I thought twice about putting up a post like this. It’s free advertising for Facebook, something Facebook does not need.
In any case, I’m done with Facebook.
The social network (I refuse to call it “Meta”) stuck me in “Facebook jail” a few days ago because I responded to a comment a friend posted to my profile. I posted a reply to his post, and boom, there was a scary-looking administrative-type message in a pop up box, right there smack dab in the middle of my computer screen. I’m not going to quote what the message said verbatim, but suffice it to say: “If you post a comment like this again, you’ll be suspended indefinitely.”
Yeah, I’ll beat them to it.
Facebook and I go way back. I was a graduate student at the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 2004 when Facebook was invented. Originally it was a platform for college students (you had to have an .edu email address to sign up). Graduate student? College student? Does it matter? Either way, I had the requisite credential, so it was just a matter of waiting. (The platform rolled out slowly: first to Harvard, then to the other Ivies, then to regional universities in the Northeast, and so on.)
A few months after its founding, Facebook opened up itself to UConn, and boom, I had an account. After a year or two, I had 1,200 friends. (Of course I didn’t really know any of these people. They were mostly fellow music majors and neighbors in my student apartment complex, and musicians I’d known in my days of living in New Haven.)
By 2007, I’d grown tired of Facebook’s platform, which was (and still is) all about making other people envious: who has the nicest car? Who has the hottest vacation destination? Best selfies? Etc., etc.
In 2008 I was back, this time egged on to join by coworkers at a customer service job. I promptly quit again.
In 2012, excited about then-recent events in French politics and wanting to possibly connect with social media users in Europe, I signed up again. This new account stayed around until 2019. Then I was kicked off due another post I put up. So I started a new account. Then I was able to regain my older account (the one from 2012), and that’s the one I just quit tonight (April 28-29, 2022).
This time it’s for good.
I’m not going to go into the general subject matter of my original post, my friend’s reply, and my reply to his reply. But to get threatened with being suspended or kicked off of Facebook for a post airing opinions I’ve seen on plenty of other Facebook users’ profiles, it felt blatantly unfair to be the one singled out. I won’t put up with that.
More things about Facebook have bothered me. The ads are trash… In the mobile app, I’d often get served ads for things like “low T” remedies, when in reality I don’t actually suffer from that particular health malady (the ads started in earnest after I got married; no clue as to why that would be!). Also, when people would post vulgar or violent or extremist or racist images or memes… and Facebook would refuse to remove them or even investigate the matter.
Life is too short for Facebook and its trash advertising and its trash (and rather buggy) apps and its scammy Messenger service and its refusal to police itself, or take corrective action on any of its real problems.
I’m moving on.
It’s hard to go. I’ll miss my friends with whom I kept in touch on the platform. The relatives I’d catch up with on occasion. My mother’s Snoopy memes. But I won’t tolerate this stupid “social network” putting me in “Facebook jail” and making an example out of me (threatening to suspend me!), especially when other users have posted things far worse than I ever did, and are still there.