January 31, 2021

It is Time to Delete the Atheist Revolution Facebook Page

Facebook

I will soon be shutting down Atheist Revolution's Facebook page and deleting my Facebook account. This is not an impulsive decision but one I have been considering for some time. I am not writing this post to persuade you to do the same. I'm also not writing it to explain or justify my decision, although I may offer a brief explanation. The primary reason I am writing this post is to let those who have been using the page know it was coming. Since the page has been active on Facebook for several years, it seemed weird to just abruptly delete it without saying anything.

I'd like to thank those of you who have been active participants on Atheist Revolution's Facebook page. You are the only reason I didn't shut it down years ago when problems first surfaced. I created the page to promote Atheist Revolution, and it worked well for that purpose for some time. I even enjoyed using it in the early days. It wasn't until they tweaked their algorithms to reward the type of content I have no interest in creating that it became less effective for blog promotion. And once the problems did surface, they seemed to get worse by the month.

Why am I quitting Facebook? There are lots of reasons, but I'll give you two of the most important. First, I haven't enjoyed using it for a long time. That means I have not been spending time there for over a year (posts to my page have been automated so I have not had to visit Facebook). Since I do not like the idea of having a page that I never visit because that means I have little idea what goes on there, shutting it down makes good sense. Second, I have gradually come to believe that Facebook is unhealthy not just for me personally but for toxic effect it has on society at large (e.g., amplifying conflict and deepening divisions). Again, the algorithms reward this sort of thing. I've reached the point where this is not something I can continue to be part of any longer. In some ways, this was the same feeling I began to have about church all those decades ago.

But why quit now and not months or years ago? I am ashamed to admit that I delayed quitting Facebook much longer than I should have and that I did so because I knew it would have a negative impact on my blog traffic. I suppose I needed to reach the point where the bad clearly outweighed the good. I am at that point now. If leaving Facebook causes my blog traffic to tank, I'm okay with that. In fact, I think I'd rather end the blog than maintain a relationship with Facebook. And so, it is time to pull the plug on the Atheist Revolution Facebook page and on my account.