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But now that I've pared it down a bit I'm discovering what is actually useful about it.

1. The various trans positivity groups, as well as the slowly growing group of trans friends I've made who are all avid memers and just the fact that trans people can interact and support each other through digital means, even when we're so seperated.

2. Events and shit, because no one advertises anywhere fucking else.

3. International friends. Because duh.

4. Being able to convey my ideas and thoughts and feelings to that weird in-between group of people who aren't close but aren't Just Aquaintences either. Whenever I share something in depth about myself - usually it's about mental health or something like that - I get a fair few insightful and intelligent comments from people saying they appreciate my honesty or the way I articulated the issue. The conversations that start from these posts are what I love the most about Facebook, and I feel like they capture a tiny bit of that joy I got from the internet to begin with, when it was safe to talk about the dark and scary parts of myself with strangers who wouldn't tell my mother or my teachers about my questionin gender and my hallucinations.

5. Other people who do the same. Birds of a feather flock together, so I have a fair few friends who are mentally ill and struggling, some are dealing with physical health issues as well, and I love seeing the little things they post about how they're doing, or how their cat cheered them up. Love that shit, want it all the time. Literally the kind of content I want to see.

6. Brink shit I guess?? We do everything on Facebook

7. Being able to put a call out for "Do I know any animators/colourists/graphic designers?" or "Can someone recommend a good dentist on the West Side?" is fucking useful.

8. The Rough Trade group, as well as other swap groups. It's great to be able to just say "I have x and I want y" or see what others are getting rid of. The whole attitude of the group is super anti-consumerist and I love it.

9. I guess there's other buy and sell groups if I ever get around to cracking open that old box of gawth clothes.

1. Ads.

2. Zuckerfuck has turned the idea of being social into a fucking competition with his algorithms. Who can be the most interesting, who can post the coolest picture. It's fucking warped the way I see things and I'm sure it's had a similar effect on other people too.

3. You can get zucced for anything and everything. I've seen so many of my friends lose their accounts for random fucking resons. All their history, comments, photos, gone.

4. No control. Over your name, your privacy settings, who can search for you, when people add you to groups. It fucking sucks.

5. I'm extremely fucking paranoid about datamining and shit. It's probably worse because I don't understand it well but it does my fucking head in knowing that everything I do online is being analysed and shit, and there is SO MUCH of me as a person on FB they could probably make an AI based on my info.

6. It's so fucking cluttered I miss out on so much of the good stuff. FB isn't the cost place to connect with friends that it used to be, and I need to accept that instead of trying to wish it back to that. It's another advertising platform, attempting to turn us all into products, and in a way we've been more than agreeable to the idea. The whole 'personal branding' bullshit is another modern phenomena that makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a fork, and now that I've quit most other social media I'm realising how much it affected my view of myself. I wonder how it affects others too.

7. No creativity! Getting a Neocities made me realise how much control you can have over the appearance of your online space IF YOU'RE FUCKING ALLOWED. I've been conned by all the blue and white hellsites into thinking of the continuous feed with a static column either side and a banner at the top as the only way to communicate with people. It's fucked. At least let me change my fucking backgroud.

8. The endless, endless scrolling that never goes anywhere because they keep rearranging the order of posts in my feed and I never know how far through I've gone. And the fact that an old fucking status can rise from the dead into my feed with a comment or a like. And shit belonging to other people I'm not even friends with on FB finding its way into my newsfeed because we both had a mutual friend that liked it. Christ almighty, this is the thing that fucks me up bigtime.

So yeah. I'm not 100% sure what to do next. I think maybe deactivate for a short while, and if I really miss FB for the good reasons I listed, then I can try making a secret account just for like my 20 favourite people and the maybe 6 groups I like.

As is my usual habit when considering whether or not to abandon the Zacc's Old Fashioned Sink Hole, I was Googling around reading other people's stories of life in a post-Facebook world. Interestingly enough, amongst all the articles listing dozens of reasons Why You Should Delete Your Facebook, only one put forward the idea that Facebook, along with other social media giants, should be regulated due to the way they intentionally exploit human nature, neuroscience, psychology, and a host of other fields to make their websites as addicting as possible. I find it fascinating that everything else I've read, as well as my own attitude, puts the onus on the user of the website to either limit their use or avoid it completely. When framed in the context of addiction this seems convoluted and ignorant. Facebook did used to be a nice place to interact with people, which is why I'm so attached to it. I'm not the one changing the privacy policies or rearranging the newsfeeds though. I feel relief that I don't have to blame myself for adding yet another form of socially acceptable communication to the ever growing list of things I suck at, especially one that I used to be so good at and really enjoy.

I guess this is a version of "it's not me, it's you." Facebook has changed. We don't mesh as well together as we used to. It's so weird coming to terms with the platform that shaped my social life, how I communicate, how I express myself and share things with my friends, is just a way for some other jackoff to manipulate people and make money. Wasn't the internet supposed to free us from that bullshit? From capitalism and gender and anti-intellectualism and restrictive copyright laws and all that shit? What happened?

September 2017

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