You've been zucked.London Street art Shoreditch.Shot on film, Kodak Portra 800, Nikon FM2n

Weaning off of Facebook

Birgit Pauli-Haack  

There were multiple occasions, when it was clear to me that Facebook’s success is in part due to making profit of the propagated hate on its network. Facebook’s leadership could play naive in 2017, when it came out that their network was partly taking over by bots, trying to divide the country, target groups with disinformation and blatantly called for hate and violence. After many apologies later, nothing seems to have changed. Facebook likes making profit and likes that the fringe groups in societies around the world found a home. It’s algorithm still bubbles up hateful content into people’s news feeds.

Yeah, but what happened?

Yesterday, I requested my data download from Facebook. You can deactivate your account, and keep Messenger active for private messages.

How to divest yourself from Facebook?

The plan

  • Request a data download. ✔️
  • Deactivate account August 30, 2020 at 6pm. ✔️
  • Stay in touch with people for 30 days via Messenger ✔️
  • Delete account on September 29th, 2020 ✔️

You can delete your account right away. I decided to deactivate it first, stay in touch with people via Messenger and find new connection pathways for 30 days. I will delete my account afterwards. (and get another 30 days of grace period)

On August 30, 2020 at 11pm EDT. I will deactivate my account and delete it after 30 days.

I posted:

Dear friends. The time has come.

Tonight around 6pm EDT, I will deactivate my Facebook account, for a trial period for 30-days, with the goal to delete my account afterwards.

I won’t see your posts, links or comments. You won’t see mine.

With some of you, I only connect with on Facebook. We still will have messenger, so we can find new pathways to stay in touch. Messenger will still work and that’s the only app, I keep on the phone over the next 30 days.

I downloaded my data Jun 4, 2007 – Aug 29, 2020. I used the HTML download, so I can review it on my browser from my computer.

My email is birgit.pauli@gmail.com
I will stay on Twitter https://twitter.com/bph (for now)
You also find me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/birgitpaulihaack/
Feel free to connect there.

And also shared on Twitter thread:

Now I am reviewing my Facebook data. Stay tuned.

Photos are shared on Instragram

I received a few comments from people that they will miss my photos in their stream and that’s what I have mostly been sharing on Facebook in the last few years. And that was before COVID-19 cancelled all travels. Now, all I share photos from our daily walks and from our ever changing backyard. Still beautiful, but nothing new to see.

And my photos keep on living on Instagram, where I posted all the shared photos first and then pushed them to Facebook and Twitter. Quite a few people started following on Instagram after my announcement. Welcome.

Christian and I talked about the fact that two apps we use a lot, Instagram and WhatsApp are also owned by Facebook. For now, I will stay on them. Instagram might be on the chopping block as well. I am still testing the WordPress to Google Photos integration, if it can be useful for my workflow.

Update September 3rd, 2020

Today, I told a project manager at one of our business customers, that I won’t be able to assist in Facebook related issues any more as I deactivated my account.

She seemed to be fine with it, after I showed her, how she can reconnect their website to Facebook again for automatic push to of content to their page. Not sure if I should mention it in our next customer emails.

A few more facebook friends went through the trouble and reconnect on other platforms, mostly Instagram and LinkedIn. Long time friends reconnected via emails.

Upate September 29, 2020

Just now, I deleted the account on Facebook. Good riddens.

My creativity has increased, both professionally as well as off work. i started writing letters, longer emails and connect with people in PMs on Slack spaces. I also started following more blogs again.

My news intake is three emails per day:

That’s it. On the weekend and during lunch, I read selected news from the New York Times and scroll through the Google News on my phone, avoiding political news on both.

Yes, i am still on Twitter, which I use mostly to learn about things. I have been reviewing my following list and will increase the frequency of reviews. Twitter has a rate limit on how many people you can unfollow per day. It’ll take a while.

The latest Facebook revelation:

Channel 4: Revealed: Trump campaign strategy to deter millions of Black Americans from voting in 2016

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