/dev/nur

inspirations by Nurseiit A.

#quitFacebookEcosystem

June 25, 2020

Seoul

@a.nurseiit,
Your account is scheduled for permanent deletion.
– Instagram Security

In a total span of around 9 months I quit WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram altogether.

Wassup with everybody

It wasn't easy, especially quitting WhatsApp hit me the hardest. All of my family members and friends used it as their main messaging app.

But hey, I don't have to feel a little guilty leaving yet another annoying groupchat anymore! By the time I quit WhatsApp, I got the most important people to use Telegram, and I was able to click the delete button.

Big Brother's watching you

I didn't use Facebook a lot back then. I even switched to using only the web app. Mostly because I stumbled upon this tweet showing how their app on Android scans and uploads local libraries to their servers, probably for device fingerprinting. Turns out it's a common practice for "research and security" purposes.

I have long detested Facebook itself, and not so long ago, they started showing what other apps share about users with Facebook. Say if I were to play some totally unrelated game, they would know what I've been up to in there.

Sure, I knew they collected a lot of user data. But when I saw my Overheard "Подслушано" Stories app on that list, which I never ever granted access nor have been aware of their connections, I lost it. That was the last straw.

I did use Messenger a lot though. After coming to UNIST, it became the main source of contact with many other students and local people.

There were some strange times when I'd forget to check for new messages from important people like UNIST's International Affairs team. They would simply ask my friends to tell me to contact them.

Oops...🙈

Anyway, on March 14, the Pi Day, I permanently left Facebook!

Flickr went wrong

I first started using Instagram in mid-2013. I feel like it was alright back then.

But for me recently, it evolved to nothing more than a fridge door: I kept opening and closing it to see if there was anything new.

Surely after discovering that addiction, I started to limit my usage to only around 30 of my closest friends using Instagram's latest "Threads" app. But the app was far from perfect, there were tons of bugs that eventually forced me back to using their usual app.

So what I did instead was to block everyone's stories except for closest friends. It sure did clean up my feed, but there still was a black hole called "Explore". I've spent too many hours watching dumb stuff I didn't even want to.

For me, it was the only way to stay in touch with some of my friends. I would react to their stories and chat around those topics. Sadly though, it's not the case anymore.

I flexed my GDPR rights a little, and requested for my full data.

Then on June 20, the International World Refugee Day, I permanently deleted Instagram.

Takeaways

All in all, it was somewhat of a painful breakup. There were some people with whom I'd chat from time to time. But I don't think they will ever escape from Facebook's tight grasp on the ecosystem.

Yet, this had to be done. I'm lucky I could do it with minimal harm.

A little bit of irony

Guess what this website is built with?

Right, ReactJS! Which is backed by the Big Brother.