I dropped Facebook three months ago today, after one too many unsolicited political opinion, one too many invasively toxic comment, one too many Messenger spam attack or something like that. Really, I don’t remember anymore, but I do know I haven’t missed it at all. Until the last week or so, when the news of family dealing with earthquakes in California, COVID-19 in Massachusetts and a friend dealing with the loss of a parent piled up and I recognized that there’s something to be said for the connection Facebook offers. And so today I’m reluctantly back on it again… in extreme moderation.
In the meantime, I’ve been blogging away and today will be my 641st post. This is where I’d rather be, and Facebook will just be a place I’ll stop by to hear about and share in what’s going on with the people I care about. I’ll respect those people’s firm believe in the rightness of their political, religious or social views, but won’t debate them on any of it. I’d slowly back away from someone at a party if they were preaching to me about Biden or Trump, and I’d do it virtually when they post it on Facebook. I may strongly agree with them, or even question their sanity, but why go there in the first place? It’s their right, and my right to mute the noise. After three months of cold turkey I’m dipping a toe in the waters again. I have equally strong opinions about our current political climate, but I won’t muddy up the waters more than they already are.
No, I won’t subject family and friends to the very stuff I bolted Facebook to avoid. I know that I missed reasons to offer condolences, congratulations and Happy Birthdays in these last three months. Hopefully I won’t miss many more. But the people I’m closest to I just called instead, and that seemed more genuine than some comment on a post anyway. The world has changed a lot in three months, and maybe collectively we’ll be the better for having endured the shared experience. Facebook still annoys me, tracks me, pushes things on me I don’t want and generally is the worst behaving “tech company” of the lot. And they know they can get away with it. That doesn’t mean that we have to put up with it. I may just look around, realize it’s all still a quagmire and step back permanently. I know they won’t give a damn whether I’m there or not, but maybe a voice of support for those I care about is enough reason to try.