Facebook's 51st Employee on Quitting the Social Network

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Facebook has forever changed our real-world interactions. Most of us have far more friends on Facebook than we do in real life, but so often, its through Facebook that we learn the latest about our peers: new partners, new babies, new jobs. 

Facebook keeps us connected, but what happens with that connectivity comes at the expense of our privacy? At what point do these virtual friendships start to replace — or hamper — our real friendships?

That's Katherine Losse's story, but Katherine wasn't just any Facebook account-holder — she was the company's 51st employee, and Mark Zuckerberg's ghost writer. But by 2010, she decided to jump out of the social media world and get back into the real world. Katherine quit Facebook, leaving that network of 900 million people for a small town of 2,000 people where she decided to make friends the old fashioned way: in person. 

Katherine Losse now lives in Marfa, Texas. She writes about her experience at Facebook in her new book, "The Boy Kings."

Guests:

Katherine Losse

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Jillian Weinberger

Comments [3]

Carol Scudder from Brooklyn

I do not understand the claim that Facebook is not "real contact" or that it somehow jeopardizes users "real" friendships. I find it to be quite the opposite. I've gotten back in touch with folks through Facebook that I wouldn't have been in touch with any other way - and had interesting, surprising interactions with them that I wouldn't have had otherwise. It has allowed me to know about important events in people's lives - people who I care about, but whom it would be overwhelming to try to stay in touch with via phone calls - emails - letters etc. As to my closer friends, who I would stay in touch with regardless - it has only enriched my relationship with them as well, as I've gotten to see pictures of them as children that I might not have seen before, and also gotten to know some of their other friends from other parts of their lives, in at least a casual way. It all depends on how you use it - just like "real" life - it can be as rich - or as lame - or as rewarding - as you make it.

Aug. 15 2012 03:52 PM
oscar from ny

It takes time, effort and pations to be a good social engineer..

Aug. 15 2012 02:55 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Katherine Losse has not retreated anywhere... When you come on NPR and talk about living in the woods when you are in the middle of a book tour it doesn't count.

I understand that she is investigating her feelings about social networks. Will she not use her Social Networking employment to get people to buy her books and remain interested in her career. Will her next book be,"My Three Weeks In Brazil Without Social Disease."

Its not like me to slam someone. I guess I am jealous of her ability to dis what is still giving her a career...

I live my life online about two hours a day and love it. I get to hang out with my friends who are some of the funniest people on the planet. When we were young we used to spend hours in front of my store on chairs just cracking jokes... We are older now, but still cracking jokes on facebook...

Facebook can not know me well enough no matter how much I reveal about myself. I am not frightened of who I am or what I say in public, so it doesn't bother me online (except when I think I am being funny and then realize that the joke sucked)... You want my Social security number, just ask

I can't wait to become famous, so I can talk about how I hate it.

k

Aug. 15 2012 10:53 AM

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