Now, before you tell me, I know. They own Instagram, blah, blah, blah. And as frustrated as I am with Zuckerburg’s recent testimony in Congress and the ridiculous policies towards allowing political ads containing outright lies, I’m not going full-out boycott of the empire. I’m just leaving what I consider its most dangerous platform. It’s dangerous for my mental health, it’s dangerous for my cross-political family relationships and it’s dangerous, in my opinion, to our nation and our future election.
This wasn’t an easy decision. And, technically, I’m only deactivated, not deleted. As a marketing professional (especially a digital one), I had to pause at the decision because it made me nervous that not “being on Facebook” would suddenly lessen my qualifications. But then I realized that I’m not on TikTok, either. And I most certainly don’t run a network of programmatic ads personally. I’m completely capable of managing those types of digital campaigns without firsthand knowledge so I can still manage and market FB, too, without being its most loyal patron.
What was the last straw? It might have been seeing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez question Zuckerberg. It could have also been hearing that Breitbart would be considered a verified news source. It was most definitely seeing a close relative post another misinformed and offensive meme causing yet more irreparable damage to our relationship due to the ability to respectfully debate political issues.
Yeah, that happened. Again.
And I’m over it.
Instagram still inspires me. I love the visuals of the feed and I love the glimpse into lives that stories allows. On Twitter, I still have a good solid network of industry peeps that I follow and I like the instantaneous news cycle and ability to go deep when curiosity and time allow (not to mention real-time TV consumption and sharing). There are still major disadvantages to both of those platforms. Twitter has its bullies and IG has its unrealistic world lens. But neither of those networks weigh on me the way that Facebook has recently. I’ve questioned my continued consumption of a platform responsible for my un-friending both digitally and IRL relatives and friends. I question the political vacuum this network has created for us all. I question the gigs and gigs of data that I’ve fed the monster. I question the late night impulse purchases I’ve made from way too-targeted ads (don’t even get me started on the supplements, beauty products and swimsuits I’ve discovered that I needed). I’ve also questioned my ethics. I consider myself a conscious consumer. I really do try and put my dollar where my heart is — so if I refuse to eat Chick-fil-a or step foot in an Anthropologie, I should also not continue to support personally a platform that has gone off the rails ethically.
I just have to be done.
That said, there are some things that I know I already miss. I mean, c’mon, Events?? Will I ever be invited to a party ever again? How will I know when Surly will host its next Oktoberfest?
Then there is my mom’s memorial account. WTF do I do about that? 🤷🏼♀️
But mostly, there is a lovely, lovely community that I have discovered through FB. While the platform has done a hella job magnifying the bad in some people, it’s also given me insight into other amazing human beings that I would have never been privy to without the tool. Old classmates who have turned into incredible parents and teachers and professionals and activists. Original old school online journalers (I’m talking pre-blog) who have grown up with me in this internet economy. Colleagues and friends who have moved continents and oceans away that I still feel a special kinship with despite the geography. Friends of my mom’s who help keep her memory alive. Peloton groups!
The massive penetration of Facebook is both its best and worst quality. I cannot deny that it has had an impact on me at scale in the depth and breadth of the incredible network of people to which I’ve been fortunate enough to be connected.
I’m really going to miss that.
But a girl’s got to do, what a girl’s got to do. And maybe things will change. And maybe I’ll be back. In the meantime, hopefully I’ll find some extra free time for things like blogging (see!) and tarot (my newest emerging passion). But mostly, I hope this distance will allow my heart to soften and give me the ability to look at the world a little closer by removing the blue & white lens. ✌🏼
EDITED TO ADD: I had to re-activate a few weeks ago to test the hair color app that I just launched for Aveda (yay!). So you can still find me, but I’m not looking at it and I do feel super in-the-dark as to everyone’s lives but also less stressed by the drama and conflict.