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5 Reasons to Stay Away from Facebook

Updated on August 23, 2017

The Facebook Vortex

I am a staunch supporter of NO FACEBOOK. I have gotten so much nonsense about this decision, that I have gotten my reasons for my abstinence so packed down. Blah blah blah, yes my friends are on it, no I will never be on it, yes, I have tried it, no I hate it, etc. etc. Staying away from Facebook has been kind of like staying away from alcohol when my friends offer it to me. Hard, yes, but definitely worth it. This lens will explain exactly my reasoning as to why I have stayed off this social networking site covering some topics that are pretty standard (privacy for example) and others maybe not so expected (read an find out!). Here's the deal, you take a few minutes out of your life to read this lens, and I just might be able to save your life from the Facebook Vortex Life Sucker. Sounds like a deal? OK, then. Let us proceed.

Privacy

Nearly every week, there is some sort of article in the news about how Facebook flunked (once again and again and again...) in the privacy department. One disgruntled reader posted a comment "Facebook and privacy should never be used in the same sentence." I was on Facebook for one month. And I saw a LOT of information on there. It was actually rather disorienting the amount of information that can be found about one person simply by having an account. I could never have even met that person and I would know who his/her girlfriend or boyfriend was, whether he/she liked heavy metal music, what kind of past times they take part in (including the ultimate Facebook), sometimes their birthday, personal pictures (not always putting them in the best of light), random facts about themselves which get "thumbs up" because they are so random, etc.

I am honestly not that old (no, I'm not telling you my birthday) but comparatively, I know more about this random person I never met than my best friend knows about me. It is astounding that such personal details are shared as whimsically and are getting exploited. Yes, exploited. You didn't think Facebook was free for just for free right?

Your friends aren't the only ones looking at your info. There are tons of robots that scan your page and analyze it to parse you likes and dislike and send that information to post relevant ads whenever you open up the page. Third party companies are allowed to choose keywords to post their ads so that when you signify that you "like" one of those keywords or you post something about it, TADA, there's a new ad on your page.

OK, so that make two kinds of creeps: you ex-friends and some weirdo company out there trying to get cash off of you. Neither seems to be that flattering to me. So why on earth would you trustingly post your deepest darkest secrets on an ONLINE site (keyword: Online - online means the entire world can potentially read it) and much less one that is profitable and couldn't care less about privacy? There are numerous cases where Facebook has failed in protecting the users' information (see the Reference module for the link to numerous cases), so reason one not to use Facebook: It ain't private!

Do you really care?

Relationships get a huge hit by the introduction of Facebook in your lives. Many learnt and experienced writers have difficulty in expressing emotions in exactly the way they want to in writing because ultimately, each person parses the writing through the own lens created by unique life experiences to feel the emotion that they do. For example, a line about a little boy falling down and scraping his knee could mean nothing to one person and yet cause another to burst into tears because recently a little boy in their life died.

The wonderful thing about talking directly to people is that the emotion is far more likely to come across as intended. If the wrong notion is assumed, then the opposition is able to express that and an explanation can follow. With Facebook, more people are likely to assume the worst and keep it to themselves causing a mental disengagement from the person and a lack of further interest in pursuing a valid relationship. Short form: you start to hate them. But of course you don't want to say that, right? You still want to be at the top of the leader board with 947 friends.

Here's my policy: I have email, I have a cell phone, and I have a permanent home address. If you really are my friend, then you will attempt to keep contact through one of those mediums. If you don't bother, then you aren't a friend worth keeping. All relationships require work and a drive to be successful. If no such drive exists, then that relationship isn't worth pursuing. Your time is far better spend doing other useful things, like spending quality time with those people whom your relationship does matter. By sparingly using your relationship resources on 947 friends (which is basically liking and poking) you are neglecting those relationships which require more than a poke (say, you HUSBAND or WIFE for example). Thus, these relationships disintegrate.

It is quite unfortunate, but in my opinion, Facebook kills relationships. It puts too much emphasis on size rather than value which is demeaning of our overall humanity. Relationships is what makes life awesome and being alone on the computer... well it doesn't even sound that great to me.

Life is not Facebook.

A wonderful quote from Dumbledore from Harry Potter's master, J.K. Rowling: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

If you really think about it, Facebook is much like a dream that you can control. What you post online could be nothing close to the truth... you live in a 3 story mansion? Fine no one is really going to check, but you'll certainly get a lot of thumbs up. The dream is relatively measured by likes and your population is your friends. There are a few you interact with using posts, but the satisfaction is fleeting once you wake up (or log off).

By engaging significant portions of the day on Facebook, I think we are "forgetting to live." What happened to the good old days of stopping by in a cafe and chatting over coffee about the latest gossip around town with tons of emotions and enthusiasm. I would even argue that Facebook can also make you delusional. Thinking that you really have a thousand friends is going to make your real life seem awfully dull and friendless when not one of those thousand would be willing to stop and talk to you for five minutes when you meet each other at the grocery store or at the bank. Is it really so bad to have maybe just four or five close friends versus a thousand friendless friends?

Spend an hour on Facebook if you must, but please take the time to head outside and interact with yourself or nature. Facebook doesn't help you experience anything; it doesn't help you learn about yourself. By staying on Facebook, I believe that in fact, you are doing mental damage in the progression of brain development with regard to life experiences. Why? Because Facebook is simply not life.

Facebook vs Google+

You know where I personally stand on this issue. I am curious to see what you all have to say regarding the debate between which social networking site is more useful, more protected, more likable, etc. Sound off!

Which social networking site do you prefer and why?

Bullying

Many celebrities have already taken a stance on bullying but a large part of the problem stems from the medium in which bullying takes place. The internet is a perfect way to mask one's identity and pick on those who seem a little insecure, just to make themselves feel better. Facebook unwittingly encourages bullying by providing the mask the bullies need to avoid getting caught, as well as creating a fake sense of security for the victims who post everything about themselves up for judgment.

The internet is a cruel place and the need to be "liked," "popular," etc. are only encouraged by sites like Facebook. Recently there was an article about how young women post videos and pictures about themselves with the tag "Am I Pretty?" You know just as well as I do that the majority of commenters will post something along the lines of "No way!" It is a cruel and ugly world on the net, and for kids as young as 12 who have no idea to this cruelty, Facebook should most definitely be banned.

If you are a parent, watch over what your child's interaction with the internet. At such a young age, they are not yet tough enough to withstand the amount of pure bullying that can take place, including on Facebook. Better yet, just don't let them get one. There are still kids at school who are prohibited from the site and these are the friends that might last a whole lot longer than a "friend" on Facebook!

A Positive Note

All this time I have been harping about what one loses by being on Facebook... let me try to put a positive spin now.

Staying off of Facebook allows you to have more free time. If you spend even an hour on Facebook, imagine what you could be doing with an extra hour. Perhaps you start on that overdue scrapbook project, play outside at the park with your kids, go out on a date, or even get an extra hour of sleep. All it takes is one step... a deletion of a webpage that can create this many memories. Over the year, you have spent 356 more quality hours with those who really matter. I say that's a plus!

Staying off of Facebook also allows you to build up your self confidence. Removing all that negativity from your life can simply make you happier! It could be at work and/or at home... a happy person is much nicer to be around anyway! Being happy is clinically believed to be beneficial in you work life (i.e. maybe that promotion seems much more closer now!) and in your physical wellness life (woot woot! There goes your 10 pounds!). You make the world a nicer place to be in!

And finally, staying off of Facebook allows you to love. Love is not made up of tiny texts. Love is something that is created and tended to. Love is something that needs special care and from it, the rewards can be priceless. Nothing in the world is worth more than love, in my opinion, and to make sure it still stays alive, I would bet that Facebook is but a small price to pay!

References

Here are some interesting articles that I read to create this lens. They are all excellent reads and I would highly recommend them. Happy browsing!

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    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      I try to stay away from Facebook as much as possible lol! It's too addictive.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      I do actually like Facebook for one main reason . .. it allows me to connect with people I never would have stayed in touch with otherwise. I keep my friends list very small, but I have people on there from my high school days, from my preschool days, etc. Since I live in a foreign country, Facebook makes it easier to stay in touch. that being said, I am careful what I post there. I'd rather not have everyone know every little detail of my life. I see some people posting horrible things about their spouse or children because they had a spat . . . that can just cause SO many more issues. So . .. I'm partly in agreement with you, but I do like to use the site in moderation.

    • profile image

      chanellegracegarcia 4 years ago

      I enjoyed this article so much. My doctor and I had discussion about Facebook last week and he referred your article to me because he knew I would totally agree. His daughter went through a tough time in her marriage and when she quit Facebook, she spent more time focusing on her marriage. Staying away from Facebook allowed her to avoid opening any "portals" of negativity and unnecessary feelings. This happened to me as well. When I deactivated my Facebook, I found happiness in many areas like never before especially in my marriage and family! I have more confidence in myself and many other areas. I even started to write a children's chapter book which will be published in July or August of this year. Now I'm working on the beginning of another new children's picture book series. I'm also starting to write a young adult fiction novel. I write during the first two hours after my children are tucked in bed. Before I had deactivated my Facebook, those two hours were spent on Facebook! I found my passion after deactivating! Another example is that before I had deactivated my Facebook, my husband and I would have very short conversations during our short road trips. This was because I would be too busy scrolling the news feed and replying back to 'FB friends' who had commented on my status/post. Now 100% of my focus and attention is on my husband and children's conversation during our short road trips and it's an amazing difference. Our short road trips are now filled with non-stop conversations and laughter! This is a fantastic article!

    • rosiembanks profile image

      rosiembanks 4 years ago

      Like a lot of things, I don't think Facebook is inherently good or bad, I think it all comes down to how you use it. If you're careful about your settings and what you share, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. Having said that, I think Facebook should take more responsibility for making sure their users are safe. Great lens!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 4 years ago from Land of Aloha

      If it weren't for networking my writing, my personal Facebook page would be deactivated that's for sure. It's too time consuming and in many ways it's silly.

    • catkid123 profile image

      catkid123 4 years ago

      When facebook first began, like Myspace, I was making a lot of social connections and planning parties and things to go do with people. But lately, to me it's gotten old and is a popularity contest. I agree. I just reactivated mine because a friend of mine is on there, but I don't prefer it and it is a giant time consumer and an invasion of privacy. I cannot believe how literal people take facebook. They even cry over posts. I have less friends now, but I have those friends that matter. I prefer to write blogs instead. At least that way most of my life stays private.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Life is definitely not on facebook.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      Gotta say I heartily agree with you. I use Facebook and Google+ but mostly for promoting lenses and blog posts. I hope that i am pretty careful about what I say. yes I know that advertisers will pick out my profile and decide whether to post an advert on pages I visit but I can gloss over those, rarely take time out to foolow up adverts; I think they are a waste of time mostly.

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

      Great information for Facebook addicts!

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Very few people really understand that Facebook is not private...I am amazed everyday by the posts I see on there...who is on vacation and where they went and how long they will be gone for...Hello? I think a lot of this comes from the "death of common sense".....

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      I have a Facebook account after being nagged to join but it never gets used. I saw something on the news today about a German credit agency data mining Facebook to determine a person's credit worthiness. Ugh! What next!

    • Monica Ranstrom profile image

      Monica Ranstrom 5 years ago

      I use facebook quite a bit to keep in touch with people and to share pictures. I know how to control who sees what on my page and how to eliminate posts from people that I don't want to see. I try to post only positive things so that I am building other people up and I chose to have friends who do the same. I do agree that there are drawbacks. I don't think that kids should be on facebook and that parents should be aware of what goes on, just as they should with any type of media their kids are involved in. I also agree that our society in general is spending too much time on computers, smart phones etc. But I can't really see how to get our youth off of these things! How do you teach youth to interact with human beings when they spend their time texting and tweeting!

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      I agree with many of your points but I have remained on the site because I use it professionally in 3 different areas. I find that now that I've eliminated all of the friends that are not really people I know on some level other than virtually or to play games, and now that I don't play games, I spend only 5 minutes a day there keeping up with my friends.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      The time will tell.... but definitely you have a point here.

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      I agree with many of your points. It has been a useful tool for me, especially to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away. However, it does have its drawbacks.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I've actually never gotten hooked on it.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      This is a very interesting topic because I really don't think that people understand (or maybe don't care) how facebook is shaping our world.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      The more I'm on it for personal reasons, the more I want to be off of it. If it weren't for my animal networking....I'd have closed up shop already.

    • Alethia LM profile image
      Author

      Alethia LM 5 years ago

      @JoshK47: Thank you so much for the blessing! Very much appreciated :) :) :)

    • Alethia LM profile image
      Author

      Alethia LM 5 years ago

      @soaringsis: I definitely agree. Any social networking site diminishes interactions between people. However, if you look at LinkedIn or say G+, I feel like the content on there is much more professional and less specific to individuals which makes it quite different than Facebook.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

    • Alethia LM profile image
      Author

      Alethia LM 5 years ago

      @andrew69: I love it!!! I'll have to start quoting that now :P Thanks for stopping by!

    • Alethia LM profile image
      Author

      Alethia LM 5 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: I'm glad to hear I have company :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • Alethia LM profile image
      Author

      Alethia LM 5 years ago

      @LynetteBell: That is really distressing to hear! :(

      I loved your comment about G+ having a professional air - I completely agree. More often, I see articles and general comments about the latest global news rather than person commentary which I greatly enjoy. Thank you for stopping by!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I was just reading about the bullying and it reminded me of an occasion I saw "is xxx fat?" I hated to see that and the comment as I know this person has been wheelchair bound for about 30 years following a stroke. How awful! Thanks for your lens.

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      I agree with you, but I also feel that all the other social sites are doing the same thing as Facebook. I think the quality of interaction in diminished by relying on some of these sites.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Valid points. I get on facebook about once a month to see what distant family members are up to.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I still use Facebook, especially for my online businesses, but I definitely agree with you on many of these notes. Well done lens, blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • mary-humphrey profile image

      mary-humphrey 5 years ago

      Facebook is annoying for the most part, I only keep mine to have pictures of my son for family and friends. Nice lens and thanks for visiting mine.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      Great, insightful lens.

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 5 years ago

      Really nice lens. Gave me somethings to think about.

    • profile image

      andrew69 5 years ago

      I read a nice saying - " Log in to facebook. Delete your account. Get your butt back to work.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      FaceBook takes ownership of anything you post. That is why I will not go there.

      Squidoo not only made me laugh laugh while reading the agreement but will not take ownership of what is posted. This ment a lot to me as my first few lenses contained my poems.

    • profile image

      datakrunch 5 years ago

      I defnitely agree. People aren't meant to stay in contact with every single person they've met. I know people that skip homework to have more Facebook time, effectively accomplishing nothing. At least they know that Bob went to Home Depot today.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      This is a very insightful lens. Many won't agree with you but I do!