Today Marks My 17th Year on Facebook

I cannot remember why I joined Facebook. Curiosity, perhaps?

Sometimes I try to recall different versions (remember walls?) and features (remember notes?) But I can’t recall fonts or tabs or any sort of organizing principle. I just remember the people and the moments.

I’m not going to wax nostalgic about the site or the owners. I realize I am trading my soul for the relationships in terms of my data. Not unlike family dinners where I had to endure gross afflictions in order to see my one cousin. But more dire of course. Facebook is not just a magnified personal experience.

Facebook takes something from me. But I understand this. It isn’t okay. It could be dangerous. I get all of that. I’m not a clueless uninformed buyer. I feel like this is an important acknowledgment.

In December 2009, I created a Facebook page for this blog. That’s whee I hit a wall – Facebook would not let me choose the name “PghLesbian” for the page. I had to go to GLAAD to get support that the word lesbian was not a naughty one.

I did the same over and over again, helping people whose identities were denied or wrecked or devalued by FB. I took the info to GLAAD and they helped inviduals as well as working on system issues.

Facebook is how I reconnected with so many people – childhood friends, highschool classmates, roommates, family,neighbors, on and on and on. It was fantastic for my social anxiety – no interactions required. Can’t blame that on Facebook. I would simply have not connected at all without it.

My participation o n Facebook now is mostly observational. The content on my profile is significantly shadowbanned generating almost no engagement unlike other platforms. So I do post on it, but more of my energy goes into posting on my Pages. That’s what FB wants, but I have no need for ads.

I do not see Facebook as innovative or a space to be curious. It is a comfortable shoe that doesn’t provide me adequate support or fit for wearing out in public.

This post is a placemarker reminding me of the significant role Facebook has played in my life over the past 17 years. That’s almost equivalent to my marriage years. My childhood. Significant chunks of time. As I wrote this post, I flipped back through email from 2012, 2011, and earlier. So many memories.

Remember microblogging?

I guess I didn’t need that one after all.


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