I joined Facebook in 2007 because I thought it would be a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. Before I started using Facebook, I had a MySpace page as well as a Friends Reunited account to reconnect with old-school friends and Genes Reunited to find out more about my family history and remain in contact with my relatives. Facebook is the best of the three worlds of MySpace, Friends Reunited and Genes Reunited (minus the family history feature from Genes Reunited) and even better than all three combined since as of 2019, I haven’t been using these three platforms for several years now. While I’ve had good experiences with Facebook, there are also some negative experiences I’ve also had with it, some of which I cannot share because they are too personal to mention in this blog post that I plan to share on Facebook itself as well as on Twitter (I will also promote this post on my Instagram).
With regards to the positives of Facebook, I know most of the people I follow on there in terms of them being in my family or having gone to school, college and university with them. I even added people I have remembered from childhood as well as those I lived with in the past and those I met at an organisation I used to belong to called Outsiders that helps shy, isolated and disabled people find new friends or partners.
Although MySpace had a variety of ways to customise my page, I thought Facebook was better for keeping in touch with people I actually knew (I had a few MySpace friends who I knew very well, but I also had some who I didn’t actually know and I am no longer in touch with them to this day). I also like being able to change my profile picture and cover photo on my Facebook from time to time as well as share photos on there in a similar manner to how I share them on Instagram. If my status updates are relatively short, I like to add different backgrounds and colours to them.
I also think Facebook has excellent privacy settings because while I only allow my friends to see most of my posts, I sometimes post status updates that I don’t want certain friends to see or I make completely private so that I am the only one who can see them (I do something similar on Twitter where I send myself direct messages if I don’t want to make anything public on there).
In addition to my Facebook account where I keep in touch with my family and friends and post status updates that only they could see, I have created a special page for my blog and YouTube channel that I can happily share with the general public as well as those I follow and those who follow me on social media. Although I have not had as much engagement with my Facebook page for my blog and YouTube as I have had with my Instagram posts about my latest blog posts and YouTube videos, I hope to see it continue to grow in the future.
There are also some good Facebook groups I joined, such as one devoted to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (I still belong to this group) because my parents used to have a dog of that breed and I have had some altogether good experiences with these groups, but there was a certain factor that has led me to leave some of these groups for a reason that I will explain later.
Further to the negative points of Facebook that I am comfortable to share in this post, some of them involved people I didn’t know sending me private messages on Facebook Messenger. Some messages insulted me while some made me feel very uncomfortable, thus leading me to block the people who have sent them. One person in particular that I ended up having to delete or block was someone from Outsiders who wanted to be my boyfriend, but he wasn’t really my type. I did chat with him online and by text message quite regularly to begin with, but when I told him I couldn’t meet up with him for several reasons such as having to attend a residents’ meeting at my former care home, he assumed I wasn’t interested in him and he eventually began to send me insulting messages including one where he told me to change my profile picture as he didn’t think it was nice. He also sent me messages where he asked me questions that caused me discomfort. While he insulted me by the way I looked, he asked me to remove him from my list of friends. I sent him a reply apologising to him if I wasn’t his type etc (I didn’t want to tell him he wasn’t my type, I wasn’t interested in him or that some messages he sent me made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings), but he replied to me implying that he still wanted to be with me, which made me feel confused as I thought he no longer wanted to be friends with me. I eventually blocked or deleted him, but when he sent me another friend request under a different name and possibly under a second account (I could tell it was him because his name in his possible second account included part of his name that he was known as in real life), I declined his request and I might have blocked him on that account too. This person has not contacted me or attended the Outsiders lunches since, much to my relief, although I ended up leaving Outsiders a year later due to personal reasons that I explain in this blog post.
Besides sending me insulting private messages, strangers on Facebook have also replied to my comments on news stories if they disagreed with my comments, found them boring or even joked with me when I thought my comments on the stories should have been taken more seriously. As a result, I no longer comment directly on news stories that are posted on social media. Instead I like comments I agree with, block anyone whose comments I disagree with or find offensive and write down my thoughts on the stories in private.
The last negative points of Facebook I have had and I would like to discuss in this post are in regards to groups and deleting one of my friends who was also in these groups. There were two groups I used to belong to where I could connect with like-minded people, but I left them due to the person I deleted still being a part of them and I no longer wanted to see her posts (I also didn’t want her to see mine). I deleted this particular person because in real life, she asked me questions that made me feel uncomfortable, she sent me text messages about her problems I felt that I couldn’t solve as well as those where she expressed some very strong views I did not agree with and she kept delaying our plans to meet up, even though we’d met in person a few times before. Deleting this person was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made because I was friends with her on Facebook just shy of seven years, she was one of my customers when I worked as an Avon representative and we had quite a lot in common, but because I could no longer deal with her negativity whether on Facebook or by text message, I also thought deleting her was one of the best decisions I have ever made because it was beneficial for my state of mind. I even deleted that person’s contact details from my phone and to my astonishment, she has not contacted me since, so she must have got the message that I no longer wanted to contact her or meet up with her again (I also feel that I have “ghosted” her in terms of deleting her from Facebook and removing her contact details without any prior notice). Last year, I saw that person’s name in my friends list on Spotify, so I simply unfollowed her on there. Still can’t believe it took me three years to unfollow her on Spotify after having already deleted her from Facebook though!
In conclusion, I have had my fair share of positives and negatives on Facebook just like I’ve had on Instagram and Twitter. I am very happy to no longer have those I deleted and blocked in my life so I can focus on being in touch with those who I already know and who will treat me with respect on the platform.
If you want to like my Facebook page for my blog and YouTube, please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/aprilslocombeblogandyoutube/
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.