My friends on Facebook (fb) will miss my likes and comments, mostly praises and prayers on their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. They will also miss my complimentary posts on their graduation and ordination. And I am sorry about that.
But let’s get one fact clear: My decision to say bye to fb has nothing to do with any dislike for all my friends. Indeed, I value and cherish relationships. And I am particularly thankful to fb for enabling me to dig up and reconnect with old school classmates and colleagues as well as with other acquaintances through its vast,global loop of connectedness. Honestly, it has been great reliving old memories with some of these old folks.
But like every good thing, it must come to an end. So, dear friends, my exit from fb has no bearing with being tired of our relationship. No. It has to do with a rethink of how I use or should I say how I spend my limited time on mother earth, generally and specifically on fb.
Since I joined fb some seven years ago my average time spent on fb (atsofb) has been on the climb. Today, I can say that the platform and to some extent one or two other social sites take an average of 6 hours from me per day. That means I spend about 6 x 365 or 2190 hours of my annual time allocation on chats, posting, ticking likes and poking emojis. That gives a 25 percentage point or a quarter of my annual life span spent on these gregarious platform. What a wonderful way to waste life?
There are other reasons I am quitting fb. I found out, and you may controvert this claim, that the platform is patently anti-intellectual in content and garb. I am a seminal person and like to engage even, if briefly and slightly in discourses. But fb is not a platform for such deep intellectual genre. For instance, have you posted a joke and a poem separately on your timeline? And you will be shocked to find out that the poem would be treated as an anathema while the rancorous joke may even attract to you new requests for social friendship, both from known and unknown sources, far and near. Mind you, the elegantly written poem.issitting in a dead pan.
What about the ubiquitous fake news, fake friends and fake clips? I pray you don’t fall victim of any of this tripodal menace. I have seen many fb and genuine friends fall victim of these nefarious activities routinely carried out by hackers, trolls and bots on the social platform. For example, a friend, ordained a minister of God, once had his fb account hacked and invaded with porn videos, a vice that almost ruined his episcopal calling at work.
Me a statistic? This is the most villainous sin of fb. This is the practice of reducing my total being to either an alphabet or a numeric for the purpose of raking in advertising revenue. Every fb account holder or user is maximally a statistical unit or digit for the purpose of tapping information about his/her unique likes, dislikes, do’s and don’ts, including your locations and profile of your family and friends. It is an absurd way of invading one’s privacy for generating revenues by marketing such customized information to corporations and institutions of state.
To me it is not wisdom to allow ’I’ to be used by Zuckerberg and his cohorts to make millions of dollars and be celebrated by corporations and institutions as a digital whiz kid, icon and entrepreneur. What? I better drop it off.
And have you ever thought about what fb will do to the troves of personal information collected about you, say, in the next 20 years or even 100 years?
Have you ever thought that information data about individuals may translate into archival treasures in 10, 20 or even 50 years?
Imagine my great grandchildren buying information about me @fb auction.–their grandfather or great grandpa as the cae may be. Of course, this is because fb has limitless opportunities to endlessly profit from this information it has stored up. This rich data includes, but not limited, to my conversations, photos, anniversary celebrations, dance steps and other routine chats that you might now consider insignificant. This information may contain such mundane issues as how I chat with my spouse, children and others, including, dangerously some of ‘exes.’ What a buffoonery, people will latersay?
Another reason, I am turning my back on fb has to do with its prevalent anti- social culture. Often times, the platform has a veritable vehicle breeding anti- social behavior such as bullying and envy, the green-eyed monster. For instance, people take offence if you do not like their posts or you fail to send congratulatorymessages during their birthdays, wedding anniversaries. Why you may ask? Because they expect you like a zombie to be permanently glued to fb monitoring every post.So, to those of you still hanging on to or enmeshed in it, beware of what you post. It has been found out that your comments, photos or ordinary like clicks may determine who hires or fires you. For students and other kids, your interactions on social platforms may determine why colleges accept you or not in spite of your brilliant performance because once your stuff is online there is no indelible ink to fully wipe it off. Or as the saying goes, there is no hidng place for the gold fish.
And since I hate my private information and that of my family to be on display in ome innocuous auctions later on, I am calling it quits with the plattform. Cheerio!
Dr. Olanipekun, former head of Corporate and Public Affairs at Covenant University. He consults and teaches in the US. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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