When Facebook Peaked (To Me)


I was going through Digital Minimalism and got past the point where he talked about how Facebook was originally used to connect across campus before it became a (in American parlance) thanksgiving dinner conversation with your racist uncle hijacked with news, partisanship and garbage. This made me think of the best time I used Facebook.

I’ve kinda been addicted to social media ever since mobile internet got popular in Zimbabwe. I also used Facebook then and was very cringe. The best time I had with social media is when I discovered my classmates from Grade 1 (early primary/elementary school) which I did in Australia.

It started with my then best friend who was the first person to be nice to me as the special needs kids from a foreign country1. She messaged me wondering if I was me to which I was really excited and we got to chatting back and forth catching up and stuff.

From then I found an old school book photo and texted out the names to say what’s up. Obviously we’ve grown and people who were mean to me apologized. Honestly, that was the best time I had on Facebook. Outside that I was cringe and bigoted2 which I fixed by getting roasted, posting less and learning more about the world. Eventually it started making me feed bad seeing my former contemporaries doing better than me. I’d love to say I left Facebook because it was Facebook, but it was just me feeling like shit.

The other times Facebook was worth it was when I got to talk to my crush a lot during the gap year between college and high school. It was also super useful in coordinating class projects, messaging campus peers and such. Besides that, using the site was really annoying. While I didn’t get suckered into political flamewars, the way it tried so hard to get engagement with irrelevant notifications and the algorithmic feed.

I eventually deleted it because it made me feel bad and because Facebook bad. I’m tempted to go back because it can be useful for community and because businesses only have their information there. Either way, social media can be really good at times, it just takes a while to get there.

  1. Mind you there were only 6 black kids in a 300 person school, 3 of which were me, my late brother and sister. ↩︎

  2. Thank God cancel culture wasn’t a thing yet though the prototypical forms of it existed in the form of call-out culture and outrage culture. I mean, I got roasted heavily but I wasn’t threatened with a de-enrollment campaign. Also thankful that the shit is both long deleted and not indexed on search engines so people can’t mine for bad takes I made in 2013. Not trying to claim that cancel culture is the worst issue of our time, just that people don’t think growth can happen. ↩︎