I did it! I deleted Facebook

Yep. The psychological theory many companies use to harvest our attention relies on three emotional vectors (among a other things) to motivate our behavior: hope vs fear, pain vs pleasure, and social acceptance vs rejection.

BF Skinner’s schedules of reinforcement that @JohnAtl linked to are a key factor as well, effectively “dosing” dopamine through intermittent rewards.


I should also point out, these design patterns are everywhere, including this very forum.


I would say this is not a design pattern in this case – it’s just inherent to the nature of an asynchronous conversation, the way email is (remember when email was exciting and some of us would check it compulsively? I did). So it may lead to that “slot machine” pattern but it’s not intentional, and our good hosts have nothing to gain to it.
What I even find very refreshing with the way Discourse works is, it encourages long answers (20 characters), works fine with people not logging in in a few days and even encourages to “necro” threads (post in subjects that may be years old) in order to keep the discussion centralised.


I particularly like the positive tone, lack of political polarization, decent language, helpfulness, expertise and depth of thought on this forum—all of which are a sharp contrast to most of social media, and news for that matter.


At one time during election season FB was turning me into a real jerk actually, I feel bringing out the absolute worse in me. Which is a kind of combative smart alec. Thank you very much for the link too. I read Jared Lanier’s book and it had a big effect on me. I really hadn’t understood how the algorithms worked until then. I think

reality distortion field

says it well.


I think that is a really useful comment. It is what I intend to do and you have encouraged me in that direction.
It is roughly what I took Jared Lanier to be saying at one point in his book. He is quite adamant that the web could have been built to default, if you like, to that from the get go.

Yes, a lot of FB is ‘Oyster Shack’ or village pump really, My recent encounter though involved improper, unfair and mean spirited moderation. Moderation alone doesn’t solve the issue. Moderation on this site is done well and fairly. Not always the case.

I think FB wasn’t too bad until the commercial incentives kicked in. I actually met my wife on FB. So I am not a knee jerk opponent. However it is now a cess pool it really is. And in fairness to those who run it, the core problems may well be beyond their control unless they were to simply de commercialize it and effectively help do what @Wolfie suggests. His suggestion is very useful I think; made me ponder a lot when I read it and think hard about the ownership issue.

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I struggle with this a couple of times a month. I do a lot of linkhblogging and microblogging and I get in most of my conversations on Facebook. And I really like the conversations.

Twitter and micro.blog aren’t the same, and asking people to switch platforms never, ever works. I have tried that several times.

I wish - I really wish - publishing on your website alone was as effective as sharing links to your work on social media seems to be. Is it the case? I don’t know. I do have my platform and I’m publishing there as much as I can but it seems whatever content gets visited there is helped by social media.
I say « seems » because I’m not sure, and boy do I hope I’m mistaken.


For me the tradeoff of being on FB was unacceptable I can see how that might be different for somebody else though. You might be right and we do have a kind of ‘tipping point’ problem. I have no easy answer but I do believe tipping points will occur against FB, I think some might already be in place. In fact in my own circles, I hear the polite equivalent of ‘FB is for losers’ quite often now. There is though, and I see your point, a dilema as to when one can do this sometimes and avoid the ‘lock in’. It is a general problem I think with monopolies and I don’t have a glib answer, wish I did.

There will be a point when the whole things switches I actually believe. I think it has happened already. NOTE that David Sparks bailed for this very group. That was actually, due to my respect for these guys, a factor for me and I noted it. I actually mention it in circles which have nothing to do with Macs or IT. I respect their judgement in other words and that is how this works? Do you think I have something right?

FB is like a groovy bar that becomes a ‘dive’ if you know what I mean. As Yogi Berra is supposed to have said. “Nobody goes there anymore, it is too crowded”. By the way, my mom in law is there posting pro Statue memes, but the kids, well they ain’t I am told.

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OK strong point. I wouldn’t have put it that way, maybe not to my credit. I am inclined to agree with you and indeed on the complict point. I did leave partly on that consideration, I found the costs of leaving were nowhere near as high as I thought they would be. That was what was interesting to me, surprised me in fact. My own growing smart **sery there also was a reason though. I also agree that at bottom is $ and though I differ from you in that some of it is not deliberate or even happens against intentions as such, but the end result is the same and at some point well the “I was only obeying orders” defence stops working.

Or as I think, Spike Milligan or somebody used to say “I vas only giving orders”.

I’m glad I left Facebook but it was only based on its net negative effect on my life, not wanting to be part of an anti-Facebook movement. The revenue/customer cost when a business leaves can be substantial so I don’t really advocate for that. I do like to see content originate from a website/custom domain and get repeated via social, rather than originate in social.

I am also really glad MPU moved to Discourse. My goal is to get Michael Hyatt’s company to do the same for its Full Focus group.

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maybe (and I say maybe), the combination of people starting to dislike all the things that FB does and companies and media starting to stay away from it (I’ve read - very quickly - of Starbuck) will mark the beginning of the end.

I’m on the brink of deleting my instagram account (FB deleted years ago), and wish I could do without whatsapp (which I installed 1 gen 2019, to be honest, but I was the weirdo friend without WA) but that’s not feasible here (or at least it’s complicated). Whatsapp seems to me the least offender tho.


It is already happening, It isn’t as ‘cool’ as it was. That is the kiss of death, commercially and in other ways. “I got to be there” is a abysmally bad tone for any company or individual: as is ‘I obviously am just keeping this site open who cares really’. It is also the case that many of us see FB now as a competitor or obstacle in some way. I do and I think Verizon does? I even wonder about Apple actually. I would really like anybody’s opinion on that too.

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Yes, I totally agree that we are probably reaching the tipping point of it. It’s still going to be probably slow, but I’m pretty sure laws will come in 2-3 years that will severely rescind the business model of social media AND more and more people are leaving (I’m fascinated by how many of you have already left, some for quite a while). There’s a slow awareness rising as to how these things are nefarious and it’s probably only going to rise, albeit slowly. (Echoing your thoughts as well, @memex)


Ahhh.but do you still use the instagram thingy. That is Facebook as well.

I dont use any social media.

I just dont get really. It seems a lot of it encourages thinking about yourself rather than others. Also I am busy enough, how do people have time, and why would anyone be interested in what I am doing ? I have actually never understood it and never used Facebook…maybe I am missing something.

I see my children using Instagram a lot, and am not really impressed. It seems to encourages comparing your life to others (there will always be others who have more wealth, success etc.) It does not seem mentally healthy.

Really great to read this thread. I imagine most of you know it but Sherry Turkle’s book (from 2011?) Alone Together is relevant to your post here @apb123. Also Turkle’s book title is kind of like two words for our social media times.

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Congratulations, you are stronger than me!
I have a ‘business page’ kind of thing on FB with enough people on it that it keeps me a little tied to the platform, but this post motivates me to get on there and start shepherding those people onto a private email list instead, so I can escape the belly of the beast like you have…

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I suppose most things, provided they are not immoral or illegal, are OK in moderation. As I stated above I have abandoned social media but it is nice to stay in touch with my three grown daughters and to see them, their children, and their dogs. I spend 5 to 10 minutes a week give or take on Facebook, the app. is not on my devices and and that is enough.

Aside from my example you are not missing much. :slight_smile: