EXACTLY TEN YEARS LATER, I DELETED IT.
I had just arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, on my very first experience overseas, and I didn't even know what Facebook was. Up until then I had been using Orkut, a similar social media platform that had been taken over by Brazilians.
It was only after chatting with fellow international students at the same English school that I learned what Facebook actually was and decided to join it so I could be in touch with everyone I was meeting. In the years that followed, my network grew to over a 1,000 “friends” and accessing it daily became a part of my daily ritual.
I was never the type who shared that much and what I eat for breakfast, but if I said I was not hooked by it, I would be lying. My photography fan page also grew over the years, and it became a space where I would share pictures, interesting articles and also some comments about politics. I had over 2,000 followers and they seemed to be genuinely engaged by the content I was sharing.
However, over the last months I was growing tired of it all. I asked myself: “What is Facebook giving me? Is it giving me something at all? Is it making me any better?” The answer were, respectively, Nothing, No and No.
I was tired of wasting my precious time aimlessly scrolling down my feed only to see people sharing what they were eating, stuff they had just bought or what they were wearing. I got tired of discussing politics with those who seem to believe in only what they want to believe, very often going against facts and historical events. I grew tired of seeing people, all time, trying hard to sell an image, creating online personas that, perhaps most of the time, do not really represent who they really are.
Some people are so busy pretending to be someone that they forget to actually BE someone...
I was also not happy about the way Facebook has been using our personal information for marketing purposes. I wanted to reclaim my privacy. I wanted to feel freer and have more time to actually live my life, the real one.
That is why I deleted Facebook. It's been only a couple of days but I feel great.
Of course, it did bring me some good things and helped me to be in touch with people all over the world, but I have most of their emails, and a lot of them are on my Instagram - which I still have for now…
My Twitter was kind of a similar story. I don't remember when I exactly I had created it, but it had grown to be something toxic for me, especially after Bolsonaro got elected Brazil's president in 2018.
I though to myself: “Is there any point in being here for so much time, every single day, reading news, articles and opinions about events and facts that only make me depressive, and of which I have no control whatsoever?” The answer was also NO.
Of course I wanna still be informed about everything that is happening in Brazil and around the world, but I do not need to read it about all day long, first thing when I wake up and last one before I go to bed. Instead, I can just find a news website that offers a weekly digest. That way I can still remain informed while also having more time to read books and focus on my personal and professional development.
It feels liberating to finally be out of platforms that were taking so much of me and giving nothing, or very little, in return.
Friends and family members are reacting with shock when I tell them I am no longer in Facebook, as if life without it was simply impossible. Besides giving a lot of food for thought, their reaction just make me be even more sure that my decision was right.
Yes, I have indeed deleted my Facebook.
I am not going back to it.
And it feels awesome.