Photo: Jill Krasny
On my 30th birthday, I decided to quit Facebook. Being on the site seemed pointless at the time, but now I’m beginning to question my decision. It’s not because the site has changed drastically (it hasn’t) or that I miss snooping on random acquaintances (I don’t).
What it comes down to is that not being on Facebook has become a major inconvenience.
The Spotify conundrum
The biggest downside to leaving Facebook was disconnecting from all my friends on Spotify. I didn’t want to talk to half these people in real life, but I did want to know what they were listening to. Now that’s all but impossible thanks to the app’s Facebook integration. I can’t add “People” and they can’t find me, and obviously, I can’t view their playlists.
There’s no way to get around it, either. I’ve checked Spotify’s Help site, and it doesn’t mention a thing about adding friends who aren’t on Facebook. Now I’m left to discover music the old-fashioned way (via music blogs, radio and serendipity)—not awful, but still not as fun as sharing a new favourite song or playlist online.
People might argue the same rule applies to other sites and apps such as Pinterest and Instagram, where Facebook integration makes them social. I’m not as interested in sharing on these sites, however the reliance on Facebook—and mainstream media’s embrace of the site as the social media go-to—could easily make non-members feel left out.
Going into it, I knew logging off Facebook would mean compromising my social life somewhat. Some people viewed my decision as a slap in the face, others couldn’t understand why I’d want to miss out on their day-to-day musings and gripes, not to mention their photos.
Just last Saturday, I missed an invite to a friend’s Memorial Day party simply because I lacked a profile. Did I feel lame? Not quite, but it certainly proved I’m missing out on something, and that having an email, Twitter and LinkedIn profile aren’t enough to keep us connected.
The final nail in the coffin comes courtesy of New York City’s oppressive housing market. Some may argue this is an easy problem to get around, but as we increasingly rely on Facebook to represent ourselves on the Web to employers, roommates and even prospective dates, I’m finding it difficult to convince would-be roommates that I’m a real, live human being who pays rent on time.
None of these reasons are enough to send me back to Facebook, but they’ve become enough of a nuisance to make me reconsider.
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