Two weeks ago I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. There were several reasons for it, #1 being my phone just flat out wasn’t working properly, #2 being Facebook was addictive and dangerous.
For the past several months something was terribly wrong with my smartphone. I could almost never send or receive calls or texts, but voicemails would come in just fine. Even though I would have full bars indicating a decent reception, I would continually get “out of network” errors. I also noticed that my phone kept trying to wake itself up. It would be sitting on the kitchen counter while I’d be doing other things and I would see the screen light up and try to unlock itself. Sometimes when I would attempt to unlock my phone I would be forced to wait because it had already had 10 incorrect attempts to open the screen. Contacting T-Mobile didn’t help either; they suggested I upgrade my device since my warrenty was up. Sorry, not doing that! When my phone’s memory was used up because of my picture taking addiction, I had to clear out some space. After emptying out my gallery, I then looked into apps that were taking up space but didn’t really need. Since I don’t have games, Facebook was the only one left.
I thought about the time I spent on Facebook and how desperate I was for time. Even though I tried making “black outs”, periods where Facebook was off limits like meal times or while the kids were awake, it was still so tempting to check it. I checked it constantly. I found myself getting annoyed at the kids for interrupting me while reading “just this one article”. I kept catching myself thinking of how I’d caption a particular photo, even if I didn’t even take the picture. I was always coming up with witty status updates, or even wishing something would happen so I could update about it. I wasn’t exactly glued to my phone, but I knew it wouldn’t be long until I was. I had to break the addiction before it got worse.
Aside from the ridiculous amount of time spent on the app, I was also concerned with safety. There was a big hullabaloo over the Facebook Messenger app and I could only assume the same questionable security issues were a part of the regular Facebook app. I had already downloaded and removed the messenger app before everyone made a big stink about it simply because I hated the constant pinging updates from people sending me messages. I simply didn’t have time to text-chat all day, and found it annoying.
However, if you check out their terms of service, they require you to agree to protect other user’s security, identities, and information yet they don’t even do that themselves. They also request you to agree to not use your timeline for financial gain (authors, you can’t self promote, and moms you can’t peddle your Avon stuff) yet they surely gain financially by feeding you advertisements based on your profile and browser search history. You also have to agree to use your real, legal name and to keep your contact info accurate and up-to-date. Why?! I just can’t agree to this kind of a relationship.
Now, I didn’t completely ditch Facebook. I was using my account through the web browser, but I can no longer upload pictures, so I’ve added the app to my tablet, yet log out when not in use. Sure, it’s a pain in the butt, but the inconvenience of it helps to keep me off of it. Also, my phone began working properly almost instantly after the app was removed. Calls come in like they should, the network is always accessible, and the camera no longer spontaneously turns on. Coincidence? Perhaps. I’ll keep an eye on my tablet to see if anything strange starts happening there. If it does, I’ll probably delete my account altogether.