I Quit Facebook

By Cam Mather

Facebook sucks!

I don’t even know why I joined, but after being on it for a while, I think it really bites.

Most of all, I’m creeped out by all the data Facebook keeps about me. I have no doubt there are numerous other ways I’m being tracked on the web, but it burns my butt knowing that Mark Zuckerberg is making money off me. Heaven knows it’s the only way the site ever will make money and I think people who bought shares in it are destined to take a huge hit when everyone wakes up to the mass delusional thinking that Facebook has any value.

It’s free to join. A while ago I wrote a blog about how I didn’t understand how it was surviving since it had no advertising. Michelle eventually corrected me, but that just shows you how effective Facebook advertising is. I didn’t even know it existed and apparently paid no attention to it. From time to time Zuckerberg has come up with a way for Facebook to make money, but the Facebook users, WHO USE IT FOR FREE, don’t like his ideas. So they rise up in great protest and he backs off. Great business model. Mark has a backbone like a jellyfish. Come up with a way to make money, then find that the people you give the service to, FOR FREE, don’t like it. Then put your tail between your legs and skedaddle home.

I saw the movie “The Social Network” and like any work of interpretation like this I’m sure there are many sides to this story. But the one thing I got out of it is that I don’t like Mark Zuckerberg. I didn’t like the way he took someone else’s idea, and I didn’t like the way he treated his friends. Many geniuses are social misfits and dickheads. Perhaps he’s a genius. Or just a jerk that got lucky. Either way, I’m out.

I don’t use Facebook because I don’t trust it. I’m always paranoid I’m going to make some comment on someone’s Facebook page and it’s going to go viral and millions of people will take it the wrong way. I write a blog that gets reposted all the time, but Facebook makes me nervous. Who’s reading that innocent comment I just made? And then they changed my profile page to Timeline and it sucks. I kept reading other people’s negative comments that Timeline, and they were right.

So I’ll just leave it to Google and Amazon to be creepy and track my movements on the web.

Facebook records over 47 categories of data on each user. How they could possibly get that much from how little I’ve used it is beyond me, but that’s the amount. This can be up to 1,000 pages of information printed out per person.

Facebook stores 100 petabytes of people’s photos and videos. For free. Not mega, giga or tera, but 100 Petabytes. They have to buy servers to do that. And they have to buy huge amounts of electricity to keep those servers running and keep them cool. And yet, they don’t charge for their services. They just keep hoping they can figure out a way to make money. Buy servers, buy electricity, and then give the service away.

And like the tech bubble when people bought Nortel stock at $124/share and watched it drop in value to pennies, people lined up to buy shares in Facebook. And like Nortel investors, I think they’ll be awfully disappointed. Because Facebook doesn’t really have a sound model for making money and they don’t make anything. They just buy stuff and give it away for free. A company like Apple with a market valuation of $500 or $600 billion actually makes stuff. They make real stuff and they put it in boxes and they sell it. And they make lots of money doing that. That’s a sound business concept. It’s like Warren Buffet buying Dairy Queen. He likes ice cream, other people like to buy it, and it’s a simple concept.

This Facebook vaporware is a grand illusion and the emperor has no clothes. No clothes and no idea to how to make money.

To those of you who read this blog and have become my “Friends” on Facebook, please don’t take it personally. I appreciate you reading the blog. I love you commenting on the blog. I often respond to questions and comments. And blog readers come up with some of our best ideas for blog topics. Thank you.

I convinced Michelle to disable my Facebook account for me, which is only fair since she’s the one who signed me up in the first place. I’ve found a couple of “girl” friends from high school, and linked up with Barry Silverstone who produced the documentary “The End of Suburbia” and I’ve enjoyed following the progress of his house being built on Facebook. But alas, now I will have to email Barry or phone him to find out what he’s up to. Imagine that? Speaking to someone. One day after I presented the Keynote Address at a sustainability symposium in Belleville, Michelle and I went out to dinner with Barry. And we chatted. And we got caught up on what was happening in each other’s lives. Sitting down with someone … Speaking to him or her! The wonders never cease.

I should patent this idea and trademark it and go public with it!

13 Responses to “I Quit Facebook”

  • Joshua B:

    Hello Cam, Facebook makes all of its money selling all of that info it collects on people to the United States government, even more scary!

  • Cathy:

    Big Brother is Watching……always…. and all ways.

  • Bruce Hampson:

    If you’re not buying the product, YOU are the product.

  • Farmgirlwanabe:

    Hi I hear you and agree -I have never signed up to Facebook BUT I believe it has had a social value in that it has through technology like iPhones opened up a world for people across the globe – I am for allowing people in countries not democratic like ours to have access to info (which the Internet has also done)

  • Donna:

    I guess I’ll speak up on the positives of facebook. I have 4 teenagers living at home, and facebook is a part of their lives. So facebook is a part of my life, as well. my kids have to friend me on their facebook account. It gives me a better knowledge of their friends and acquaintances, and I can watch and listen for trouble. We have also had some in-depth and timely discussions on etiquette, morals, politics, and religion, as well as a host of other subjects. We have also seen character development through some painful facebook episodes. Facebook is also a wonderful way to keep up with children and grandchildren who live 8 hours away! Or even those who live closer, as I’m able to view pictures (and even make copies) I might never have seen otherwise. It’s also a great prayer tool. If any one of my friends has a need for prayer and posts it, I can then storm the heavenly gates on their behalf. And the word gets out fast in a crisis. Within minutes, many, many people are praying. I do limit my facebook friends to family, church family, and real life friends. It’s also a good way to keep up with topics of interest to me without being sent tons of emails a day. And when links are provided in posts, I can look at them at my leisure and learn more about those subjects that interest me. I understand the concern over personal information being accumulated and used. I have also thought about that. But unless you use only cash and have no social security number or banking info and don’t use the internet, I think we’re tracked anyway. I use a Kroger card, and I know they keep up with my purchases. And anyone that uses a credit card (which you pretty much have to use on the internet) can be tracked. And if you use Paypal instead, well, they have your personal info. Big Brother is out there, and he’s watching me anyway. I don’t really care if he likes what he sees. If fact, I should probably worry if he does. Blessings!

  • Gerry:

    I believe that if you get it for free on the net, then you are the product.

  • Baloghsma:

    Your points are all well taken.
    In a previous “life”, I was a consultant. My last client, before returning to the academic paper mill, was an
    “Agency asset”, code for “worked for the CIA”. (Yes, you read that correctly. However, on this subject it is important to stay close to “plausible denial.”)

    Facebook is a front organization for “the Agency.” The narrative about the founder includes no link to its true origins, just fabrications from medium pay-grade spin doctors. Think about it. Who would ever volunteer information on such a grand scale, except marginalized masses whose egos are inflated with misconception.

    Personally, my theory of Grand Delusion Lifestyle has the invention of the television arising out of a Yale philosophy major gone wrong! Plato’s Republic–The Allegory of the Cave. Read it. Those reflections on the cave surface, the slave breaking free from his chains and crawling to the edge of the cave to witness his first sunrise, his attempt to tell other slaves that the shadowy reflections on the cave walls are NOT reality, but the sunrise he just saw is reality…. Isn’t it just so much like today!

    Truth is a greater virtue than inertia!

    – Baloghsma

  • Melanie:

    Hi Cam, My hubby and I decided when Facebook first became available that we wanted nothing to do with it. We do use the internet, obviously since I am writing this post, and I am sure that someone out there has ways of tracking every single website I visit, like Mother Earth News, etc. but I do not ever want all my personal info out there for anyone to get at. One day this whole thing is going to blow up in a lot of people’s faces.

  • Catherine:

    Personally, I think Facebook is scarey. I joined due to some pressure from others, but I was sorry that I did because you can’t ever really “get off” of Facebook. Two years later they still have my e-mail address, and that’s just weird to me.I know it’s easy to find people because of computer usage, but knowing all that information is just too intrusive. I don’t want to know all that much about people and sure as heck don’t want them to know all about me. What ever happened to the word “privacy”????

  • Kathy:

    I don’t think it is a company and even if Mark “invented” it, I am not sure it is his but it is a really good tracking device and that may be where the money to fund it is from, those who choose to track us. I have to laugh about some of the drama they have to sift through for information. Wouldn’t it be somewhat like going through the trash but without the stink, lol?

    I recently caught up with a facebook friend that I had not seen in person for over 10 years, that was so much fun!

  • Gerrit Botha:

    Excellent arguments Cam. I disabled my FB account last year for similar reasons. I just don’t trust it and I just don’t like the formula. When the FB IPO flopped this week, I wasn’t too surprised. Like you, I think it is a fake company that doesn’t make anything of value.

  • I decided soon after joining Facebook that it was a terrible time waster so I stopped signing in except on the rare occasion that I have posted something to my preparedness blog and wanted to share the link. But I’ve been wanting to just get out of it altogether.

    Thanks, Cam, for giving me the push. Gonna go do that poste haste.

  • Neil B. Orleans:

    Hi Cam,

    I have been in the computer field for over 30 years, yet I have never joined Facebook. I have noticed a lot of people in my field and near my age have not joined Facebook either. However, all the young guys now working at the large government office where I am currently contracted all use Facebook (and Twitter as well) and usually access this through the smart phones.
    Those of us in the older crowd are like you. We don’t trust Facebook although we all like using the Internet (however, I am quite sure we are being tracked there). Just not as much personal data.

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About Cam
Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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