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Why I Don't Have Facebook

Updated on June 19, 2016

If I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me if I'm on facebook, I would have enough to buy a new wardrobe. And they're surprisingly expensive.

Surprisingly expensive.
Surprisingly expensive.

When I say no, they always seem incredibly surprised- how could a teenager NOT have facebook? And I get the feeling the question was not in fact a question at all- it was more like a way for them to test the waters and see whether or not I'd accept a friend request from them.

Anyway, I digress. The point of this article is not to talk about people saying one thing and meaning another. This article aims to address the most common follow-up question I receive:

"But WHY don't you have facebook?"

Well, my friend**, my reasons are plentiful. And below.

You get spam emails from Facebook

I have a fake facebook profile under a fake name I use for competition purposes only. I do have a few friends on there, since random people requested me to be their friend and I decided having a few would make my account seem more legit.

Boy do I regret that decision. I started getting emails whenever they planted flowers in some virtual facebook game, and when they needed ammo or something for another game and the emails just KEPT ON COMING!

The story just goes downhill from here. They started signing me up to facebook groups, and everytime someone made a post in the group I would get an email! One day I was added to a group called "cool jokes" or something like that. I woke up to 200 emails in my inbox and was like: o.O

Now this may just be me being a technology dunce, but I couldn't figure out a way to stop these group mails from coming except by un-subscribing to the various groups one at a time. Maybe there is an easier way to make the copious amount of emails stop. But either way, it's a hassle and a nuisance.

Having the most friends on Facebook can become a competition

There was a stage where nearly every week I would overhear at least one person say something along the lines of:

"I have 572 friends."

Um. No, you don't have 572 friends. You have accepted/requested 572 people you know to increase your friends number on facebook. I truly believe it is impossible to have that many friendships- genuine friendships. Because friends are the people you spend time with, and they take work. It's impossible to maintain that many friends.

In fact, if you ever actually talked to them on facebook, I bet it would probably be something like this:

Kate: Hi James!

James: Hi Kate! I haven't seen you since we met at that dentist 4 years ago! How are you?

Kate: Fine. You?

James: Fine.

Kate: :-)

James: LOL

Kate: lol

(long pause)

James: I have to go cook dinner/ do homework/ go to work/ walk the dog/ talk to someone who actually matters.

Kate: Bye. Cya later!

Since this is the internet and good grammar/spelling is about as likely as Mark Zuckerberg not exploiting the private data you place on facebook to profit off you from specifically targeted ads, you can erase a few vowels and capital letters from the conversation as well.

Your Private Details May Not Be So Private on Facebook

The privacy settings can be complicated to set, and as a result some people may think their data is private but it's not.

On top of that, it's my understanding that if you are friends with somebody, you can see all the profiles of their friends, even if they are private. This means that a potentially very large group of people can see your personal information.

Building on that, your boss (or a prospective employer) could see it. Even if they don't see your profile, they can see your picture. Them seeing you drinking margaritas in a bikini or whatever other unprofessional picture you may have up could be the difference between getting a job and not getting it.

People do look for your facebook profile for nefarious reasons. Take this story: A woman diagnosed with major depression was unable to work and was receiving benefits. The insurance providers started watching her facebook page, and after she posted some photos of herself smiling they stopped paying her. Source: ABC News

Facebook Is Addictive and Wastes A Lot of TIme

For reasons that are unfathomable to me, people seem to spend hours on Facebook, most of the time speaking to people they could easily go and see in person. I think that people are spending so much time with technology, they're gradually losing the ability to communicate without it, as well as losing their social skills. Attention spans are getting shorter, and this may just be among my age-group, but people are integrating chatspeak into real life conversations. I understand that language is constantly evolving, but it seems to me it's now devolving.

Not only do people spend time talking online to people they could be talking to in person, it also seems easy to get sucked into one of the numerous addictive Facebook games, such as Farmville. These games aim to be addictive and suck you in.

In the case of Alexandra Tobias, this had a tragic outcome. The 22 year old mother's 3 month old baby was crying during a session of Farmville and Tobias was so frustrated by this that she shook the baby, who then died.

I'm sure there are other reasons people don't like Facebook, but these are the main ones for me.

*Going for full disclosure here: I actually technically do have a facebook- but under a slightly diferent name to my own, and none of my real life friends know about it. It is solely for competitions and free stuff that require you to like a page on facebook.

** I use the term friend very loosely here, since chances are I don't actually know you. Think of me as like a facebook friend.


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    • Junaid Ghani profile image

      Junaid Ghani Durrani 5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      That is somewhat right. In accordance with the personal information, the privacy is not as private as we think.

    • EmpressFelicity profile image

      EmpressFelicity 5 years ago from Kent, England, UK

      I don't use Facebook either - at least, not under my real name. (I do also have a dummy Facebook account under an assumed name, but I only use it when somebody wants me to look at a website that you can only log into via a Facebook account.)

      The reason I don't use it is that I'm rubbish at social networking (the friending/fanning/mutual grooming thing) - it makes me hugely uncomfortable. I joined Cheezburger a while back and posted a few LOLs, only to find that half a dozen random people wanted to be my "friend". Why??? In fact, it made me so uncomfortable that I stopped posting there.

      More serious is the concern I have about misuse of advertising (there was a recent news story about how your Facebook friends would be shown an advertisement in their feed saying that you had "liked" a particular product - IIRC, Facebook made it possible to opt out of that one after there was an outcry). And you also hear about Facebook making occasional changes to privacy settings without people knowing, so that things which were once private no longer are.

      Luckily I'm over 40 so the pressure to use Facebook is correspondingly less than it would be for a younger person.

    • profile image

      john burke australia 5 years ago

      spot on

    • Doctor Kristy profile image

      Kristy Callan 5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you all for commenting!

      tlnanderson- That wasn't me that wrote sour grapes (I actually thought the comment was directed at my article). Your comment was very logical and I agree with your point of view. This article is just the reasons why I personally don't use facebook. They are not factual if they don't apply to you, that's fine! Even if I didn't agree, everyone's still allowed to express their own opinion. Thank you for your comment. Sorry to hear you were ill, I hope you're feeling better!

    • tlnanderson profile image

      tlnanderson 5 years ago

      Not sour grapes, I guess I felt like I was being treated as someone with less value because I use Facebook. I will admit I was a bit ill when I wrote this and I did say I thought it was good you were your own person. I can have an opinion too!!! LOL! Sorry if it sounded hateful. I also liked your article if that means anything.

    • webtactechs profile image

      webtactechs 5 years ago from hawaii

      sour grapes-somebody got up on the wrong side of the facebook this morning!LOL

    • tlnanderson profile image

      tlnanderson 5 years ago

      I understand when you are a teenager your friends are closer and your world is a bit smaller, but I have friends all over the country and could not possibly spend one on one time with them. Not to mention the fact that I am the mother of 4 boys and keeping up with them, plus working a full time job does not leave me a lot of time for sitting around, talking on the phone. If I can send a couple of lines to my friends and family through Facebook, look at pictures of them with their families and just stay in touch, that is wonderful for me. You are right, nobody should stay on any social network for endless hours and I am glad to see that you have the confidence to stand on your own and not follow the crowd. Just remember there are good reasons to use Facebook too.

    • Chanda Gunter profile image

      Chanda Gunter 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

      I think it's great you are not getting sucked into the vacuum of social media, not many people can say that (including myself). Just for your information though, and anyone else reading your hub, Facebook has made it extremely easy to keep your information private, hide game requests/info, turn off email notifications, and escape groups and their notifications. Of course you have to know how to do it, but there is lots of help out there starting with Facebooks own help section. Good luck, stay strong, and keep up the good work! :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Facebook is a time sucker but I do not spend much time here. My reasons for being on this network is to interact with the people I know and who are so far in distance that its not possible to connect otherwise even by email. I make full use of the message facility on FB.

      I enjoyed your rant against FB but if one makes judicious use of time here then FB can't control you.

      Great hub. Voted useful and interesting.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Yay! Hooray!! Bravo!!! and ain't it the truth, Child?! :)

      The one question that comes to my mind when I am shown some of what's on Facebook is, "Why aren't these people embarrassed?" That alone has my curiosity up, but so does a lot of what you mention here.

      I often think about the fact that anyone can write anything, but it takes real experience with people before you know whether what they say is true.

      Thanks for an interesting read. :)

    • ChrisMyth profile image

      ChrisMyth 5 years ago from Scotland

      Wow! Someone after my own heart. Literally everything you said I agree with, and they are all the reasons I don't use Facebook or any social networking site for that matter. Thanks for this Hub, with so many people using Facebook I thought I might have been the only one ;D Great Hub, keep it up!

    • petenali profile image

      Pete 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Best line... "Since this is the internet and good grammar/spelling is about as likely as Mark Zuckerberg not exploiting the private data you place on facebook to profit off you from specifically targeted ads, you can erase a few vowels and capital letters from the conversation as well." That is my pet peeve with the whole texting, Facebook, etc. etc.

      Neat hub... nothing we didn't already know, but well presented.

      By the way, you can hide those posts from FarmVille.