Editorial: How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Sending Me Running Back to Facebook

As you know, I am not a fan of the Facebook social network. In fact, my New Year’s resolution at the end of 2018 was to ask Facebook to delete all the data it had collected on me over 13 years, and quit Facebook.

Then, when it was announced that you will require an account on the Facebook social network to use the upcoming Facebook Horizon social VR platform, I reluctantly decided to rejoin. But I found that I had successfully broken my formerly powerful Facebook addiction. I befriended only six people, mostly close relatives. I would go for weeks, even months, between sign ins. I was no longer addicted to Facebook!

But unexpectedly, the coronavirus pandemic now has me running back into Facebook’s embrace.

Kicking the Facebook habit is hard…

What drew me back in were a couple of Facebook groups:

I also belong to a couple of Sinespace groups on Facebook, where I would cross-post sponsored blogposts.

I had installed the highly-recommended F.B. Purity browser extension to control a lot of Facebook’s annoying features, but I found it interfered with the We Got This group, so I landed up uninstalling it completely. And, of course, now that I have uninstalled Purity, Facebook now sends me reams and reams of friend suggestions…

And this morning, I finally threw up my hands, gave in, and started accepting friend suggestions (Facebook is scarily accurate in remembering who my friends and acquaintances were). I’m baaack

The fact remains that Facebook is tailor-made to keep track of all the loose connections in my life: family (including distant relatives), coworkers (many of whom are now working at home), and friends and acquaintances whom I rarely see in real life. This is now even more true with the imposition of social distancing policies and even lockdowns in places like Italy and California.

And, during a coronavirus pandemic, I am now willing to let Facebook strip-mine my data in order to make me feel more connected while I am maintaining social isolation in my apartment.

So, congratulations, Facebook: you win. For now.

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5 thoughts on “Editorial: How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Sending Me Running Back to Facebook”

  1. For me it’s quite the opposite. I decided to leave FB until the whole Corona-hysteria is over and people get back to their senses…

  2. Couldn’t you have made a “FICTITIOUS CHARACTER” account? I have a perfectly legal one from maybe a decade ago (needed it for a blogger thing but only used it a VERY SHORT time even it it still looks like I am “there”. IF you can still do that it would be MY suggestion (wink).

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