Despite my hatred for Facebook, I find myself having to engage in order to maintain social networking, keep up with my family abroad and keep up with friends I grew up with.
Personally, I have had enough of Facebook. I have had enough misinformation pop up on my feed. I have had enough with seeing people bully others constantly when one is being vulnerable. I am tired of the egoism Facebook has brought out in it’s users. I am especially tired of ads and algorithms.
My relationship with Facebook didn’t start out this way. It was a way for me to be a weird 5th grader with other weird 5th graders in my class. Facebook has also helped me keep up with my family in India, being a place where I could share my childhood accomplishments so my family could be proud.
As I get older, I don’t find myself scrolling on Facebook longer than five minutes. In those five minutes, I check up on family and friends, then get angry with everything I see in between. So many articles are pushed around on the site that have yet to be fact-checked which leads to people creating posts with linked articles to promote points that are either divisive or outright false. Don’t believe me? Then take a look at QAnon.
Despite Facebook eventually banning QAnon, the late response allowed QAnon to gain a significant base on the app. Articles with loads of misinformation were once able to spread across Facebook, giving QAnon the ability to build a base that was stable despite getting banned. People were able to claim their harmful views as valid because they were backed by “evidence,” which were just articles from the site.
The spread of misinformation has killed my Facebook experience. Misinformation is everywhere and it is kind of hard to escape it. Along with misinformation gaining a platform, Facebook has brought out a sense of self-righteousness in people. People become disillusioned from what is reality through algorithms that guide people to what they want to see. Facebook is built that way. The foundation of Facebook has moved to relying on algorithms and ads to promote more engagement, creating Facebook holes where you are getting the posts it thinks you will want to see.
Despite my hatred for Facebook, I find myself having to engage in order to maintain social networking, keep up with my family abroad and keep up with friends I grew up with. In this day and age, we find ourselves relying on social media to maintain social networking. We are urged to make ourselves available to potential employers and in the pandemic, Facebook has become a hub for community connections.
For these reasons, I continue to have Facebook. However, I have decreased my usage drastically. Instead of posting everything major in my life, I post a big thing every once in a while to let everyone know I am still doing alright. I also use it to check my high school alum page for debate. Aside from that, my media usage has moved away from Facebook.
I like to engage more with Twitter and Instagram, but maybe that makes me a classic Gen Z kid. Compared to Instagram and Twitter, I feel the dynamic of Facebook is a lot more complicated. For example, I have no idea who was the person who thought it would be a good idea to make messenger a separate app, but I can tell you for sure it was not a user-friendly decision.
Facebook tried to keep up with the popularity of other apps by adding similar features that just made the app itself a lot more complicated than a regular social media app. When Snapchat became popular, it added stories. When Tinder became a competitor, they made Facebook Dating. When Instagram Live became a consistently used feature, Facebook Live followed. All these features Facebook has added has made me less inclined to want to use the app in general. I don’t even know a majority of what the app does anymore.
Thus, I am becoming less of a fan of Facebook by the day. I am clinging on by a thread when it comes to my usage of the app. There are a variety of reasons why I fight deleting the app, however, I am not happy with the direction this source of social media is going.