Is it time to unlike Facebook for good? – Well here’s five things you should know.


(This article first appeared in the Daily Telegraph)

Want five reasons you should never use Facebook again? Well, here you go. (Plus one reason it’s okay because let’s be honest, I know I’m not going to quit using it and neither are you.)

1. Facebook is always watching. Like a creepy, sweaty and panting old man with binoculars, notepad and no pants. Sitting there, and writing it all down: everything you like, everything you type, and every person’s page that you’ve ever visited.


2. These notes the Facebook man keeps aren’t simply filed away under “Bet you wish we weren’t watching you so closely” and never looked at again. Your news feed is based on these notes.

Now remember that person you’ve always had a crush on, maybe dated, possible even married and divorced? You know how you sometimes check out their Facebook page, just to torture yourself over what might’ve been? The lonely comedians I know, which is most of them, would argue that this is the main function of Facebook.

Well updates from these people will now be appearing in your news feed, as if you weren’t already thinking about them enough. Also, as well as using your online history to emotionally torment you, all these notes are used to sell you stuff too.


3. Everyone I know on Facebook who isn’t a comedian seems to be always on a beach, moving to a bigger house, successful renovating, not finding kids annoying and cooking edible food.

Which makes me wonder if they quit working and devoted themselves full-time to locating the end of the rainbow, actually found it and moved there. Or they’re using Facebook to tell you about the life they wish they had, as a result making everyone who’s not living that life feel miserable, which is a group that includes everyone.


4. Did you know that Facebook is constantly experimenting on you? If you use it at all, odds are you’re involved in an experiment or several right now.

For example, they muck about with the posts that appear in your news feed in order to mess with your emotions, then they tally up the results to “improve your experience” — a fancy way of saying “sell you more stuff”.


5. Facebook is ruining the way we mourn. With the passing of Christopher Lee, known to most as Saruman the nasty from the Lord of the Rings, there was the obligatory online outpouring of grief. How many people, however, read the articles they were sharing? Or were just using this famous person’s death to collect ‘likes’ so they felt good?

Rue McClanahan aka Blanche Devereaux from the Golden Girls passed away a few months ago according to social media, and it wasn’t for the first time. The article that people were sharing to mourn her passing clearly stated the original date of her death was in 2010.

Do you know anyone in the real world who’s desperate to be liked? Their constant chasing of approval means they’re annoying, self-obsessed and completely lacking in integrity. Well on Facebook, if you’re sharing things like celebrity deaths just to gather likes, you are them.

So what’s the one way it can be okay? Forget about chasing the approval of others. Instead, simply share things that you’ve enjoyed, with people you think might also enjoy them.


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This article first appeared in The Brisbane Courier Mail: