What I told my friends there:
I'm asked, "Why am I leaving Facebook?"
Fair enough, and it's not any one reason. As a participant in the Free (as in Freedom) Software movement, and a former server admin, and someone who has read the US Constitution I have long been uncomfortable with the Devil's bargain known as Facebook. I agreed to it in much fuller knowledge than most, but that didn't make it any more palatable. When a major Browser, Firefox, builds into its DNA fences around Facebook and your other open tabs you begin to grasp the enormity of the problems. When millions of voters, and probably votes, were swayed on the right AND the left in the 2016 election you begin to grasp the enormity of the problems. When Zuckerberg actually can't fix the problems within Facebook because they are unintended and structural you begin to grasp the enormity of the problems.
Against that, I have loved reconnecting with so many of the friends of my youth, adulthood, and etc. It's truly been lifesaving. It is an easy way of keeping up with the fast flowing life of people I care about.
Most of you here view me as a crazy, slightly paranoid, lefty. My many great friends on the federated (separate servers), decentralized (not under the control of one corporation or vulnerable to a single point of failure), privacy forward (pushing the antiquated idea that your data and your privacy belong to you), view me as a corporate, mainstream sellout. This has always been hard for me.
Memes. I hate memes. I like, react, comment on, and share memes, but I hate them. They reduce complex ideas to a handful of words. They are the equivalent of shouting at someone with a megaphone. I hate the ability of false narratives micro-targeted at you to spread like wildfire. I hate that all my news should come from what shows up in my feed.
For a long time like minded friends and I have been exploring ways of taking back our privacy and our dignity. RSS feeds which let us see items from websites on our terms, often without tracking. Encrypted email. Secure messaging such as Telegram or Signal. Fediverse sites like Diaspora, Friendica, Peertube, Mastodon, Hubzilla, and Zap serve as more secure and flexible means of communication. Linux, Android, and F-Droid software to replace the silos of Facebook (Whatsapp, Instagram), Google, Apple, Amazon (imdb, goodreads), etc.
Even writing letter with pen and paper!
Also, I have become more shrill on Facebook, more angry, more sad. Despite your kind words, what is clear from the "Memories"/"On this Day" app of Facebook is a geometric decline in people reacting to and commenting on my posts. Vox Populi has spoken. Why should I talk when no one wants to listen?
For my own health, and to fight encroaching dementia (not just old age, but thanks for the good wishes), I need more authentic communication with people, even if it means hearing less from people I love.
It will be a big change, but I am committed to having more authentic interactions with people. Things such as personal texts, voice chats, interacting with their websites and a less is more idea of a 1 or 2x a month newsletter sent electronically. I'll use the same format each month. Only want to read about my cooking and the cats? Those two sections await you. God forbid, you want to hear about my health and radical political ideas? Those sections are there, too. Read some, read none. It's up to you.
I'm just one person, but if lots of us shift away from Facebook in big ways and small, it will be noticed. Even withholding likes, reacts, and click through to stories and ads has financial impacts for Facebook and advertisers and websites.
Well, if you read all of this you really need a life, but I appreciate it.