Why I left Facebook

September 8, 2010

For many days, I’ve been trying to figure out what to tell people when they ask me why I left Facebook. I usually tell them that it’s a site which does not follow their own stated rules (if more than a certain number of people report something abusive, it is taken under consideration and removed) and therefore, I don’t want to use such a site. I thought I’d do some research about it. I came across the Harm Principal formulated by John Stuart Mill, which states that anyone can express themselves as they will, as long as they are not harming others. I read up on it, and nowhere did I find any protection for their sentiments.

What is freedom? Exemption from external authority, interference or restriction! When freedom is allowed in expression, people can find loop holes in its limitations and use it to offend others. My point being, that is it the best way to deal with ones feelings, being able to say whatever you please? If you look at it from the surface it seems completely fair and justifiable, however, its good to go into the depth of things to make more sense of them. Giving this right, in my opinion, causes one to lose the ability to handle one’s feelings tactfully. The other day, at university, a scholar was giving a speech about how things were handled by people who had finesse in their ways. And that is what got me thinking.

As I’ve mentioned before in my earlier posts that norms and traditions are withering away! And this has a great impact on the society, the global society! By allowing freedom of speech (synonymously freedom of expression), we are finding the easy way out. It makes everything so wild, the animal kind of wild! In the animal kingdom, there are no rules, and no set ways of doing things, the animals are free to do what they please, Allah having programmed them in such a way that they don’t exactly go around doing anything they please, is another discussion. However, human beings, having been made the superior of creations, should not act that way! Consideration, morality, sensitivity and other such qualities are distinguishing factors between animals and humans, are they not?

Do not control the way you feel, let it out of your system, is what I always suggest to people. But let it out in a human way! Today, you care for people’s sentiments, tomorrow, they will care for yours! There is always more than one way of expressing youself. The way, you choose, is what matters.

Coming down to my reason for not using Facebook. There was a big scandal of the  Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Apparently there was an event on Facebook, which was holding some sort of competition on the depictions. Someone doesn’t like the idea of Islam or who brought it. That is totally his right, being a human, having free will. However, that person can express himself in a way that won’t invoke anger in others, unless that is what was intended, in which case, is a very mischievous thing to do! Is Facebook providing a platform for such people? A place that can be used to stir up controversies, make divides, cause hatred towards one another? Think about it, and answer these questions yourself, and then determine whether my decision to leave Facebook was a good thing or not!

And then there is that undeniable aspect, that we tend to waste a lot, and I really mean A LOT of time on Facebook, doing nothing! Jumping from one page to another, searching for something that might entertain us. But that is something that you can control, and in fact we should be able to manage our time, it is a skill which everyone, who wants to make the best of his or her life, requires.

I’m glad I was finally able to make things clear to myself about why I left Facebook. For my own good, to know that I’m not just overreacting or being an extremist.


7 Responses to “Why I left Facebook”

  1. Tammy McLeod Says:

    Ghazi, you’ve used facebook as a metaphor to deal with some very difficult issues. One thing that we certainly agree upon is that facebook is a huge consumer of time.

    As you know, I live in a country where freedom of speech is fundamental to our constitution. We are given the right to say what we want to say but I believe that it’s imperative that we remember we are accountable for our words. And it’s also not just our right but everyone’s regardless of our interest in what they are saying or our alignment with their position. And, the right doesn’t guarantee the right to not be offended.

    That said, I think that exercising such a freedom requires personal discipline and unfortunately, not everyone has such a thing. We learn and try to live by the following, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

    Thank you for writing an important post.

  2. iiftikhar87 Says:

    Great post, Ghazi! I enjoy reading your blog.

  3. Saad Rashid Says:

    Ghazi its really a good Post. I liked it alot! And will try my Best to get away from Facebook.

  4. Kazi Says:

    I just found out you had a blog! well Ghazi I too left facebook, my reason was that FB is biased. After the cartoon drawing page went up, someone created a fan page for Hitler which was immediately taken down by FB. If FB wasn’t biased it would have taken down the draw Muhammad page too.
    BUT if it had let both the pages to be as they were then maybe I would still be on FB. Note this doesn’t in anyway mean I supprot Hitler :). This was just an experiment conducted by someone.

    • ghaziaitizaz Says:

      At the time when facebook got blocked in Pakistan, it was as if we would never be able to pass time on the internet without it, people got really frustrated and would try different ways to get to facebook, like proxy sites. Something so insignificant has such a great impact on people, thats really sad. But I’m glad I made this decision, and I’m glad u did too! It might not make a difference to facebook, but at least when the people around us ask why we aren’t on facebook and we tell them our reason, they will stop and think about it themselves! Keep reading the rest of my blog, u might like it 🙂
      Take Care,

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