Facebook. We can check it in the morning, on the bus, in the kitchen or at the sports game. We can laugh over stupid photos of us tagged by our “friends,” stalk our friend’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s roommate and share BuzzFeed articles all day. Half of our mobile apps are connected to it, and it tells us when our friend’s birthdays are so that we don’t forget.
It’s great, but I don’t trust it at all. Facebook defaults many privacy settings to public and changes its privacy settings often enough that it makes me worry what’s being shared and what isn’t. I have also connected a number of web accounts to Facebook and am starting to lose track of which companies now have all of my information.
I’ll probably miss Facebook’s messaging, photo sharing and event notifications, but there are so many alternatives to those features now that it’s no longer an issue. I’ve starting using Twitter and Instagram more throughout the past year and really enjoy using them as social networking tools. There’s still plenty of ego-boosting self-aggrandizement on these platforms, but you can manage the content you want to view much more easily.
Facebook has turned into a living museum that each person carefully constructs and maintains to represent the best of him or herself. Twitter is more instantaneous, less profile-oriented and allows us to reach out to people we don’t know. Statuses on Facebook are meant to be liked or commented on. Statuses on Twitter are meant to be read and shared. It’s a subtle but important difference.
Facebook also makes us hold on to our past. We’re forever connected to our middle school classmates, ex-girl/boyfriends and random people we somehow “friended” along the way. While it’s cool to stay in touch, it’s also weird. Your relationship ends up being a couple of wall posts asking how it’s going once every couple of years. You’re not actually interacting in a meaningful way anymore.
People need to move on, and I need to move on from this “social network.”