and no facebook either

May 17, 2016

Since I’m on the subject of rejecting cultural “norms,” let’s talk about Facebook. Lots of folks have their knickers in a knot over Facebook’s behavior these days. The latest uproar is how Facebook is supposedly blocking outside conservative news from its trending topics. One of oh so many uproars, going back to the early days when Facebook was changing how it shared your private personal information with the rest of the world.

I’d get all hot and bothered too, except I’m not on Facebook. I haven’t been on Facebook for the last five years. That doesn’t mean I’ve never been on Facebook; I’ve been on Facebook not once, but twice. The first time was when it was new and my former company sent out an email that we should “study” social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. So I went right out and signed up for both. After about a year I deleted my Facebook account, swearing I’d never go back. But I’m weak, and sometime about a year-and-a-half later I was back in, ostensibly to keep up with my children and close family members.

That second sign-up, unfortunately, wasn’t meant to be. I learned that no matter how much your children love you, they don’t like their parents as Facebook friends. And I certainly understand that. It was a brouhaha over the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, between my oldest daughter and my sister, followed by histrionics between me, my parents, and my sister, that convinced me that Facebook wasn’t any good for that either. So I deleted that second account and I haven’t been back since.

It’s as this point I could launch into a sarcastic bombastic diatribe against the evils of Facebook. But I won’t. That’s because:

  1. No body held a gun to my head and forced me to sign up to Facebook. Either time. I signed up willingly.
  2. No money changed hands between me and Facebook to be a part of Facebook. It was all free. Granted, the real cost was mining my personal information and web habits that were sold to third parties that actually paid for my access…
  3. Nothing was stopping me from leaving, except laziness and stupidity on my part. Once I gained some degree of knowledge about what was happening I left.

There are people who like Facebook, who literally live on and by what happens on Facebook. They’re happy and I’m happy they’re happy. But Facebook isn’t for me, and I’ve moved on. Maybe a lot more folks, especially those doing all the vociferous complaining, should do the same.