Monday, November 17, 2014

Bye Bye, Facebook!





I remember when I first joined Facebook. It was January, 2005 and I was a freshman at Ole Miss. I was there for the first Winter Session that they ever had at the school and the campus was completely empty. 

Since Winter Session hadn't really caught on yet, there were probably only 70 people on the actual campus and I was living in the dorms at that time and I didn't have a car with me that year so I was totally bored and stuck sitting around an empty college dorm! No car, no people, no parties, school work and winter cold.. NOT fun!

Back at that time, people were still using AOL Instant Messenger and I kept seeing this link at the end of people's profiles that said "Facebook Me!" So I ended up clicking on it and learning about what Facebook was. Only a few schools at that time were allowed to join Facebook, and Ole Miss was one of them. 

Out of complete boredom, I decided to join using one of my favorite pictures of me (it was actually a picture of me from a toga party in high school.) Then my Facebook life all started!

 I had no idea what I was in for or what a phenomenon it would turn out to be. Very few of my friends were on Facebook at that time, but gradually through the winter and spring of my freshman year more and more of my classmates joined. More and more Universities were added to the site so many of my Nashville and boarding school friends were all jumping on the Facebook train. 

My sophomore year was when Facebook seemed to really get exciting because that was when PICTURES could be added to the site! That was before camera phones were in use so tons of pics of my friends taken with disposable cameras were scanned in and added to the site. We all were so young and good looking and parties were so exciting and now everyone could see how much fun we were having.... yayyyyyy!!!

My junior year was when Facebook seemed to go down hill for me because that was when the NEWS FEED was added, where you could suddenly see a play-by-play of everything your friends were doing on Facebook. I remember that very morning that the News Feed went live, because we all went to bed that night and woke up and we were like WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY FACEBOOK? 

My roommates and I were all in the living area of our house with our laptops, pointing at our screens being like "WHAT IS THIS? I posted on Stuart's wall last night and now its on everyone's Facebook home page!!!!!!!" My roommate Maggie and her boyfriend had just ended their relationship on Facebook the night before, and unfortunately for her, the announcement of their break up was at the top of everyone's News Feed, with a big broken heart symbol next to it. Horrible, HORRIBLE timing! (Sorry for bringing up that story Maggie but it was such a great example of how invading the News Feed was and still is!)

Unfortunately, the News Feed never went away. About two years later was when the Facebook chat went live, and then Facebook was no longer restricted to just college kids, but for anyone to join. That was when people's parents, etc. were suddenly on it, and people were afraid to "friend" their mom, dad or cousin out of fear for what they could see on their once private page!

These days I have about 1,300 friends on Facebook and I only really keep up with maybe(?)  40 of them. Most of the posts or photos I see are friends that are no longer in my life for various reasons, or people I never really knew to begin with. It seems exhausting to "unfriend" all of the people I don't care to keep up with anymore. With the constant overload on my News Feed of people's posts complaining about their "bad day", friends begging for gas money or a place to stay, political rants, violent pictures of abused animals for animal rights, etc., Facebook had become a downer for me to look through.

I had been on Facebook for over 9 years, and I decided I didn't really want to be carrying around all those years on my page anymore. It is kind of hard to see the pictures I have with ex-bestfriends or ex-boyfriends on there, but I didn't want to delete the pictures or wall posts with them since they were a part of my history and past. There were 2 things keeping me on Facebook- new pictures being posted of me or event invitations. 

I consistently do some PR for new posts on this blog on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, but I would hesitate to post about my blog on Facebook since I have over 1,300 "friends" who could potentially view it. So for a social experiment I posted one of my new blog posts on Facebook for 24 hours. 

The link only got 1 comment and 1 like on Facebook, but it got over 80 views straight from Facebook that day! Usually I will just get 2 views straight from Twitter, maybe 15 straight from Instagram and maybe 1 a day straight from Pinterest. 

Anyways, even though it could really get the word out about my blog, it wasn't enough to convince me to keep my Facebook account. There is just too much negativity on there for me to consistently see, and I don't want to be a part of it anymore. I will miss the new Facebook photos and event invites, but I will just ask my friends to email me the photos or keep me in the loop via text message if something fun is coming up.

So on Friday, for the first time ever I deleted my Facebook account. I may be back someday, but so far it feels freeing from those 9 years of documentation and I don't miss it yet. I will still be keeping my Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter so I can get the idea of what's going on from those. Cya, Facebook! It's been a long run!

Readers, what do you think of Facebook? Have you ever deleted your account- why or why not?






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