After a factory reset on my phone, instead of immediately signing back on to all my social media, I uninstalled it all. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. All gone.
The factory reset was necessary, as a recent software upgrade would cause the phone to crash, requiring a hard reset each time.
As soon as I signed-on my freshly reset phone, it began to immediately download all the apps I had previously installed.
It's amazing how many apps we keep on our phone that we never use. And yet, these apps diligently run in the background, doing god knows what. I uninstalled them all.
It's also amazing how many apps we seem constantly glued on. Any moment of downtime, the first thing I'd do would be to check Facebook.
Here's the funny thing: checking Facebook actually made me angry.
I was angry that each time I launched the app, Facebook would grab my GPS location.
I was angry at the fact that everytime I launched the app, rather than starting up where I left it, it kept shoving me back on the news page, face to face to people's posts.
I was angry at the plethora of advertising plastered all over it.
Most of all, I was angry reading people's insipid posts. We may have gone to the moon, but the reality is that we're all a boring bunch. Must we tell everyone in the world?
Amazingly, there was no withdrawal. I didn't need it. I didn't think about it. Most importantly, I didn't miss it.
But Facebook missed me.
Within days, my sudden drop of activity must've been picked up by one of the social media's AI programs. It sent me an email notification that a "friend" had posted a photo to their timeline.
Other than to warn me of policy changes, Facebook has never contacted me like that before. It really wanted me back, like a rejected stalker from a bad breakup.
Unsubscribing from the notification proved futile. Every few days, I receive a different one. I might know these people. Unsubscribe. So and so liked a photo you're tagged in. Unsubscribe. These people are on Facebook. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe.
At the end of each one of these emails is a button that feels like an order:
GO TO FACEBOOK
No, I will not.
Never mind how much better my phone runs now without all the social media bloatware.
Or that I am not made angry, witnessing the sheer boredom of all of society.
If Facebook so badly wants me back, using bait-lines or the titillating possibility to reconnect from someone from the past as an incentive, bailing out of it feels like leaving an abusive relationship built on lies and broken promises.
There is a way out. But only if you're willing to take it.
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