Why I Can’t Get Rid of Facebook

I begged my parents to let me have a Facebook account when it first started getting big. I was in middle school or somewhere around there. For several years, it seemed like everyone had one but me. Each week at my homeschool co-op, my friends would talk about who posted what on whose page, or who had changed their relationship status. At the time, it felt like I missed a lot.

I wasn’t really missing anything. But I finally got my own account around freshman year of high school. I mainly used it to post pictures from the endless photoshoots I did with my friends. A lot of my old photos from band are on there. I also enjoyed filling my virtual bulletin board with Flair. Does anyone else remember that? I’m pretty sure it was the precursor to Pinterest. (Apparently there’s a project going to bring Flair back to Facebook, though.)

At some point, though, Facebook stopped giving me any value. A lot of my friends quit using it. I noticed more of my friends’ parents and grandparents than my friends. I wouldn’t have minded that too much, but eventually I realized that all I did when I got on Facebook was click on stupid listicles. You know, the ones that promised “35 Hilarious Animals” but delivered 3500 ads.

During college, Facebook introduced a feature that allowed you to download ALL of your profile data. They included your photos, your posts, your likes, your comments, your activity history – down to the second – and even the ads you were served. When I did that, and realized that literally all the time I spent on Facebook was just spent scrolling through random articles, I deleted my account. Now my original Facebook graveyard lives in the cloud.

But alas, I couldn’t stay away from Facebook forever. When I moved into marketing in my current job, I started a Facebook page for my company. (We were way behind the game on that, lol.) Facebook requires business pages to be run by a personal account, so I had to restart mine. I tried my best to keep it as bare as possible – I only followed pages that were relevant to our company, didn’t friend anyone, and didn’t put the app on my personal phone. I used Facebook to post to the business page and keep tabs on the competition. That was it.

But 2020 has turned into the year of virtual connection, apparently. (That’s an optimistic way of looking at it.) Facebook was the best way to connect with the other women who wanted to read Me and White Supremacy. And if I hadn’t rejoined Facebook for that, I don’t think I would have participated in NaNoPoblano this year. As much as I loathe Facebook, I see the value in Facebook groups. There are those that turn into huge useless meme machines, of course. But there are also some that foster real, human connection, and it’s been nice to get that from social media amidst the rest of the mindless scrolling.

23 comments

  1. I have a love/hate/hate/hate relationship with facebook. I keep it primarily because of necessary groups and keeping track of my family, but the timeline never, ever shows me stuff on time. I frequently see events and posts that were somewhat important roughly two days after they happened. It’s infuriating. I’ve been trying to use it less, but it’s really not possible to go entirely without. Plus some other sites are authed through FB, and that’s a whole different sticky wicket.

  2. I’m in the same boat. I was excluded from a lot because I didn’t have Facebook in grade 7 and 8, but by the time I got to high school, the novelty had worn off for us all, and I never needed it or felt like I did. I ended up getting it in university as a lot of clubs and group projects used Facebook or messenger to coordinate and communicate, and I also wanted to promote my blog on Facebook.
    I still use Facebook for the groups and the birthdays and all that, but yeah, there certainly isn’t a lot of activity going on on anyone’s profiles these days. Even the group I co-run is talking about moving from Groups to Discord.
    I don’t think any of the current platforms can replace Facebook fully, so it won’t truly die for a long time, but its hayday is certainly passed.

    • Hard agree on FB’s heyday having passed. But like you said, there’s nothing that can quite replace it yet, which is the main reason I had to get back on. How does your blog do on FB vs Twitter?

  3. I was thinking you were being super active here in WordPress then remembered the NaNopablano. You’re doing a great job! I failed NaNoWriMo when my laptop died. Borrowing hubbies to read and comment these past few weeks.I really hate FaceBook some times, but it has facilitated picture sharing between friends and family, kept small businesses in touch with clients and the groups are helpful. My art teacher is even using it with Vimeo to continue our classes. WordPress is my happy place though….

    • Thanks! Yeah, I don’t think I have EVER posted this much, but it’s gotten easier and easier each day, which is the opposite of what I expected. Yeah, I think Facebook has its uses, but I know for me I have to be intetional about what I use it for. I don’t mind mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, but can’t do that on FB.

  4. Thank you for your post and for this clarity. I’ve been considering a new blog post but couldn’t land on a perspective. I think you’ve helped me figure it out. I appreciate your writing 💜

  5. Or maybe you’ve just gotten old. Since I’m probably somewhere between your parents and your grandparents age, I probably fit the profile. I pop onto facebook a couple of times a day. There, I’m in touch with a lot of old college friends and a handful of people I worked with a a pizza shop as a teen. I tried out twitter for a while but found it incredibly annoying and Insta is where my kids hang out so I’ve stayed off that platform. WordPress is my primary social media, which suits me because there isn’t much here that I consider time wasting.

    • Lol age is probably part of it honestly. Even instagram and twitter get on my nerves more often than not. But my actual friends are on insta still at least. I agree with you on wordpress though, people are very genuine here and there’s space to cover nuances you just can’t cover on other socials.

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