When I meet someone for the first time, our interaction often ends with them saying something to the effect of "Hey, add me on Facebook!" My response, without fail, surprises them. I do not have a Facebook. I never had one and I never will. Yes, I am one of very few. No, I am not in witness protection or some secret society. My reasoning is actually quite simple.
M relationship with social media began sometime in middle school when all my friends had a Facebook, MySpace, or AOL Instant Messaging account. Naturally, I wanted to follow suit and asked my parents if I could have a Facebook. They said no. So I didn't have a Facebook like some of my friends. Of course, for a little while I felt left out, but soon I would be glad I hadn't joined the club.
When you attend a really small school (and I mean REALLY small, like 12 kids in my entire grade small), word spreads pretty fast about, well, everything. So when a girl in my class got in trouble for cyber bullying and everyone who was associated with her Facebook was getting called down to the principle's office too, I was glad my parents hadn't let me get online.
A year or two later my parents told me I was old enough to have a Facebook now if I wanted, but I said: "No, its ok." They were baffled. At the time my reasoning was simply wanting to keep my distance from the people at my school who were being irresponsible idiots online, but as the years go on I constantly find myself being thankful I never opened a Facebook.
Anytime there has been a security scare about user info and everyone panicked about where their personal info and pictures were going, I was worry-free. I'm even happy about it on a daily basis when I see people glued to the phones or laptops scrolling through the infinite meaningless data and I know I have not fallen into the 'constant-sharing' trap.
Of course, I'm not saying I don't use social media at all, I have an Instagram; however, as a lover of photography, I get a lot of value from a picture sharing app. By the way, that's all it is, a way to share pictures, not a documentation of your life or a diary. I use it infrequently and don't sit glued to a screen clamoring for more likes or comments.
I see the value in social media as an idea, and I enjoy getting glimpses of distant friends' lives on the sites I do use. I also see the downfall of social media every day when groups of people do not speak or make eye contact because their phones are more important. I see my friends addicted to an app, judging their self-worth by the number of hearts, and forgetting to live like a human being in the real world.
I will never use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any of the sites collecting big data just to spit it back at it's groveling users. I am tired of telling my friends that whatever's on their phone will still be there in five minutes but I won't because I have to go, sick of sitting in a room with plenty of other people and only seeing the tops of heads and hints of faces illuminated by a screen.
I will not add you on Facebook because I can call you, or text you, or maybe even meet you in person and we will have tons to talk about because I haven't already read a disjointed, grammatically incorrect version of your life told in status updates and blurry selfies. I will never have a Facebook because I don't need one. It won't add value to my life, in fact, it will detract value by sucking away my time, attention, and ability to actually talk out loud to other humans.
My goal is not to make everyone delete their Facebook account (even though it might do humanity some good), it's not my place to preach. Maybe you love Facebook and its the only way you can stay in contact with distant family. Perhaps it adds value to your life, but in my life, it does not and that is why I will never use Facebook.