Last week, I deactivated my Facebook account.
I had been contemplating it for some time now but as the US election got closer and reached its climax, my mind was made up.
I have been a user on Facebook since the days when they required users to be in a university to register (Basically, I’ve been with Facebook since I was 18).
I have seen Facebook go through so many visual designs and features over those years and watched it grow into a billion dollar company, getting its user base to over a billion people.
Unfortunately, I think I’ve reached my breaking point with Facebook.
People post a lot of things on their Facebook status pages. I’ve seen people post pictures of precious moments, pictures of bad moments, write about personal opinions and share cat videos.
But something has been happening that’s been bothering me and it seems most news sites have picked on it as well ever since Donald Trump got elected president.
There’s a lot of fake news stories which people share to their on their timelines to all their friends. Unfortunately, nobody seems to bother to read the story and just skim the headline.
They see stories like “You Won’t Believe What Trump Said About Black People” and people immediately share it.
It’s classic clickbait. Facebook was supposed to fix this. I actually wrote about this some time ago.
These fake news stories got worse leading to the US elections. I saw so many fake stories about Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton that nobody bothered to fact check and instead just spread the story around like a bad plague.
The US elections is over but the Ghanaian elections are just around the corner and its the same story with fake stories. Stories about the NDC and NPP and a lot of other junk I don’t necessarily care about.
There’s classic advice that I once heard: Never discuss two topics with people and family members: Religion and Politics.
Unfortunately, my timeline is dominated by these two topics. Personal opinions, Bible verses, videos of political rallies and speeches. Honestly, it’s too much. Why can’t those people form Facebook groups and share those stories in those groups.
And don’t get me started on conspiracy theories! That’s even worse. I think I’ve read more headlines about Hillary Clinton killing people than I read about her policies about if she was president. (Well, that’s not going to happen now)
Folks, it’s unbearable. Facebook let this kind of thing run amok and with the election of Donald Trump as US president, a lot of people are pointing their fingers at Facebook for allowing this to happen.
I think Facebook is a great social media tool. But it’s been taken over by people who don’t seem to have social media etiquette when it comes to sharing fake stories and spewing all their personal stuff.
Deactivating my Facebook doesn’t mean that I’m totally abandoning Facebook. I’m just “taking a vacation.” A social media vacation.
For now, I’m sticking to Twitter. Not saying that Twitter is the best when it comes to truth telling but most of the people I follow are legit and share good content.
I don’t know when I’ll reactivate my account. Maybe in a month. Or two months. But until Facebook controls all this bad nonsense, I’m going to be off for a while.