Like most people, I’ve been horrified at this week’s revelations about Cambridge Analytica harvesting Facebook users information to manipulate democratic processes and swing election results. My first reaction, especially when I read about the #deletefacebook movement was to, well, delete Facebook. Then I decided to wait for a few days to see if I felt differently when more information came to hand.
After Mark Zuckerberg’s lame apology-for-an-apology, and the news that Facebook offered Australian political parties access to user information to target campaign messages to marginal seats during the 2016 election, I have now chosen to say my goodbyes and #deletefacebook anyway. Truth is, I’ve been using it less and less as a result of the algorithms that keep sending me creepy ads and the same old messages and not much diversity of opinion and ideas, which interests me more.
But I do want to say goodbye to all the good times, and the friends who have faithfully liked my sunsets, agreed with my occasional outrages and kept me posted with their weddings, babies, birthday celebrations, amazing holidays, news and family celebrations (and responded warmly to mine).
I particularly want to thank Niki Vincent and Susy Daw who convinced me over dinner after a Leaders Institute Board meeting about 10 years ago that I could go on Facebook and got me started by inviting me to be their friends. Initially I felt very shy about sharing myself and my life but loved spying on the younger members of my family who were living or studying in far-flung places. Then i discovered there were times I’d rather not see what they were getting up to, after all.
As the popularity of sharing photos on Facebook grew, it encouraged me to further develop my interest in photography, although I hasten to add, I’ve never been much of a selfie-taker or sharer. My husband requested right from the start that I not mention him in any of my posts and this helped when it came to considering sharing anything too personal. I remember taking a gorgeous pic of our cute 8 year-old grandson and asking him if I could put it on Facebook and he said No. I really admired him for that, even though I was dying to show him off to the world.
There’s no doubt that Facebook has exposed me to articles and ideas that I’d not have otherwise known about and, for a time when I was extremely cynical about newspapers, Facebook became my main source of information. But then FB outsmarted itself by filtering my feed too much and I started to lose interest. I joined Instagram and found posting photographs much more fun there and found, also, a whole new tribe of followers, including some Facebook friends. I’ve met other neighbours on our beach photographing sunsets and we support and inspire each other.
When I think about what I’ll miss on Facebook, it will certainly be seeing my friends’ lives evolve, their babies and kids grow into interesting people, it will be reading those articles in publications I don’t otherwise see and it will be the encouragement to keep posting my regular blogs and sharing sunset photos.
So now we’ll have to find other ways to keep in touch. I post my sunsets (and other quirky photos from time to time) most days on Instagram @kayhannaford. if you want to keep reading my blogs I also post them on LinkedIn and you can read them directly on my website www.kayhannaford.com/insights.
If you want to actually talk to me in person (yes really!) my mobile number is on my website.
So bye Facebook. It’s been (mostly) fun. Sayonara.