I can remember being a part of Facebook back when most people didn’t even know what it was. I was a blogger on AOL and into graphics, new desktop work themes and widgets, and anything and everything that had to do with games, graphics, and enhanced computer experiences. As bloggers we shared all of our findings and someone shared Facebook. I signed up mainly as it seemed to be a overlying “desktop workspace” that you could open up and have widgets – like a to do list, among other little widgets that made me smile. I remember we could add friends to it though and we could “throw things” at each other and that become fun. We threw sheep and Sybil Shepherds and gosh I don’t even know what all.
I remember though that it sent an invite to everyone on my email list without me knowing it. Now I could have hit some button without realizing it but at the time – maybe in my 40’s, not really sure how old I was but some elderly guy at church came up and said “you invited me to something called Book Face or something and I am sorry I don’t know what that is”. I was clueless and said “I did?” lol. I finally figured out it was Facebook and was really embarrassed.
However, Facebook kept evolving those days and rather quickly. I remember sharing my status about 3 or 4 times a day. I was mad my little desktop wonder changed and I could not keep my to do list on there – it went away. It was the coolest to do list too. Eventually it became an app and our cell phones changed and we were all thrilled to have friends in our pockets and purses. We connected up with people from our past and it became quite addictive. It kept evolving and I remember with each update it would get better and better. I loved all the changes eventually while others despised it. In my opinion change has to occur to keep up with the times. So I got that and tried to embrace whatever change came. They grew so big and quite fast and furious.
Sure there were other ways people were connected back in the day – AOL, My Space, gaming, chat rooms – I’m sure you can remember others. But there was something about Facebook that allowed you to really connect as yourself to others everywhere and share your lives with each other. And that was great! For a while.
I can remember controversies starting up – mainly over the Robertson’s. Honestly, as I sit here and type, I can’t even remember what the controversy was about. I just remember the Robertson’s being “the thing” one day and then people were split over something that happened or occurred or was said. I just remember the controversy on Facebook. You either were for or against the Robertson’s and full on Duck Dynasty Wars began from there. People were throwing flying ducks everywhere.
Then people began venting on Facebook, including me. I vented about anything that went wrong. We told each other what to avoid, and why, and we kept life in check for a while as we shared everything that happened to us, good or bad.
Then came the cat Memes and other Memes, the funny sayings, and so forth. Then came groups and chat and all that. All that went on for some time and we began to share family memories, our goals, our dreams, our meals. I think I put pictures of nearly all my meals for about 3 years, lol. Then we could check in where we went and that was cool. Then we could like all our favorite businesses. But we had so many people sharing so many things that a lot got lost in the shuffle. But we could share articles and news and that helped a lot of us out, well for a while.
Then something happened and the algorithm changed. I began to see less and less of people are more of the people that I saw in daily life already. Somehow it stopped being as much fun when that happened. Our Facebook world minimized itself again. You could share a link and no one would see it as Facebook changed it to where it would get buried in the shuffle. It became apparent to me as a user that what I shared was being seen less and less. In other words, I became less important (in my own head) in my Facebook world, and was no longer useful as a person.
Then all the politics started. I have never seen such division and just avoided the news and Facebook altogether for the most part, until elections were over. I was so tired of it all. I will never forget Facebook slapping my own hand when I jokingly said “hey all you guys remember that the election is tomorrow – not today” to the opposite party – trying to make some laughter out of the situation. It was only a joke. It was obviously a joke but I was given a Facebook slap (a notification that if I abused their policy I’d be removed). Since then much of what I shared got a minimal response.
Then all the racism started. Back when Black lives mattered but none of the rest of us did (lol), I made a spiritual comment about how God loves ALL of US and was met with such criticism and lashings from masses including my Christian friends – that it was shocking. I wasn’t saying Black Lives didn’t matter, but that we ALL did. But you’d have thought I was Hitler with a southern hairdo on that particular day. I felt shunned, and was verbally executed by friends and even lost a few, over a simple misunderstanding. My intentions were only good, but good is not popular in today’s world, you see.
Then Facebook began to be in lots of lawsuits and technology began changing and the use of internet and fake news was being questioned and even questioning over election sways.
Facebook got to a point where it was an icon for controversy. Keep in mind this is how I saw Facebook from my perspective. I may be getting things out of order and I don’t necessarily know all the details and the why’s and how’s. I just know what my experience was.
I am a blogger and it is my daily “go to”, I do YouTube videos. I share my life on there. I’d love to be able to share those things on Facebook but it gets buried and not noticed. The algorithm doesn’t like my links, mention of YouTube, and some key words seem to get buried, like God, Christian, etc.
Then the pandemic happened and it was a whole NEW world of things you could not mention because it could be fake news. Certain key words again would now show. And many people reported photos being removed and posts being removed. It seemed we were losing our speech rights and that became scary to me and began opening my eyes. I agree filthy language and disrespect should be able to kick someone out, but we could do that on our own by blocking people. So that should have been ok. People give wrong directions and inaccurate forecasts and information all day long to each other outside of Facebook whether they mean to or not. Shall we go around with muzzles in case we should be misinformed? I think not.
To me, I was already connected to family and friends, so I kept it for that reason. I enjoyed using Instagram though as it was fun doing stories and sharing epic photos – epic in my terms that is. I even do Tic Toc as it is fun to watch interesting and funny videos made by others. I could do that on Facebook too I think but it’s in a different place on there and maybe not as organized and doesn’t call my attention to it. I always just got caught up in the feed. I never liked that Facebook tried to copy the other sites, but what should Facebook do to reinvent itself? Or is it too late.
Maybe they realize that and have created the whole Meta thing. I don’t know much about that yet or these virtual worlds that are being created. I guess at 59 I’m just an old fart of a woman and what do I know? However the older folks are many! So it would be wise to have a spot for us.
What Would Facebook Look Like if It Were to Bring More Value to Me?
- It would be more fun. What does that mean? Something I enjoy going into, that brings me joy, makes me laugh, and makes me connect in fun ways with others.
- Needs to look visually different, allow more of my own creative flair, more colors, designs, and ways to personalize your experience, whether it be on a desktop, iPad, or cell.
- Allow spaces to let people know what you are into, what your goals are, your favorite websites, etc. Maybe a status or section that will stay up a while you still share other things on the other section.
- Maybe have a virtual bulletin board – pics that stay a while, projects working on and such.
- Better visual links so you don’t have to go all over the place looking for what you need. And make them inviting and stand out.
- I loved the rolling ticker of what people were doing and sharing.
- I loved seeing who all was on line.
- Ability to decorate your wall and allow more expressive ways to show who you are and what you stand for.
- Get rid of all those damn algorithms and just let life be
- Work out that advertising problem you have. Don’t give up on that! There’s a way to do it just find the right way.
- You might need to change the name Facebook (more literally) not just a META but a cute catchy something else that looks and feels different. You will peek the interest and gain a lot of folk back.
That’s all I have today. We’ve had an ice storm – ish – enough to keep me home this morning and if I’m unpacking then I’m staying all day. I’m not unpacking, packing, unpacking twice in one day. So over an out as it’s a work day.
What is your experience with Facebook as it is today? Do you have any advice or changes you would love to see?
12 responses to “Facebook’s Rise and Downward Spiral: From an Ordinary Person’s Perspective”
I left Facebook! I find Instagram and Tictoc more fun. Facebook just kept me connected to people I have nothing in common with anymore. It became useless to me.
I still have a lot of people I care about on there and family- so I post periodically. I like the memories that pop up. But I wish they would overhaul it. I guess they are worn out with upgrades and fixes and media hype though.
I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, instagram or TikityTokity. I just don’t feel the need. I like real conversations, on phone or in person. Handwritten (cursive) letters & thank you notes. I even like to read an actual book. I guess I’m old fashioned or old school or just old.🤭
Sounds good! I think we are so busy here it’s nice to view what people are doing when we have time to look. But yeah there’s definitely an element we miss out on doing it that way. So you are good to hold those values!
I stopped using Facebook as much as I did before all the political stuff got so important. I go on my page once a week to find pictures that get posted of the grandkids and my son’s cat. i do use Twitter a lot, but I mostly send people chicken pictures.
I forget about Twitter! My feeds go there from the blog but no one comments lol. I used it way back when for a news source mainly.
Things just get so misconstrued so easy
Yes they do
Hi Sonya, well you know me and how uninteresting a life I lead…the older I’ve become the less interests I seem to have. I do still have my Facebook page but it’s very rare that I actually write anything on it, only if it’s something I personally feel passionate about or I have news that I think should be read by whoever wants to read it!! I do go on Facebook every day and visit all my friends pages I’m nosey and like seeing what’s going on. I answer if I feel strongly one way or another, but mostly just look on, some really good long time AOL friends are there and I feel very connected to them and I would feel extremely lonely without having them around….even if it’s mainly in print !!……I used to love all our blogs and enjoyed writing my blog until it all changed and me being me couldn’t be bothered to change with the times so slowly faded into the sunset…..it never bothered me one little bit about how many or few followed me cause I treasured the ones that did…
Maybe if I could turn the clock back 15/20 years I could be a wee bitty like you and be adventurous .and have lists and lists of …to do….BUT….I will just have to remain in my wee corner practicing contentment and patience!! Take care in that horrible weather, think ice is the worst thing to travel on…God Bless
Ha it was a terrible day when we learned AOL was closing their blogs. But I morphed with googles blogger. Thankful for Guido who kept a lot of us together- that’s one thing Facebook groups are good for. But I wish they were a bit more easy to access, show up, and alerts seen. Take care. I have a headache and I rarely get them. I think I’ll finish up and have hot tea.
You described the rise and fall of Facebook perfectly! I can remember when it used to be such a fun thing. Not so much anymore. I rarely post now unless I’m sharing vacation pictures or family event pictures. I do like the Facebook groups though. I’m part of several groups that I really enjoy with people who have the same interests as I do. My favorite is the Minivan camper group. Whatever your interests are, there’s a group for it! I love your ideas for the changes Facebook could make. I wish you could take it over!
I’m secretly hoping they will read it but doubt my SEO would even scratch the surface of google, unless they have an alert set. Think they’ll hire me for some direction? lol 😂