Why I gave up on Facebook and not return again

Ezinne Ukoha touches a cord here, where she narrates her 28-day abstinence from Facebook and no one notices her. I recently gave up on Facebook after seven years of continued usage (except for brief like seven day abstinences to experiment if using Medium, blogs, and Twitter for news and keeping up with the world and my professional information sources would work). I quite liked how Ezinne writes here so well about the fading memories when you do not exist on the social media.

The reason I gave up on Facebook

… was lack of interactions, or let’s put it like this: there was and is no reciprocity of any responses and interactions I’d post. I “was” on Facebook since 2009, almost continuously. I had started following people and added real life friends who’d post photos and their vanity posts and their travels and their thought snippets, philosophies of life, and so on. Then there wre other who write well, and post really intersting post stories. Over time, you could see these people gather their own little community of friends and “acolytes” who keep on expressing admiration for everything their “guru” writes. Unfortunately, even though the gurus are happy to read their “acolytes” responses, the “gurus” themselves, would, never, if at all, reciprocate if the acolytes wrote something. Anything. Ever.

Over the last year, I did a serious research and wrote a book on the life of Lord Buddha. This was a translation, first ever, in Bengali language, of the life and sermons of Lord Buddha, translation of a remakable book by Jack Kerouac (Wake Up). If you are interested, you can read the work here (you need to know Bengali language): জেগে ওঠ

I naively expected that if I wrote about my book in the groups that I traversed and to friends that I “knew”, they would download the book (it is of course free), and read and give me some feedbacks or write about it. I have seen people get their writings published as books by publishers who traverse Facebook, but I was out of luck. No one, not a single person read the book. It just as if did not exist. At which point, I started wondering, what might be going on.

Is Facebook at all a social media app?

No reciprocity, no one cares about you …

In any social interaction, I suppose, an interaction cannot be a one way street. So, for instance, you have a friend facing you in a coffee shop and you ask him a question, or make an observation. If I were you, I’d expect my friend would respond. Something like that. But this does not happen in Facebook interactions. “Likes” and icon pressing is not responding. They are kind of knee jerks. How long can you sustain a relationship in a social networking app where you are the only one who writes and comments on other people and the “others” do not even care about you, they do not have time to respond, or just do not care?

If you have your own coterie of friends who keep writing and congratulating each other, Facebook is your medium of expression. If not get lost. It’s a cruel world out there, there is no reciprocity, there is no respect for each other in a social networking app, and very depressing, if you ask me.

Good riddance, Facebook.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in: https://refind.com/arinbasu

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