Debate: Quitting Facebook

By Glenn and Jake

Between the hit movie “Social Network” and the hit application Farmville, you cannot ignore Facebook anymore.  OYIT has been the #1 site on the web for investigating Facebook, with our quaintly anachronistic Myspace vs. Facebook debate, a take down of the redesigned Facebook and our compilation of testimonials.  The decision to leave Facebook is the third most important decision an internet user can make, behind whether to join in the first place and what picture to use on your profile.  As the Facebook exile community grows, what will come of it and should more people join?  Will it thrive, like the Armenian exiles of Southern California?  Or become a monster itself, like the state of Israel?  Read on and find out!

Glenn: This debate hits very close to home for me and not just because I grew up in Palo Alto, California.  Just last week I decided, seemingly out of the blue, to deactivate my Facebook.  Ostensibly it was to help me be more productive at work but anyone who has access to my private LiveJournal knows that my issues with Facebook as a company and some aspects of online social networking have been growing stronger with every update.  The Facebook privacy regulations are insulting and on the rare times it comes down on the right side of a legislative issue, it’s mostly by accident or narrow minded self preservation (like the Chamber of Commerce opposing House GOP efforts to kill the American Community Survey part of the US Census).  There’s also the issue of how the site takes over every single aspect of your personality and traps you in a world wide web of alienation.  Facebook ruined my life!

Jake:  You say that Facebook ruined your life, but anybody that has been intimate with you for as many years as I have knows that your life was ruined before Mark Zuckerberg even had the idea to steal the idea of Facebook.  Facebook is a fun way to stay in touch with people without having to directly interact with them.  Out of my 128 Facebook friends, I could delete all but 15 and would still get the same amount of comments and likes as I do currently.  Yet, I refuse to delete my Facebook account for no reason like Glenn.  And we all know that Glenn will be back.  This is not the first time Glenn has “quit” Facebook, nor will it be the last.  When you quit Facebook, Glenn, you are being a dick.  You send me links on Twitter (over 3,000 followers, @jakefm), which I get Tweets sent to my phone, and I do not have a data plan and cannot visit the link without going into the ugly, shitty Twitter site.  Nor can I post links to your Facebook wall now that you have no Facebook.  It is quite perturbing.  Get back on Facebook, bro.  We need you there.

Glenn:  I apologize to our readers.  I did not mean to turn this debate into a psychoanalysis of why I personally chose to left Facebook except inasmuch as my experience mirrors the universal human experience.  Jake says this is not the first time I have “quit” Facebook and I disagree.  In the past 8 years of joyous ups and downs - including numerous overalls of the site, changed relationship statuses and finding my birth parents - I never actually deactivated my account.  But making the decision to do so now feels different than the times I even previously considered it. We can all agree that those cartoonish villains who perpetually deactivate (whether for academic or NBA finals) and then return are worthy of scorn.  I hope to not become those people, but I can see their origin stories in myself.  Deactivating your Facebook can be the most liberating experience outside of the Iraqi peoples’ in 2003.  Maybe my esteemed debate partner should threaten those 113 friends who pay him no mind and then go through with a deactivation to make them feel the pain he does every day.

Jake:  Deactivating your Facebook account is worse than the people who still don’t have a Facebook in 2012.  Not having a Facebook is like not having a TV, it is just something people can be smug assholes about during a day-to-day conversation.  We get it, you live an alternative lifestyle!  Now it is time to come into the real world where we spend all of our extra money on Farmville and we watch reruns of “All That” whenever Nick decides to add them to the schedule.  Where else are we going to see a little girl do an impression of Ross Perot?  Facebook is a very satisfying experience.  It allows you to see pictures of beautiful women and men you were afraid to converse with in high school in a swimsuit situation.  How many of us can claim that we have not masturbated to Facebook photos of our friends?  I know Glenn cannot make such a ludicrous claim.  I certainly cannot.  I believe that when it is time for Glenn to crank one out he will return to Facebook, with fleshlight in tow..

Glenn:  Any movie after 10pm on the Oxygen, We, or Lifetime cable channels gives me more than enough material, but I’m glad you brought this up.  Did you know that Facebook claims property rights to the “swimsuit pictures” and anything else you upload to your photo albums?  Imagine them using a picture of you simulating fellatio on a statue in a new advertising campaign for Facebook+.  Or giving over your message history to the FBI without a warrant?  “Not in my America!” you claim, thinking our legal and constitutional provisions protect your privacy.  Your America is dead, your government is in shambles and Facebook is now the third most populous country in the world (behind China and India).  Unlike those countries, however, Facebook is not a democracy.  It is a benevolent dictatorship run by borderline autistic and even more borderline Jewish Mark Zuckerberg.  So we leave, because that’s what people do when they’re trapped in authoritarian states.  Those who stay end up dead... or Vaclav Havel.

Jake:  Facebook is fine.  Your claim that Facebook has “property rights” to the photos is untrue.  You maintain ownership of the photos of yourself holding a camera up high and taking a photo of your face/cleavage.  Facebook’s photo rights has more to do with reposting the photos across feeds, not sharing them with third parties.  Even with your made up points, I still think you are fighting a losing battle.  Frankly, it would be nice if you were on Facebook merely for One Year in Texas.  While you were “liking” and sharing articles, our readership was higher than it currently is.  Everybody on Facebook should be “liking” OYIT articles, but this just isn’t the case.  A very small minority likes the posts on Facebook, although many like them on here, which we greatly appreciate.  What I don’t appreciate is Glenn seemingly bailing on Facebook and One Year in Texas.  Glenn is a real piece of shit.


  1. So when are you reactivating?

  2. As soon as I can remember my Facebook password :-/

  3. Come be the Facebook Vaclav Havel, Glenn!!! I like Jake's not-having-a-TV analogy because my argument would be the same to both - just use it for good. If you think there isn't anything worthwhile on TV you're probably not completely stupid and unable to enjoy a conversation with Charlie Rose or a pristine meth batch with Bryan Cranston though it would be a sufficient explanation, you just don't realize that you're allowed to ONLY DO THOSE THINGS with your TV. You don't like 16 & Pregnant? Stop sleeping with underage girls! And also, don't watch it. If you don't like FB violating your privacy, don't share anything you don't want used against you in a court of law; go use coded messages at the bottom of craigslist posts in smaller communities in exotic locations for benign items to coordinate your terror attacks. If you don't like the timeline, then don't look at it. Just continue to use FB to stay updated on Syrian pro-democracy protests and to troll Lana Del Rey's fanpages, and of course, to get people to read this thing you wrote!

  4. I wish glenn would come back to Facebook.