I like to pretend that Instagram is my platform of choice, I’m drawn towards the visual simplicity, the pretty filters. I could spend a good 20 minutes taking and filtering the perfect snap of some decaying building (my photographic subject of choice) and I’ve been known to while away a good hour or two gawping at photos of delicate arrangements of food taken from up high… and there’s something absorbing about scanning through someone’s back catalogue of sunsets, holidays and meals out.
But I also dislike Instagram because it doesn’t fully allow me to do what I want – square photos, the challenge of actually finding anyone on there and no links allowed for a start.
So I have to be honest here and say that although I like the idea of being an Instagram queen, or even a wise Twitter owl, Facebook is my true love.
My first Facebook post in 2006 (after finally being permitted access clutching my @leeds.ac.uk email address) went something along the lines of ‘I’m thinking I might as well see what all the fuss is about.” Because back then you had to be ‘doing’ something with all status updates automatically preceded by ‘I’m’.
Since that fateful day I’ve pretty much given my heart and soul to Facebook, announced new relationships, business developments, loves and hates. I’ve been married, travelled the world , tagged friends, culled friends, gathered photo albums full of countless memories. I’ve followed companies, public figures, brands and news feeds – seen every charity challenge tumbling past my news feed and bought countess things from adverts… but mostly I’ll admit I’ve been a taker not a contributor to Facebook. Yes, I’ve been a Facebook voyeur for pretty much the past 9 years.
I always pull out the stat of the average person logging into Facebook 11 times a day… if truth be told I’m probably not far off that mark, logging in that is, not actually posting, liking or commenting on a single thing – that bit of excitement I reserve for a once a month dabble.
I think this is the real reason I love Facebook because it keeps me attached to the world, the lives of my friends, the companies I am interested in and it doesn’t ask for anything in return – you can happily tap into whatever you choose, look back through photo albums, old updates and timelines of days past – a luxury that Twitter simply can’t match.
I’ve tried to leave it countless times, but ‘deactivation’ to me is like eating a whole packet of biscuits and leaving two for a friend but constantly wondering if they’ve got round to eating them yet or if I should maybe just have a peek and see… in case, you know they’ve gone mouldy or maybe my friend decided to stock the tin up with a new packet.
From a business point of view I’ve watched our clients’ businesses triple and quadruple in turnover on nothing more than an excellently managed Facebook presence (if I do say so myself). It’s the one platform that consistently works and generates a return.
So here’s to you Facebook on #SocialMediaDay, I’m raising a virtual glass and including hashtags that really don’t work (give it up – you’re not Twitter OK!) I look forward to whiling away many more years staring at your ever changing newsfeed which I will sporadically contribute to… but only 4 weeks at a time.