The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

Category: Facebook

“Except you can’t.”

“The [Facebook Home] ad is an apt, if sanguine, depiction of what I’ve been calling ‘present shock,’ the human incapacity to respond to everything happening all at once. In a rapid-fire, highly commercial digital environment, this sense of an overwhelming ‘now’ reaches new heights. Unlike computer chips, human beings can only process one thing at […]

Your Friends Have Awesome Lives and You’re Behind a Laptop.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry.” – researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University

Taking Back Friendship

“I no longer want my friends to have this passive peepshow into my life and I don’t want to have the same view of theirs. I want us to talk. I want a personal email. I want to find a way to share photos in a way that encourages us to talk about them with […]


Facebook currently derives 82 percent of its revenue from advertising. Most of that is the desultory ticky-tacky kind that litters the right side of people’s Facebook profiles. Some is the kind of sponsorship that promises users further social relationships with companies: a kind of marketing that General Motors just announced it would no longer buy. […]

The most important things are quiet

“…it’s easy to be distracted and place value on outside noise instead of focusing on the task at hand or important things in life. With this…I am taking myself out of FB and quieting the noise around me. It’s just not necessary for me to keep in touch with those that mean the most to […]

Like Eternal September

“Facebook became uncool when it opened up the site to people who weren’t in your same college.” – jshintaku While I dislike Facebook, I find the possibility that, it’s popular because it once was cool, very amusing. “Eternal September is a Usenet slang expression, coined by Dave Fischer, for the period beginning September 1993. The […]


“…many people find the biggest surprise in leaving Facebook is how little leaving affected them. Like them, I found leaving a non-issue.” – Joshua Spodek

Paying for Freedom

“I would pay for a service that never sells a single piece of my life. For a service that cares about my emotions and not ad impressions. For a service that is committed to putting me first and not the advertiser. For a service that emphasizes and never blurs the sanctity of my privacy. For […]


“I recently deleted Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and Flipboard from my phone, and have been very happy with the result. Today, I am deactivating my Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is not a decision motivated by Lent, and I have no idea at this moment when or if I will reactivate them.” – J Ben Deaton

Your ‘Friends’ Are Making You Unhappy

“Those who have used Facebook longer agreed more that others were happier, and agreed less that life is fair, and those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives” – Hui-Tzu Grace Chou & Nicholas Edge, “‘They Are Happier and Having Better Lives than I Am': […]