5 things I learned by unliking all of my Facebook likes

In an effort to limit my digital footprint, one of the things I am doing is not
liking every fucking thing on Facebook. In addition to not liking anything
moving forward, I also went back and unliked everything that I have liked over
the last 3 years or so. This includes pages, interests, posts and comments.
Here’s what I learned from this exercise:

  1. I click like on just about everything. At a certain point going through and
    clicking like became my ritualistic routine of using Facebook on mobile. I
    have went as far as removing the Facebook app from my phone just to avoid this
    from happening again.

  2. What I like is quite predictable, specifically around television shows. I
    don’t watch a ton of television but it’s very obvious when I do. New season of
    Orange is the New Black or The Walking Dead is out? You’ll be likely to find a
    ton of likes on stuff from or about the show.

  3. With all of these likes, I rarely commented or re-posted the content with
    additional commentary. In my opinion, clicking like adds little to no value to
    the content and thus should be avoided. My wife called out the fact
    that if I am commenting more and liking less, Facebook can still track my ass.
    While this is a true statement, at least with commenting I feel I will be less
    likely to comment at the volume that I click the like button. I don’t always
    have something of value to add whereas clicking like is an effortless action
    that requires little to no thought to accomplish.

  4. Manually unliking everything is really fucking hard. It’s so hard that I
    would recommend deleting your account completely and remaking it later on if
    you want to accomplish a complete purge of your likes. I could have automated
    the task but I felt that it was important to go through and see what I was
    liking over the years. One thing I learned is that you can speed up the manual
    process dramatically by clicking the pencil icon then hitting U + <ENTER>.

  5. None of these likes were important. I look back at the last 3 years of likes
    and all I can think is, I really don’t care about any of this information. It’s
    quite possibly some of the least important data in my life. The flip side of
    that is that the data is significantly important to the brands I liked as
    well as Facebook so they can feed their algorithms to help better serve ads
    to me based on my interests. I also have to assume that it’s important to the
    special people out there that thrive off of the notifications that someone
    liked their… whatever. No one’s asked me why I stopped liking their shit yet,
    so I’m jumping to the conclusion that my likes just don’t matter to anybody.

I plan to repeat this exercise on the other services I frequent as well. I’m
even toying with the idea of purging all of my Tweets that are older than 90
days old. Seems a bit harsh though, in comparison to my mindless Facebook
likes, Twitter posts (not necessarily retweets) are more insightful since they
are actual quips from my head.

I am also currently in search of a service that lets me automatically purge
Tweets and other social posts over X days old without forcing me to utilize a
third-party app to post from. It would also be nice if it had an archive
feature as Twitter does not provide a way to flag individual Tweets as private.

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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