It's been four years since I left Facebook - now what?

It's been four years since I left Facebook - now what?

In early 2019, I left Facebook by deactivating my account. A year ago, I went and fully deleted my account. Now, after four years, I’ve forgotten Facebook exists. The intention was not to leave all Meta owner properties – I’m still using WhatsApp and Instagram, at least. I didn’t feel I needed to sink my limited focus and energy into doom-scrolling the newsfeed on Facebook.

Now what?

I sometimes ask my friends if they’re still on Facebook. Many are, but almost as many say they’re primarily inactive or active in select groups within Facebook. I don’t have anything against anyone else using Facebook. It’s a bit like I’m not a massive fan of watching ice hockey or football, and many of my friends are – and that’s great for them.

My daily social media activities include LinkedIn, Twitter, and occasional Instagram visits. In that order. With Twitter woes lately, I’ve seen many people I know migrate – or divide – their interest in Mastodon. For some reason, that isn’t for me, at least not right now. It doesn’t seem to replace anything for me. And I guess I’m old enough to remember how Google+ felt then.

Twitter is undoubtedly much different today than it was a few months ago. So many people I followed and learned from have disappeared or gone mute on the platform. Some have quietly returned. Some migrated fully to Mastodon, and others announced they’d be using a different social media – but nobody said they’d focus on Facebook from now on.

For me, an essential social hang-around is the small and private groups with friends – on WhatsApp and Signal. They spring up dynamically and remain active for years – without algorithms, moderation, and other frustrations.

I’ve found an upside with Twitter changing so rapidly: I get less value from spending time on Twitter, so as a result, I spend less time on Twitter. Where will this presumably free time and focus then go? Everywhere else – writing, doing old-fashioned phone calls to people and reading.

Until then, I’m keeping tabs on Twitter to see how it evolves. I wish it would become much better and somehow less at the same time. On the side, I’m leaning toward not using Instagram much in the future. Let’s see how that goes.