Since I shut down my fourth account, I’ve been getting more done offline, sleeping more regularly, eating better. I don’t want to try to sell false causality here, just making observations.
If anything, using Facebook taught me to rein in impulse some, because temptation is always there. Getting into it with complete strangers gets old. Getting into it with people you thought were your friends turns terrible.
You start seeing patterns of behavior, including your own. And maybe, like me, you start seeing that the game is rigged.
I think we should all bail on Facebook, but it provides the illusion of privacy. I understand the attraction. It feels cozy, there on your page, your group, your little fiefdom. So much more so than blogging.
With blogging, you feel more exposed. You can slow things down some. But even slowing things down makes it unattractive for many who want to act on impulse.
Facebook is very, very good at enabling impulsive behavior, which is exactly why it has been so successful and also exactly what is wrong with it. It’s like a bar with no closing time, and the walls are all one-way mirrors, and the bouncers are all drunk too, and the people who own the bar are charging admission to spectators to place bets on us all.
You can use Facebook in ways that keep that from happening. It can be helpful for local organizing, for keeping tabs on remote friends and family.
But really what Facebook is about, is that bar. That’s what drives traffic, what makes it so notorious. So hated. And so popular.