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Yesterday I received a notification from Facebook that I had joined up 12 years ago - so on 3rd December, 2007 I signed up to the platform that now boasts 2.45 billion monthly active users (as of September 2019). At that time Facebook was only three years old and still relatively new. I even abandoned it for a while in 2009, but got sucked back in. So - is Facebook worth it?
I review my Facebook feed in the morning - it is part of my routine now where I check headlines and interesting articles in The Irish Independent and The Guardian over my tea and brown bread. Usually I have time to check Facebook as well, but rarely find much of valuable interest. Initially I enjoyed the activity of relatives and friends - seeing what they were doing and wishing Happy Birthday to people I would otherwise have no idea when their birthday was. Younger people no longer seem to participate - preferring Instagram instead. I used to enjoy seeing what my cousins/nieces/nephews got up to. I am "friends" with some people I have not met in many years - some are very active (ie, daily), and while it can be interesting to see that so-and-so has checked in to Heathrow Airport, this is not of much value. I have also been "unfriended" by an old schoolmate - a weird feeling!
I do post to Facebook - this blog allows me to post anything I write, which keeps my activity up. I often check in and review places, plus post the occasional photo when at a match or something interesting. But I'm moving more towards using WhatsApp for this now - sharing with close family and friends in the privacy of WhatsApp seems more attractive than Facebook for much content.
For 48 years of my life I managed without Facebook. It is a "time suck" - watching funny videos can suddenly turn into 15-20 minutes of re-living "Only Fools and Horses" or the "Mash Report" (one of my favourites). On balance I find that reminders of birthdays and seeing celebrations, like birthdays/weddings/parties, of other people is always interesting. Here's to the next 12 years!
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