Thing 8: Facebook

‘Facebook’ by Dom Pates/Globalism Pictures (CC-BY)

This is a cross-post between WordPress and Medium.

Seems like I started using Facebook in spring 2007, which will make it ten years next year — wow. During those ten years, I’ve looked at my privacy settings and am a member of a few groups, as suggested in the original task. I haven’t quite got round to thinking much about my digital legacy yet, but I guess that part of ‘just doing stuff online’ is about creating things that will add to that. Anyway, here are ten things about Facebook and me.

  1. Friends Reunited was the first social network that I consciously joined, in the early first wave. That was followed by MySpace, where I had a page for a music venture of mine and where I started building followers from strangers. Facebook followed not too long after, in its relative infancy. Guess I’ve seen a lot of change on the platform since.
  2. I pretty much only connect with people I know or have previously met, unlike with MySpace (then) or Twitter (now). I have a rule of not friending current colleagues, but use it to stay in touch with people I’ll no longer be working with after I change jobs.
  3. As far as I can remember, I have only ever unfriended somebody once, in a row over the then-pending EU referendum.
  4. I announced my daughter’s birth on Facebook, although I rarely share pictures of her
  5. My tweets feed directly in to my Facebook profile. This means I rarely start content there, and it usually starts short plus clearly for public consumption.
  6. One friend of mine from ‘real life’ took ages to join, when all around us seemed to be joining up. He later signed up, saying it was becoming like refusing to have a TV.
  7. According to, Facebook has 1.71 billion active users (people who have logged in/used it at least once within the last 30 days).Wikipedia has the world population at 7.4 billion people at the time of writing. That makes roughly one in every four people on Earth an active Facebook user — more than the number of Chinese people (1.38 billion) or about the same as the number of Muslims (1.7 billion) on the planet.
  8. As with Twitter, Google Search, text messaging and iOS/MacOS, Facebook is part of the fabric of my daily digital life, whether I like it or not.
  9. I once made my birthday date hidden to everyone in my Settings. On the day, I heard nothing from anyone I knew outside of my immediate family, making for quite a lonely birthday. The following year, I changed them so that my Friends would be notified of my birthday and was overwhelmed with birthday best wishes on the day.
  10. I rarely ever use things like apps or many of the memes that circulate on Facebook. There has to be some limits on what data is given away there.