A few days ago, I was having a Facebook-related conversation with a dear friend of mine when she told me that she wasn’t really posting on the platform anymore. Even though we were using Facebook Messenger at the moment, Facebook, the social media thing, was becoming uninteresting to her and she wanted to know if I felt the same.
“Each day I use Facebook less. And I’m seeing that a lot of friends are like this too. Do you think Facebook is losing relevance?”, she asked.
I wanted to remind my millennial friend that she could have been observing a bubble effect. “It might be possible that in some other place people are actually using it even more,” I replied.
But then I thought for a moment and acknowledged that I am not using Facebook very much either. Inside of our bubble, Facebook is, in fact, becoming irrelevant. So much, actually, that yesterday I decided not to walk around carrying its app anymore.
What I realised yesterday was that Facebook is an annoying, needy platform that’s constantly calling for attention and distracting me from more important things.
I would get notifications all the time for when my friends were attending events I have no interest in, when they started a live stream that I don’t want to watch, or because Facebook believes I care that I’ve been “Facebook-friends” with someone for 3 years even though I actually met that person 10 years earlier.
But the unwanted notifications were not the only reason for my mobile Facebook-axing, after all, I could simply disable that in the iOS’s settings. There’s also the fact that Facebook has become kind of useless to me.
That “On This Day” feature is great for noticing that: 6 or 7 years ago my friends and I had posts with literally hundreds of comments. One of us would post something about going out and then 5 to 10 others would start and carry on a very long conversation on what to do and at what time. We’d done the same by email before but migrated to Facebook at some point. Then we jumped to the Groups, and then Messenger or WhatsApp. And now I rarely see or make a post with dozens of comments.
I don’t access Facebook to see photos and videos for I do that on Instagram. I don’t rely on Facebook as a news source. I don’t use Facebook for business because LinkedIn is way better at this. And, considering YouTube’s uber superiority, I definitely don’t see Facebook as a video platform.
The only Facebook feature that I still use for real is Events. It helps me get to know what’s going on throughout the city and, because of Facebook, my friends can easily invite me to their stuff. But then again, it’s not something I would die without. Last week we threw a party at home and the 20-ish people attending were invited individually. No Facebook event needed. And also, I don’t have to see my invitations right away. If it’s urgent, I’ll receive a message about it.
So why the heck did I have the Facebook app for, seeing that everything would be fine if I waited to check on the social network from time to time on my computer? The truth is, I don’t need Facebook for anything. So I deleted its app.
And I know you probably don’t care, but a Facebook axing would not be an illuminating experience if I didn’t talk about it. It’s like becoming a vegan or realising that God might not exist. Say it so it’s true.
Well, let’s see how long I will be able to endure a life without god Zuckerberg’s omnipresence.
Hi there! I am Leonardo Pereira, a Brazilian journalist (and copywriter wannabe) located in Dublin. You can find me on the Internet as @leeopereira.