Facebook has recently been in the news for a variety of reasons from its Cambridge Analytica scandal to Mark Zuckerberg seeming to have a difficult time distinguishing misinformation/propaganda from legitimate news sources. Zuckerberg’s approach to public debate on Facebook was quite troubling as he had a difficult time labeling Holocaust deniers as illegitimate and not worthy of space on such a platform. It brought to the foreground a feeling that’s been brewing for a while; I need to part ways with Facebook.
I joined Facebook in 2006 as a middle schooler who was looking for other social media platforms to explore (and to feel cool). At the time, the only way to join Facebook was to have a school email address, which I fabricated, to make the account. The platform has really come a long way from being very insular to being one of the hotbeds on the internet for viral misinformation.
As Facebook evolved, it became the more sophisticated version of Myspace (RIP), and it seemed like a great way to keep up with people I’ve met over the years just to have general updates of what they’re up to in life. However, in the past few years Facebook has implemented algorithms for feeds that pretty much only showed you the content you were most likely wanting to see. They figured that posts you liked more often and the people who you interacted with the most were the only people or organizations you wanted to see.This lead to missing out on a lot of posts from people who don’t post often or people you don’t immediately interact with. The new algorithms for me was one of the reasons for finding the platform to be less and less useful.
Another reason for deleting Facebook has been a shift in my mindset about my life. It sounds vague, but I’ve had a general shift in my relationship to technology, friends/humans, and my lifestyle. I’ve been introduced to the concept of being more present or mindful in spaces. One way of practicing that is putting your phone away when you go hang out with someone so that the person is getting your undivided attention. Then, when I became mindful of many wasted hours I was spending on social media and especially Facebook, I consciously decided to consume less since it’s a big waste of time and is actually taking time away from things that I want to do like my hobbies. Not to mention that there have been links to lower self esteem and social media usage. Lastly, I’ve been introduced to the ideas of minimalism in response to climate change, waste and labor exploitation. Consuming less in its different definitions means being more intentional with the things you do and the things you have. Ultimately, I felt that I didn’t need Facebook after not really using it and having it deactivated for weeks.
I constantly compare the modern lifestyles to those of maybe thirty years ago. One of my main concerns about deleting Facebook was that I would lose the avenue to contact people from my past. In reality, I barely reach out to 5% of my friends on Facebook. People used to only keep in contact with a few handfuls of people and that was acceptable. I get the sense that social media allows you to put others on your radar even if they really don’t need to be there.
I feel quite liberated having one less social media platform that I tend to. I haven’t had Grindr in years, but that could easily be a whole separate post. Also, I feel like my interactions with people are more meaningful due to the fact that they have purpose instead of convenience. I always find it special when people take time out of their day to reach out to me. I highly recommend getting rid of your most neglected social media platform; you’ll likely feel a weight come off.
This blog was created in response to my friends on Facebook who wanted to keep up with my thoughts, articles, ideas, etc off Facebook. I hope that this blog will develop with all of my personal interests and rants on various social or political issues.