The Facebook Debacle

Relationship Status – Done with Facebook!

“Are you sure?” Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Have you ever been harassed by a relative, an aunt you never meet, or a long time neighbors, commenting on a memory from 16 years ago, on how messy you were? You are not alone.

My problems with Facebook started when it became popular and everyone signed up for it. Everyone could find you, tag you in pictures, send you a message. A long time ago, Facebook was fun, when all the people there were your crushes, your friends, and school mates. Then after a time, your aunt learned how to use it and started spreading positivity messages on your wall. Every morning. So did your super religious cousin, to comment on your posts of you and the other slouchy friend having a blast in Miami.

The Bullying Platform

retrieved from Unsplash

After a few years, Facebook became a bullying platform. In every single form, for everything you have an opinion on, there is someone to be against it and be loud about it. Much different than Twitter, which you argue with strangers, on Facebook you are arguing with your high school peeps, that never left that small headquarters of the Indiana countryside. And only read Infowars. I’m not going to even start on the conspiracy theories.

Social media became such a divided platform, that most of the people left there, are only there to pick up fights. Political, rights, race. It’s exhausting. In my country, Facebook elected a President. And I would like to know what kind of power is that, manipulating people’s minds to think a certain way. They create problems with every sentence you write and trigger you into thinking they are right, you are not.

Once upon a time, there was a fun place to check on your friends

2007

I signed up for Facebook in 2007, when all the people at the house where I was doing the summer program signed up for. It was a good way to communicate with people abroad, my friends from England were always touching base and planning to meet. There was also another way for me to keep in touch with foreign friends I made at the hostel I worked in Rio.

Back in 2010, it became popular in Brasil, I just wanted my best friend to learn how to use it and that would be fine. Suddenly I had friends of my aunt, friends of my aunt’s friends, and a bunch of unsolicited friendship requests. When they released the commenting update on stuff like my status, that’s when it went all downhill.

I like to complain, that’s my style. It is my humor style and everything that surrounds me. I got it from my momma. One given day, I was so mad, probably because of work, I went to my status and let it all out. I said, “This is not possible that life can trip me like that, I want my money back, life it’s not fair, why this, why that”. Five minutes later, I went back to Facebook and a friend of my mom I didn’t even know could see what I was writing commented back “You should be happy with your life, you are always so unhappy, please be thankful for what you have” Now I ask you, did I ever asked anyone’s opinion?

The audacity!

Facebook gave people the audacity of being nosy and give their unrequested opinion. I still think they should create a button “Did I ask for your opinion?”. They never got on board with the dislike button, but they let us have an angry red face. There is no common ground. Like an emoji giving a cold shoulder or an intense eye-rolling, when you see someone posting the love of her life for the 3rd time that year. After long debating, I removed the Facebook app from my phone. Let me tell you, that is such a relief, especially during elections.

I only check Facebook, every other day to see who is getting married, who got back home safe from church, or who got a new car, they can’t clearly afford. Facebook is also a platform to brag. Usually people from your High School or someone who you graduated college with, posting that they got an amazing job. What they don’t want to tell you, is that this amazing job is probably 70 hours a week and he won’t get to see his family, eat properly and enjoy life. Yay Capitalism! It also creates in people that are seeing this, the idea that they are not accomplishing anything.

We are all in the same boat!

Let me tell you, you are accomplishing things in life. It’s not because a person got a brand new car, a job, or graduated in something, that they are better than you. You are not measured by your productivity. Don’t let them measure your worth by what you have or the kind of job you have. Take me for example I’m a 35 years old immigrant from Brazil, who dreams to be a tv writer, and who doesn’t even have a drivers license (I drive, I just get nervous on my driving exam and failed a few times).

We are all on different paths and social media, especially Facebook, has this insane mission of messing with our minds. According to the documentary “The Social Dilemma”, they have people to study all of our likes and dislikes, what we spend more time on, what we read, what we like to eat. That’s how the platform makes money, manipulating you to think you need certain things when you don’t. How many times you thought that your phone was listening to you? Because it probably was.

The psychology behind it it’s insane. And I guarantee you people are not as nearly as happy as they say they are. One of my acquaintances kept posting how happy she is with her kids, they are the sunshine of her life, when in fact that mom is exhausted and without any brainpower to think about herself. Would it be so much better and helpful to other moms if she shared her truth, but people rather believe in the bubble they create, so it makes it easier to get by?

Back to the beginning

Back to the very beginning, I remember that I used to make entire albums, of trips, or events, with descriptions, of every 69 photos I uploaded on the website. That time when most of my updates were “Joana is…Looking forward to the weekend at the beach”. I lived in Rio, so that was common.

The only good thing to have this for all these years, its to see how much I’ve grown and changed. Thank Goddess. Can you imagine using the same vocabulary from when I was 21?Dude! No way! Way… “Joana is… going to the barbie today”. Believe me, I still have friends who talk like that and they are almost 40. Social Media is almost an adult and they are still not.

Recently I requested to participate in a few blogging for beginners group on Facebook, but I’m not feeling very confident about it. People are harsh and if I need someone to yell at me, I just call my mom. The blogging groups work in terms of ideas, but not in terms of a growing audience. That’s called Pinterest. I understand that a lot of people have business pages on Facebook, and it works well for them, it just doesn’t work for me. I also feel like Facebook’s popularity decreasing more and more each year, so instead of focusing on the platform, I rather focus on something else. It took me a long time to get away, to be sucked back in so fast.

Do you still have Facebook?

It’s funny to think how before, people were always like “What’s your Facebook?’ and now when someone asks you that, you frown, like you smell something disgusting. Because it is. It didn’t age well. As soon as people decided it was ok to give an unsolicited opinion, it was over. Since it’s my page, I can post it, as long it’s about my life and doesn’t intend to offend anyone, its fine.

This is also hard because people grew too sensitive and all we say can turn around and be offensive to someone. Of course, you can’t be homophobic, or talk about white power shit and think your opinion is the only one that matters. Also, your shitty opinion can be said it out loud to your family, who probably agree with you. I don’t have to read it on my newsfeed. Just be a decent human, is this ask for too much? I rarely unfriend people, but there is a huge line of people to be taken out of my eye sight.

With all that being said and less and less time spent on Facebook, I got more time to write and focus on my problems. Since I don’t have the app on my phone, I don’t have any recent photos in there. Soon enough it will be only my Memories and I’m ok keeping it as an old diary.

So, do you still have Facebook and use it constantly, or you got rid of it? Please let me know in the comments, so I can see if I’m on the right track keeping it as a memory box for the old days

Be safe! Stay Healthy!

J.G.Snelly