Saying goodbye to Facebook for good

In the beginning…

I signed up for an Facebook account in May 2010 after finally giving in to peer pressure. Back then, I also thought why not make myself more “sociable” by joining a social media. I for one has never like being part of any social media. Thus I missed out on the MySpace and Friendster era. What I had was a blog on Blogger and was a member on some forums.

Over the seven or so years of having a Facebook account, I posted countless status updates, uploaded hundreds of photos and have linked my WordPress, YouTube and Twitter to Facebook. I saw Facebook as a platform for me to show more of myself to my friends.

Houston, we got a problem

The last two years, I started feeling I’m oversharing and was concerned with flooding my friends’ news feeds. So the status update slowed down and sometimes there were no post for more than three days. Then there was a period of time when I stop posting for nearly three months before getting back to it.

As of late, I finally realized how much Facebook and my addiction to it has ruined my ability to write long form content to share my thoughts. I stopped being able to articulate my thoughts in writing if I need to go on for more than two paragraphs. I also stop being able to focus deeply into my work.

Privacy started being another main concern as I got older. It all started when I found myself victim of data breaches across some of the sites I used. So fake information about myself started to replace my real personal information on social media sites. Alias email addresses started replacing my personal email address instead on many sites. The incident with Cambridge Analytica was the final straw that pushed me over the edge.

I finally could say I’m done with Facebook.

Acts of deletion and my privacy

As of 25 March 2018 1830 hours, I did it. I triggered the deletion request and my Facebook account has been deactivated as part of it being deleted. Now it’s all about waiting out the 14 days for the actual deletion to start.

The weeks leading to that deletion saw me spending countless hours ruining my own Facebook account by manually removing pictures, comments, likes and posts. Due to the sheer volume, I couldn’t finish them all without automated process. However, I didn’t go with automated option because I wanted to review individually what I have posted in the past.

You’d probably ask why I didn’t download an archive instead to review during my free time. The reason is very simple.

Since I have gotten more concerned with my own privacy, I didn’t want my Facebook archive to end up somewhere. There is just so many possible scenario where the Facebook archive you stored on your hard drive could end up in somebody’s else hands if you are not careful. Facebook having backup copies and logs of your account is bad enough and there is no guarantee that this deletion is a 100% thing. So it’s all about reducing your chance of being exposed.

What’s next

Now, having hit that delete button never felt so good. It’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I could go about my life more freely. I’m proud of myself for finally taking back control.

Even before hitting that delete button, I did feel freer. It all started ever since I started ruining my Facebook account. Without Facebook, I found myself thinking more and deeper. I have also spent longer than usual amount of time reading articles and digesting them rather than skimming through and move on to the next.

Without Facebook also made me happier because I no longer get to see my friends’ curated “good” life. As the saying goes, ignorance is blissful. It also meant that I could use actual meet ups or text messages to find out more about my friends and how they are doing. This I hope allows for better and stronger friendship. It also forces me to focus more on listening to my friends when we are chatting and not look at my phone. Conversations become deeper and more meaningful.

However, it doesn’t mean that your friends will do the same. Some of my friends don’t. The moment there is a lull in any conversation, they pull out their phone and start scrolling. I suspect it got to do with the lack of trust between friends and that prevented them from wanting to share their deepest and darkest thought.

So it’s time to encourage friends to stop using their phones, focus more on the now and building up the relationship instead of escaping into the digital world.

Friday Tech News Roundup #27

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

As Stripe backs away from crypto payments, Coinbase offers a new solution for e-commerce – Popular payment enabler Stripe announced plans to end support for bitcoin last month, but crypto exchange Coinbase is stepping into the gap after it released a new option for online merchants. Techcrunch

Apple and Android are destroying the Swiss Watch industry – In Q4 2017 – essentially during the last holiday season – market research firm Canalys found that more people bought Apple watches than Swiss watches. Two million more, to be exact. Brian Heater has more data but this news is quite problematic for the folks eating Coquilles St-Jacques on the slopes of the Jura mountains.Techcrunch

Microsoft’s next Windows 10 update will include high-performance mode – Microsoft is adding a new enhanced power mode to Windows 10 Pro for users who need to squeeze every ounce of performance out of their computer. Mashable

Facebook’s new slogan: ‘If you think we’re not good for your business, leave’ – Facebook is famous for the mantra “move fast and break things.” But these days, the tech giant is all about time well spent, and with that comes a new tagline for everyone to follow: If you don’t like us, leave. Mashable

Intel’s new graphics drivers automatically optimize game settings – Intel is introducing a new feature for its processors with integrated graphics, allowing games to be automatically optimized on systems. The Verge

Apple says new apps must support the iPhone X Super Retina display – Today, Apple informed developers that all new apps that are submitted to the App Store must support the iPhone X’s Super Retina display, starting this April, reports 9to5Mac. The Verge

Facebook using 2FA cell numbers for spam, replies get posted to the platform – Facebook is reportedly spamming some users by text, using a cell number they provided only for use in two-factor authentication. 9to5Mac

Receiving an Indian character crashes Messages and other apps in iOS 11 [U: Mac & Watch too] – There have been a number of cases where sending a particular message to an iOS device causes the Messages app to crash, leaving users unable to re-open it – and a new one has emerged in iOS 11. 9to5Mac

Researchers discover two new Spectre and Meltdown variants – Spectre and Meltdown are two serious, recently discovered security flaws tied to CPU hardware. Techspot

MIT’s new chip makes neural networks practical for battery-powered devices – Researchers at MIT have developed a chip capable of processing neural network computations three to seven times faster than earlier iterations. Techspot

Friday Tech News Roundup #25

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

iPhone sales numbers dipped slightly, but revenue is up courtesy of the iPhone X – As far as sales figures go, this last quarter wasn’t entirely rosy for Apple. During today’s earnings report, the company posted sales of 77.3 million iPhones, down just under a million from this time last year. Of course, that 78.2 million figure from 2017 represented a new record for the company. Techcrunch

Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue from AirPods, Watches, TVs and other products last quarter – Other than its iPhones and computers, Apple sells a bunch of other products, like the AirPods, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Beats products, iPod Touch and, most recently, the HomePod. In Q1 2018, Apple saw $5.5 billion in revenue for these other products, an increase of 36 percent year over year. Techcrunch

Facebook bans cryptocurrency ads due to frequent fraud – Those cryptocurrency ads that promise to make you rich in a matter of days? You won’t see them on Facebook any more. Mashable

Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop is cheaper and slower at $799 – Microsoft has launched a new version of its Surface Laptop today, bringing the base unit price down to $799. The software giant quietly unveiled the cheaper Surface Laptop over at the Microsoft Store, and the new $799 variant ships with Intel’s Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. That makes the new base model slower and cheaper than the previous version at $999 that shipped with a Core i5 processor and the same low amount of RAM. The Verge

Apple finally lists all the ways you can play audio on HomePod, and Bluetooth isn’t one – After a degree of confusion over the possible ways to play music on its new HomePod speaker, Apple has cleared things up by posting more information on compatible audio sources. The HomePod does indeed work with iTunes Match and purchased iTunes tracks as well as Apple Music, according to Apple’s website, which also mentions Beats 1, podcasts, and the ability to AirPlay “other content” from various Apple products. You should be able to beam songs from apps like Spotify, then, though you won’t be able to play them with spoken commands. The Verge

Google and 3M join the USI, an initiative aimed at creating an open standard for styluses – Touchscreens may have become the norm but styluses still have their uses. While they are primarily used throughout the digital art community, many regular users still prefer them over their fingers due to a stylus’ superior accuracy. Techspot

Cisco issues critical vulnerability alert for devices using WebVPN – Cisco recently issued an urgent security advisory regarding devices configured with WebVPN. The vulnerability is in the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) devices. The company has labeled it a critical flaw with a CVSS score of 10 which is as high as the scale goes. Techspot

Samsung launches 800GB Z-SSD for AI and high-performance computing – There is no shortage of demand for faster enterprise storage and Samsung now has a new product to offer. The SZ985 Z-SSD is an 800GB, four-lane PCIe SSD based on Z-NAND memory that offers nearly ten times the read performance compared to 3-bit V-NAND chips. The SZ985 is designed for supercomputing and artificial intelligence applications and can act as an extremely high-speed cache drive. Techspot

Quantum Computers Threaten Data Encryption – The promise of quantum computing comes with a major downside: “Cryptographically useful” quantum machines will threaten public key encryption used to secure data in the cloud, a new report warns. HPCWire

Firefox users should update now to patch security flaw – Mozilla has released a critical update for Firefox that repairs a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to run unauthorized code on a user’s PC. Techradar

Friday Tech News Roundup #23

Below are 10 tech news that I found interesting and are related to topics I care about.

Apple revamps web design for App Store – Apple has updated the look of its web-based App Store, 9to5Mac first reported. It definitely has the feel of the iOS 11 App Store, which Apple completely redesigned and launched last September. But, unlike iOS 11, there’s no focus on app discovery. Techcrunch

A bug is messing up the keyboard for some Messenger users on iPhones (Update: Now fixed) – If you’re having issues with Facebook Messenger on your iPhone right now, you’re not alone. Techcrunch

Tim Cook: next iOS update will let users disable iPhone battery performance throttling – With its admission that it throttles performance on older iPhones, Apple is facing one of its biggest controversies in years. The feature may be for the benefit of the owner, but Apple’s failure to disclose what it’s been doing has been met with anger. Now, Tim Cook says a future update will allow the performance throttling to be switched off, if a user wishes. Techspot

World’s most powerful mobile spyware can read WhatsApp messages, take photos, more – Security firm Kaspersky has uncovered a new Android spyware tool that’s being described as one of the most powerful and advanced forms of mobile malware ever. Named after one of the domains where it was first identified, Skygofree can perform a number of malicious activities, including recording audio and reading WhatsApp messages. Techspot

Apple and Samsung are both under investigation by the Italian government over planned obsolescence – Italy’s antitrust organization has launched two separate investigations against Apple and Samsung over accusations of planned obsolescence. The Verge

Netflix encourages employees to interview at other companies — here’s why – Netflix’s approach to people management can come off as logical but harsh. Business Insider

Microsoft Office for Mac gets a major update – Microsoft has released a new version of Office 2016 for Mac, introducing new online features that bring it closer in line with the cloud-first Office 365. Techradar

Apple forgot the greatest lesson of the MacBook Air – Ten years ago, Steve Jobs hopped on stage at Macworld 2008 and did another one of his seemingly impossible magic tricks: He undid the string on a manila envelope, pulled out the MacBook Air, and forever changed laptops forever. Mashable

This simple text message can paralyze your iPhone — but a fix is coming – A newly discovered iOS bug lets an attacker construct a simple text message which, when sent to an iPhone, immediately freezes and possibly restarts it. Mashable

Facebook became your news diet. Now, it’s going to serve you junk. – Forget about media outlets and Facebook — worry about readers. Mashable