11 votes

I miss Facebook, and I'm not ashamed to admit it

13 comments

  1. [8]
    cadadr Link
    Ugh. Almost all of thee items in that "I miss" listing is invasive, horrible stuff. And at least one is just stalking. Can't find nothing to agree there if I am honest.

    I miss knowing how my online friends are really doing these days. Being able to go through their life, their personal updates, the ups and the downs.

    I miss spontaneous updates at 3 am, last-minute party invites, making good friends with people who I just met once in person and now live thousands of kilometers away.

    I miss going through profiles of people to learn what kind of music and movies they liked, and feeling this serendipitous connection based on shared interests with someone I did not know that well in real life.

    I miss the opportunity of sharing a lighthearted comment with hundreds of people that understand me and will interpret it in the most candid way, instead of the nitpicking and criticism of Twitter.

    I miss the ability to tell something to my friends without the need of sharing a picture, the first-class citizen treatment of text.

    I miss the degree of casual social interaction that Facebook encouraged, where it was fine to engage with people sporadically. On the contrary, getting a comment or a Like from a random acquaintance could make your day.

    I miss when things online were more real, more open.

    I miss peak Facebook; not just the tool, but the community it created.

    Ugh. Almost all of thee items in that "I miss" listing is invasive, horrible stuff. And at least one is just stalking. Can't find nothing to agree there if I am honest.

    13 votes
    1. [7]
      9000 Link Parent
      I can see a case being made for the first three being invasive, but the last five seem entirely innocuous? Sharing posts with an intentionally curated community, as opposed to everyone, like...

      I can see a case being made for the first three being invasive, but the last five seem entirely innocuous?

      • Sharing posts with an intentionally curated community, as opposed to everyone, like Twitter, seems the opposite of invasive.
      • The first class treatment of text is orthogonal to invasiveness, and also a literal premise of Tildes.
      • Casual interaction doesn't seem creepy to me.
      • Being more open online doesn't have to be invasive when paired with the prior point about intentional communities.
      • And valuing community isn't invasive.

      'Horrible' is a less specific bar, but none of those seem horrible to me either. And even the first three, when done in intentional and consensual communities, with tools that value you as opposed to "engagement" (which the author is arguing was at least sort of true with early Facebook), can be useful social dynamics.

      Early Facebook may have involved social norms that you didn't particularly like, but I don't think these were inherently unhealthy. Facebook has a lot of problems, but it isn't literally the Devil. And when we paint it as such, we do a disservice to our ability to actually diagnose and solve the problems surrounding it.

      16 votes
      1. [4]
        mrbig Link Parent
        I liked Facebook a lot more when it was more text-centric, and also when it was lighter (I suppose these are related). If I'm opening a website a few times a day, it needs to open fast. Nowadays...

        I liked Facebook a lot more when it was more text-centric, and also when it was lighter (I suppose these are related). If I'm opening a website a few times a day, it needs to open fast. Nowadays Facebook is not only slow but just plain broken. At least with adblocking, and I will not use it without. It takes ages to load, and when it does, it's still slow and unresponsive.

        Another thing that bothers me are the excessive attempts to force engagement. I get way too many irrelevant notifications from way too many people and groups. I can disable them, but that's a one-by-one affair. Facebook is annoying by default.

        And, apart from all the overtly unethical violations, the privacy settings are unreliable and I don't trust them at all.

        In spite of all that, I still have a Facebook account. I haven't published anything personal in the last 4 or 5 years. Nowadays I only publish things I'm okay with being public. Which is a shame, cause I'd love to have a place to safely engage with my friends and family abroad. I even thought of creating a Nextcloud instance for that, but I'm sure nobody would use it. So I talk to them via Messenger. I know I shouldn't, but I have no power to educate them. C'est la vie.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          boredop Link Parent
          I turned my account back on a couple of weeks ago. The first thing I did was unfollow or unfriend about 400 people. Since then I have been nuking every stupid group that pops up in my feed, every...

          Another thing that bothers me are the excessive attempts to force engagement. I get way too many irrelevant notifications from way too many people and groups. I can disable them, but that's a one-by-one affair. Facebook is annoying by default.

          I turned my account back on a couple of weeks ago. The first thing I did was unfollow or unfriend about 400 people. Since then I have been nuking every stupid group that pops up in my feed, every person I've never heard of who tagged one of my friends in a picture of their kids who I've never met, every notification for crap I don't care about, and so on. No matter how many people I unfollow, no matter how many groups and pages I hide, I cannot make my newsfeed tolerable or useful in any way.

          4 votes
          1. mrbig Link Parent
            It's a neverending battle... I just gave up.

            It's a neverending battle... I just gave up.

            1 vote
        2. cadadr Link Parent
          WRT speed, I don't use Facebook, but my mom does use the Android app, and her not-so-dated phone is freakingly slow. I suspect facebook has something to do with that, b/c my brother used to use...

          WRT speed, I don't use Facebook, but my mom does use the Android app, and her not-so-dated phone is freakingly slow. I suspect facebook has something to do with that, b/c my brother used to use that phone, and he doesn't use Facebook; it was not that slow for him. I myself use a quite dated HTC smartphone, and I don't have anything Facebook (well, except WhatsApp b/c people); it too has not slowed down for me (except Google Maps, which has both slowed down after more recent updates and has become way more annoying: it keeps bothering me for my GPS location and sometimes refuses to use wifi/data to locate me and demands GPS instead; I'm at the brink of ditching it for the website).

          1 vote
      2. [2]
        cadadr Link Parent
        First of all, I want to admit I might be biased a bit because I hate the word Facebook itself, it gives me cringes. And also, I said "almost all", so I indeed don't consider casual interactions...

        First of all, I want to admit I might be biased a bit because I hate the word Facebook itself, it gives me cringes.

        And also, I said "almost all", so I indeed don't consider casual interactions online creepy---if I did, what is my business here?

        But I do think that the first three points do deserve to be called horrible and invasive (and even creepy), especially considering just how much people share on FB, and how blurred the line between what is public and what is not is, and given how FB apps are sporting deceiving UIs and the general demographics of FB.

        I think the Twitter comparison is unfair, you can lock your account so that only your followers get to DM you and see your tweets (did they remove that feature? I don't use Twitter regularly). AFAIK it is the same with Instagram. For the items, apart from the first three and the ultimate one, there is nothing that is unique to Facebook there, and thus nothing to miss.

        Facebook has a lot of problems, but it isn't literally the Devil.

        It is. This alone is enough. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or even how Zuck acted while testifying before the congress. A friend of mine had a case where a problematic girlfriend bothered him for a while because at some point after their separation Facebook started showing her photos of them two together and say "see how happy you was back then!"

        2 votes
  2. [2]
    annadane Link
    I think a huge problem is a growth at all cost motto. People flocked to Facebook/Youtube because they were genuinely good experiences back in their day. Granted Youtube had problems with copyright...

    I think a huge problem is a growth at all cost motto. People flocked to Facebook/Youtube because they were genuinely good experiences back in their day. Granted Youtube had problems with copyright but even so, it feels like they forever dumbed down the UX. When will people learn to stop changing a good thing?

    11 votes
    1. Atvelonis Link Parent
      They will never stop changing it unless they design it for the specific purpose of never being changed to suit the needs of advertisers to begin with, à la Tildes. Given the opportunity, almost...

      They will never stop changing it unless they design it for the specific purpose of never being changed to suit the needs of advertisers to begin with, à la Tildes. Given the opportunity, almost anyone would decide to prioritize corporate profits over a genuinely good user experience. Look at how wealthy all these tech startup CEOs are! How could anyone resist that? You have to have to mindset of, "I'm creating this website for the sake of the experience that it will provide my users, not for personal gain" in order to escape this, which is noble, but extremely uncommon.

      18 votes
  3. ThatFanficGuy Link
    This is what I don't understand about the shallow social-network friendship: you still want to talk to those people, even though you haven't spoken to them in weeks or months? What kind of...

    But they still held a place in there, and I would have loved to still talk to them. <...> I've heard the condescending "pick up the phone and call them"; we all know that's not how it works.

    This is what I don't understand about the shallow social-network friendship: you still want to talk to those people, even though you haven't spoken to them in weeks or months? What kind of nostalgic dopamine search is that? It's okay to remember the good times you've had without getting attached to the person so much you can't let them go, a long time after all spark has subdued. Your holding your hostage to the good feelings attached to someone you barely know is not a healthy relationship.

    That desire to hold watch over others' lives without being involved in them? That's heroin for the generation that despises the idea of taking hard drugs. Trust me: nothing good comes out of stalking people online, whether it feels like stalking or not. You're looking for a deeper connection, and you can't possible find one in shallow relationships that social-networking offers. I reckon chasing that one-sided relevance to someone else's separate living left me more scarred and insecure.

    And if you haven't hesitated when asking yourself whether you want to keep up with someone, there's plenty of ways to find one another.

    6 votes
  4. asep Link
    I know this isn't a 1 to 1 comparison but I feel like the stories feature on Instagram really captures what the author misses about the old Facebook. Maybe it's just the people I know but on...

    I know this isn't a 1 to 1 comparison but I feel like the stories feature on Instagram really captures what the author misses about the old Facebook. Maybe it's just the people I know but on Instagram the feed is indeed dominated by carefully curated photos but on the story I feel like it's much more in the moment and looser in general. Also the rise "private" accounts with teenagers also helped accelerate this hemorrhaging of genuineness in the Instagram feed, a somehow more selective group of followers from a larger set of followers.

    1 vote
  5. TimesThreeTheHighest Link
    When it was going strong it was impossible not to use it. People make such a grand gesture of "getting off Facebook" now, but it's really not the same thing anymore. Visited your favorite FB group...

    When it was going strong it was impossible not to use it. People make such a grand gesture of "getting off Facebook" now, but it's really not the same thing anymore. Visited your favorite FB group lately? Odds are the most recent post is from a WHILE ago.

    1 vote