Samara O'Shea

The Breakup

After 11 years of being in a serious relationship with Facebook and 9 years of casually dating Twitter, I’m ending my relationship with both of them. Here’s how and why …

Facebook first. I posted this in my profile today:

After 11 years (has it been that long?!), the time has come for me to leave Facebook. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but was afraid of 1. Missing it and 2. Losing all that I had posted (photos, links, random musings, etc.). When FB made it possible for us to download our profiles, closing my account became more probable. When the NY Times article came out last week about Zuckerberg and Sandberg having long-term knowledge of Russia misusing their platform, I decided the codependence must end. I’m hoping some of you will join me on Instagram. Yes, I know Facebook owns Instagram, so I’m not cutting all ties with The Empire.

The best way I can describe my desire to go: It became too noisy. Not just the politics but the design itself. Too many ads. Too many feeds. Then there was the hacking and the aforementioned article.

Don’t get me wrong, there was more good than bad over the decade. Many meaningful connections made. A year into using FB, a friend posted video of his daughter’s first steps. Felt good to be able to see that in real time.

I’ll stay for one more week. Hope word spreads so people don’t think I unfriended them. Lovingly scroll through everyone’s Thanksgiving posts. Cyber spy on my former lovers one last time (ah, memories). Download my profile and turn off the lights.

As for Twitter: I ended that relationship on 11/16. No announcement. Done. Deactivated. I ghosted Twitter because…

1. You can’t edit Tweets and that’s always been a minor bother.

2. The notification system has changed in the last year or so. Notifications used to tell me if someone liked or commented on something I tweeted or if I had a direct message. This was useful because it enabled me to respond. Now the notifications notify me of what the people I follow have been up to while I was away. What they liked. Who they followed. Every time I logged in I had 20 or more notifications about the people I follow. Or (or!) I could just scroll through Twitter and see what everyone has been up to. Because Twitter is a big notification board.

3. Same as FB. It got to be too noisy…