So, the end has finally started to arrive. The Facebook fad and its crippling takeover of anything meaningful in our lives is dying a well-overdue death.
Yes, yes, if Facebook were a nation, it has so many members that it would be the third largest country in the world and all that, so it still is mildly popular. But I am also happy to say that numerous bits of recent research have found that people are using Facebook a lot less than they used to, and in many countries it is now losing significant numbers (i.e. millions) of members.
Lucy Mangan’s brilliant piece in today’s Stylist gives all the essential facts.
I don’t have a problem with social media in general. I’m actually a big fan of other forms of it, such as Twitter and even to a certain extent LinkedIn. But I have actively disliked Facebook for a number of years now.
It’s the shallow, fake, uselessness of it, mainly. I don’t like the way people add people as ‘friends’ who they are in no way ‘friends’ with. I don’t like the way people post ‘personal’ conversations on a wall that all and sundry can read. I don’t like the way people post statuses purely to get attention but write them in a ridiculous ‘oh no I *really* don’t want to talk about it’ way. Basically, I don’t like it and have barely used the thing for a number of years.
Sadly I have felt compelled to leave my Facebook profile active for now (I have closed it once before, but unfortunately had to reactivate it as I realised there are a handful of people, mainly ex colleagues based abroad, who seem to refuse to stay in contact through anything other than Facebook).
In perhaps a sign of its decreasing popularity I seem to be contacted by Facebook at ever dwindling intervals, reminding me to come back soon and giving me updates about people who’s names I was happily starting to forget.
This makes me sound like a right cold, unfriendly old cow. Which, I hope, I am honestly not. My friends and family mean more to me than anything. But, in all honesty (other than in the aforementioned based-abroad situation) if I have to catch up with you over a public-facing ‘wall’ rather than in person over a cocktail, or, at worst, on the phone, then to be honest we probably aren’t really ‘friends’ after all.
Twitter, though, is different. It doesn’t purport to be a digital representation of your entire social and professional life, and every connection you have ever made within it. Instead you get to read and become involved in a number of conversations about topics that are genuinely of interest to you. And it epitomises instant, public-owned journalism *often* at its very best.
I have very carefully tailored my Twitter feed so when I log on I actually feel like I have walked into a room filled with people I genuinely really like, or find very entertaining/ interesting. I don’t know what it is about Facebook, but every time I log on there I instead seem to feel a bit rubbish about myself, with people I never really liked in person, let alone on the internet in the most extreme version of themselves, wielding their way back into my life.
So, goodbye Facebook (if the research is correct) you won’t be missed.
By Sophie Hudson