Well, I made it 2 years. Almost to the day.
I left Facebook in March of 2018, upset that they were collecting and selling/abusing my data and in general disgusted with the midterm election specious articles and micro-targeting. I was mostly happy with my choice at the time; I didn’t need Facebook and could make plans with friends to see them in person.
Now, with social distancing, “Stay Home/Stay Safe” or whatever form of “don’t go out into public and everything except the bare necessities are locked down” you want to call it, I am giving in. I miss my friends, and we can’t get together for dinners or coffees or walks or runs; I can’t see my friends at the gym and I can’t see my breakfast club.
Not to say there weren’t problems with having left Facebook before this. I’m on the PTA (yes, still/again), and a lot of information is disseminated on Facebook that is referenced from our primary email communications. It’s much harder for me to keep track of friends in London and Sydney and Georgia and such. If I want to find out more about special upcoming things (Peloton classes, gardening groups, etc.) I have to go pull method (go to the site and/or dig for it) vs. push method (just have it show up in a centralized location). I guess I have to trade my data to Facebook to get that convenience.
And with that data, Facebook will do two things: they will market things to me that I may or may not want (fine – I have FB Purity and Ghostery Chrome extensions), and they will show my friends different targeted ads than the one(s) they target to me. As such, I may end up seeing that junk, because I don’t know the limits of FB Purity, and so I need to set some very specific settings and configurations and rules on Facebook as I go back.
Speaking of rules, here’s the thing: I’ll only be adding people I hang out with outside of work. If we hang at work, but nowhere/when else, then LinkedIn is how we should interact; it’s professionally-based and I’m happy to write an endorsement on how we work together or promote your hiring-or-seeking posts and if you have board positions open we can talk (or if you want a recommendation of a board to join, etc.). But if we don’t hang out outside of work then you probably don’t want to see my latest kvetch on the deer eating my tulips, or the inadequacy of social provisioning in our economy, or how my experiment with paperless paper towels is going. You’ll roll your eyes at my latest pair of knit baby booties and question my sanity after finishing a thousand-piece antique map of the world puzzle because I was having an anxiety fit.
It’s going to be an experiment, I’m going to learn as I go (again), and yes in the meantime Facebook has probably kept a large and extensive ghost profile on me based off of the cookies it has dropped here and there (although I try to maintain cookie hygiene). It’s just that I, a very very very introverted person, and missing my friends.
A person should know their limitations.