22 Apr 2016

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (this is awkward)
I haven't been able to make use of Facebook for years.

Part of this is because I despise the company and their various evil actions over the years; part of it is the deliberately opaque site design; but part of it was my fault because I used to figure since I was avoiding it 99% of the time anyway I might as well have an approach to accepting friend requests that was almost completely haphazard, and I rendered my own feed completely unusable as a result by filling it up with people I didn't particularly want to be following.

The more unwieldy, the more I avoided it and every notification from it for weeks. Eventually I reached a state where a limited pool of people I care about a lot were attempting to use it to communicate with me, and it wasn't working, and I was also spending a lot of time thinking about deleting my account all together.

Yesterday it occurred to me that unfriending a lot of people would make more sense than actually deleting the account, so I set about doing so.

And it was hard.

Why was I following about 15 members of my mother's extended family whom I barely know - people I couldn't even say how I was related to? What about all these classmates I never conversed with beyond smalltalk from my Finnish language classes, not even WHILE in the classes? People I wasn't especially close to even in high school - middle school, in some cases? I unfriended a childhood playmate whom I hadn't spoken to since age 12; my best friend from 5th grade, from whom I'd already drifted apart by 7th grade; a girl whose dad worked with my dad, whom I played with a few times when we were under the age of 10. These were all people I not only didn't interact with outside of Facebook, but people with whom I never interacted on Facebook either, apart from feeling uncomfortable about friending and about unfriending them.

I kept my first cousins, aunts and uncles, my wife's family members with whom we have friendly relationships, and actual friends past and present with whom I have had SOME form of attempted continued keeping-in-touch over the years: only people I would care to follow on Twitter or Tumblr, if they used it. I deleted forty or fifty people, I think.

I'm quite pleased with all of this effort, and it does seem to have worked somewhat, even though the interface is still awful.


cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)

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