Are You Quitting Facebook?

Facebook has its benefits.  It creates a connection of sorts, reconnects old friends and is an excellent social media tool.   But it is also a productivity killer when overused.  Between email, Twitter and Facebook you can seem to be doing a lot without really doing anything at all.

May 31st was designated as the day that everyone who was going to quit Facebook would band together do so.  Ideally, this would drive a point home that solidarity can make a huge impact (and some would say to get Facebook to think twice about privacy issues) on how the site goes forward.  Then again, it might just be that not many people know about the significance of the day at all…

So, have you quit Facebook?  Will you?  Are you going to be part of the crowd that does it en masse?  Tell us in the comments.

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Mike Vardy an editor on Work Awesome. We could tell you where his personal productivity parody site, Eventualism and all of his other projects reside on the web, but you'd be best served going to and following the trail of virtual bread crumbs from there.


  1. Matt Jones on the 31st May

    I quit facebook a few weeks ago due to privacy concerns. Although, to be honest, I hadn’t really logged in in the last month anyway, so it wasn’t a huge leap.

    More that privacy, what concerns me about facebook is how easily my reputation could be trashed by others despite no wrong-doing of my own.

    I plan on keeping my social networking to a professional setting, such as linkedin.

    • Alan on the 31st May

      Not quite sure how not being a Facebook member protects your reputation. Any Facebook member can post something about any other person — member or not — on Facebook, including compromising photos that you are not even aware of if you are not a member. I have taken an hour to go through the FB setting to restrict info as best I can, and simply won’t post stuff that I would never want others to use against me, however, there is no guarantee that any other member won’t post personal info about me either.

  2. anonymouscoward on the 31st May

    Would you care to explain what is the relationship between your laziness and facebook privacy? I don’t get it. Trying to connect the latest scandals with productivity because this is a productivity blog and you cannot write something which is not related to the topic? Stop working for traffic and make good content.

    • Mike Vardy on the 31st May

      The relationship between Facebook and productivity is simple…Facebook is a productivity killer for most people. Many people spend time on the site for countless hours and aren’t moving forward – often they are looking back.

      I wouldn’t call this a scandal. It’s a story – and one that is getting a lot of notice, but not a scandal. There is also a direct relationship between social networking and productivity, so we’re not going off track with an article such as this.

      Constructive feedback is appreciated – we’re doing these short posts a couple of times per day to interact and engage with our readers. We are posting one longer feature story per day as well, as we always have. We’re looking to do more for our readers, so laziness isn’t really a fair assessment in my view. We’re working harder than ever before.

      Again, thanks for your feedback…we’re paying attention to everything that comes our way as we delve further into productivity and the many things that impact it and are impacted by it. I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

    • anonymouscoward on the 1st June

      You still did not answer my question. What is the relationship between ‘productivity killer’ and facebook privacy?

    • Joel Falconer on the 1st June

      It’s right up there at the start of his reply. Can’t miss it.

  3. International reader on the 31st May

    I did not quit Facebook. I did not participate in a “day without a car”. I did not turn off lights to save whatever they want me to save. I never did any other stupid thing when others ask everybody to do it.

    Why? Because I have my own brain and can think independently. If a bunch of people quits Facebook, who cares? The majority will still use Facebook and those who quit, will come back in the end.

    Think with your own head. If you want to quit, it must be your own decision. You should never act just because somebody else acts. Don’t be a lamb.

  4. curtismchale on the 31st May

    I don’t really use Facebook anyway but no I didn’t quite. While I would agree that Facebook doesn’t actually care about its users, it’s been my long-held belief that anything you put online will be seen by lots of others. I’ve always just been careful about what I put online.

  5. Paul Letourneau on the 31st May

    I agree with the International reader where he says that everyone can make their own decisions and with curtismchale when he talks about being careful what you put online.

    Everyone seems to be making a big deal about the privacy issues around Facebook but at the end of the day we all make the choice to to online, log in to their service and post our information. Don’t like it? Don’t do it.

    Listen, their a billion dollar organization because of their users so saying that they don’t care about us is a little far fetched. Like any company, they care about the majority of their users and will continue to cater to them. The guys running these online companies are not stupid. They want you to dance and you’ll dance. If you don’t want to, someone else will. It’s all about the mass population and the numbers.

  6. Brian Landi on the 31st May

    I think that Facebook is useful if you have an objective when logging in. Otherwise, if you are going on to just “check” it, then it inevitably sucks you in.
    Also, facebook games must be avoided at all costs. Got sucked into the Farmville thing for a little while and there is an absolute killer.

    Going to stay on for now. I’ll wait and see what happens.

  7. Georgia Green on the 31st May

    I want to commend Mike on his very patient and polite reply to the anonymous poster whose criticism of the topic would seem to indicate that he is a paying subscriber and is entitled to more bang for his buck. He should demand a refund, eh?

    I’m not terribly concerned about my privacy on FB because I take care not to post anything I wouldn’t want to find up for discussion in a job interview. It is true that others can trash you whether or not you are a member, but that can happen anywhere online. That said, it has been interesting to watch the FB phenomenon, its rise to power, and the impact it has not just on privacy but on productivity. My employer blocks it, which I thought unfairly rigid at first, but now that I’ve seen how many hours some of my team spend each night updating their FB pages and playing Farmville, I’m relieved I don’t have to monitor this behavior at work. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to waste time online, including reading productivity blogs!

  8. Meira on the 31st May

    I’m really thinking about quitting facebook, I only started using it just a few months ago. Then I got super hooked on Farmville when my virtual dog ran away I called it quits and deleted all of farmville. But then I started questioning why I still used facebook.
    I rarely use it now and If my family wasn’t on there I wouldn’t be, but it seems to be the only way to communicate with them. They never call etc. So yea, i’m going to quit facebook and maybe i’ll leave the profile up but i kind of doubt it. The security thing was really my last straw. …

  9. Colin on the 31st May

    I quit Facebook a couple weeks ago. When I first signed up there were groups, pokes, walls, and private messaging.

    Now there’s company pages, targeted ads, photo tagging, 3rd party apps, games, like buttons to like everything on the web, privacy controls, notes, gifts, etc. And Status Updates! Oh so many status updates. A status update for every little change made to your profile, friends gained or lost, relationship changes, photos added, photos tagged, awards won in games, groups/companies liked/fanned.

    A plethora of useless information that clogs my mind and keeps me from thinking intelligently about real issues. Content consumption overload degrading the memory centers of my brain.

    Oh also the privacy issues.

  10. Rebecca on the 31st May

    People still don’t understand the Internet.

    Quitting Facebook out of privacy concerns won’t do any good: do you really think your data has been ‘deleted’ when you delete your account? Your name is still tagged against those photos, your messages you sent still in that person’s inbox, etc. Facebook, like all data-based companies, make backups and mirror their data for the people who stay and use the service. Your data is also mirrored and backed up.

    Way before Facebook people have been posting their pictures and other sensitive information online. Only now since everyone is using Facebook – and subsequently the Internet it seems – have they clued in.

    Only need one lesson: Don’t put anything you don’t want someone else to see on the internet.

  11. Ana da Silva on the 1st June

    I really don’t like Facebook though I use it because I’ve friends sprinkled in several countries and it’s easier to post 1 thing to them all than to send an email to each person.

    But I’ve quit it a few times and will probably quit it again. Their privacy policy, which seems to amount to a lack of privacy is just a pain!

  12. Alan on the 1st June

    I’m still mildly amused by the notion that people expect to be able to use a website to post the most intimate details of their lives to share with friends and acquaintances, and then whine about privacy concerns. While I don’t like the way Facebook has handled this fear and how they’ve made it difficult to change your privacy setting, let’s all remind ourselves that anyone who is a FB friend can take a screen print of anything that’s on your profile and send it all over the world to anyone else.

    The best way to protect your privacy is to avoid “spilling the beans” about deeply personal issues — or any matter that you would not want someone else to know about.

  13. Ben on the 1st June

    I quit Facebook about 6 weeks ago. Not because of the privacy issues that have been discussed lately, but more because I was completely bored with it. I’ve been a member for about 3 yrs, and in the past 6 mths I noticed that while I would check it habitually every day, I wasn’t actually learning or being stimulated by anything that was being posted.

    Unlike most users, I only friended people I actually knew or had met in person, and I had only 125 people on my list. When I logged in one day and saw that a close friend had got a haircut, my reaction was more of disdain than interest. I thought to myself – big f@#$ing deal! And soon after I learned that another close friend was ‘in a relationship’. Again, I felt disappointed that this was how I had to find out through Facebook. I realised that I was actually losing my REAL friendships with these people, where we used to speak in person, or even just on the phone.

    I don’t believe for a second that Facebook ever had any real value for me, and instead has changed the way my friends communicate with each-other. Another good friend has recently quit, saying that she started to resent the ‘popularity’ that some of her friends were trying to gather on the system.

    In my experience, Facebook has had a negative impact with the friendships I value, because it has diminished the REAL-LIFE communication that I once had with the people close to me.

    Facebook is an addiction. Like WOW or even drugs. People need to go cold-turkey.

  14. Jacob on the 6th June

    I had no idea about the “quit facebook on May 31st” movement, but I had arbitrarily set that as a quitting date earlier on in the month. I had been a fan of facebook a couple of years ago – the friends that I had been spending time with were all moving around to different places, and facebook gave us a way to keep socializing despite the distances. Since then, though, I’ve been able to create a new close circle of friends that is local, and so I don’t feel a need to stay so “connected” with the people that moved away.

    I posted a message (I think it was a status update, but it could have been a wall post — the new interface seems to blur the line between the two) telling all of my “friends” that I need 15 people to tell me why I should keep my profile or I was going to delete it. Out of 50-some “friends”, only 5 replied. That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me.

    When it comes to the privacy issues, I’m not all that phased by the hubaloo that seems to come up every few months with the policy changes. It’s the internet. I’m over it.

    In the end, I decided to not delete my facebook account, but I did disable EVERY notification. I also limited most of my profile so that it can only be seen by me. I’m pretty sure that my “friends” on facebook can only see the city in which I live, my email address, and a little blurb that tells them that they will need to email or call me if they want to contact me.

    …and I’ll never look back.

  15. Julia Georgescu on the 7th June

    Facebook gave me only good results, a lot of visitors who like my website, a lot of customers who want to buy flash components. I really think that Facebook it’s a good thing.

  16. Adam Huckeby on the 14th June

    I didn’t quit Facebook, but it only has ONE post on it now. I deleted everything else on Facebook (and that took forever!) Why? Frankly, I don’t like how my privacy is being violated by Facebook…yes, it’s a free site and I should be willing to accept some invasion if I expect to get it for free…but I really just don’t like the trade off…the cost is much higher than the value. I don’t want my information distributed to people who are trying to sell me something. I’m sure there are many other ways my online activityis being tracked…but Facebook is one I can control.

    I also started feeling a bit tied to Facebook in a way that I did not like. I was not an addict…spending hours and hours surfing through updates (I don’t care THAT much). But, it was turning into the primary way I communicated with family and friends. I don’t like that because not only does Facebook watch status updates, but there have been publicized incidents of Facebook allowing emails to be displayed publicly as well. It’s not that I email anything to anyone I would be ashamed of, but I do email things that I don’t care for the whole world to know about sometimes. Medical results, information about my family and kids, etc… So, I’m out of there.

    Unfortunately, so many people have moved to Facebook for everything, so to completely cut it off would completely cut off many people I DO care to keep in touch with, so I still have the account, and those people can still email me through Facebook, but if you’re one of those people, don’t be surprised if my response comes via regular email instead.

  17. Derek on the 26th June

    I quit Facebook months ago.
    I used it extensively throughout 2009 to keep in touch with a group of like minded people to try and prevent HM Government from ruining our towns education system but once that battle was lost I had no real use for it any more.

    Clearing clutter is an important way to get focussed but to be successful at it you have to realise where the clutter is!
    Facebook was part of my electronic clutter so it had to go.

  18. shalini on the 31st January

    i hav quitted ma fb account and it was deactivated since 4 months
    i was wasting so much time on it

  19. daniel1985 on the 10th April

    I quit Facebook two weeks ago. I was a Facebook member since 2007 and I have 200+ friends online. But , out of 200+ friends only 6 friends will either comment about me or poke me. What happened to the other 194 friends? Secondly, I hate it when people display their lives on Facebook so that we can focus on their lives rather than ours. Finally, there is no real interaction taking place on Facebook. When we comment about a friend’s picture, we expect the friend to reply immediately, but unfortunately the friend is either offline or busy commenting about other friend’s photo/status update/comments.

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