March 8th, 2010


Driving home this evening, I crested the summit of the Santa Cruz mountains and was greeted with some weird weather.  It was raining, and it was simultaneously snowing.  I stopped the car, disbelieving what I was seeing, but a step outside the car confirmed it.  Snow.  Nothing that was sticking to the ground, but white, fluttery, slow-falling snow nonetheless.

On my departing from Facebook...

Several weeks ago, I abruptly departed from Facebook.  I didn't have a single reason for leaving, rather I had a whole bunch of half-reasons.  I'll get into them shortly.

First, I want to mention that it has been painful to do without the daily interaction with all of my friends.  I truly love you.  You make my life better and I hope that I had a hand in making yours better as well.  Now, I feel very lonely, but it's a self-imposed loneliness, and what's more, it's a similar level of interaction that I had before I started using Facebook regularly about a year ago, so it's possibly an artificial loneliness stemming from the addiction of being surrounded by my friends.

Anyway, here are the reasons I left Facebook:
  1. Facebook's User Experience sucks.  Changes are forced onto users rather than providing users with options so they can choose how they experience Facebook.
  2. Some of Facebook's forced changes forced me to fundamentally change how I used Facebook.  I didn't use Facebook the way most people did because I'd configured it to prioritize certain types of messages and to not show me other types.  One day, that all disappeared.
  3. Facebook wasn't reliably showing me all of my friends' feeds.  I started to notice that one or two entries got dropped from here and there, which was enough for me to miss things that my friends thought were important.
  4. Facebook lost my trust.  With the forced UI changes came some privacy changes which defaulted certain things to become publicly viewable.  I became concerned that Facebook might change anything at any time without considering my desire for privacy.
  5. Facebook lost my trust.  I read articles about how they had implemented a global password that, if entered, would grant access to any account.  The reasons that such a thing would exist are limited and none of them are trustworthy.
  6. Facebook lost my trust.  I was allowed to see certain status changes of people who weren't my friend, merely because I had invited them to become a friend and they had ignored my request.
  7. Facebook lost my trust.  Though it happened after I left, the fact that Facebook misdirected over 100 private messages to a reporter helps me justify my belief that Facebook is untrustworthy.
  8. Facebook seems to be run by someone lacking ethics or respect for his users.  This has permeated through Facebook's culture.
Now, all of these things combine to give me enough of a reason to part ways with Facebook.

But I have some ideas that I will share on what would make an ideal social networking site.  In my next post.