I created my Facebook account in 2006. I felt cool having one then because I had to use my college email address to sign up. not everyone could. Here I also added my real life friends. Then some of my family members started joining facebook, and I added them as well. I became a professional, and I started adding people I met in professional settings. I started adding people I met in alot of situations. I added alot of people. At the most I had several hundred friends.
I would check Facebook throughout the day. I would read my friends’ posts, I would post myself, then check throughout the day to see if they responded to my posts. I checked more and more. Facebook became a huge part of my life. I would trumpet the benefits of having a Facebook account to anyone who told me they didn’t have one when I asked if I could add them as a friend. I felt like I was doing them a favor in informing them of this awesome tool that they apparently had no idea about. Why wouldn’t they have already signed up if they had heard of it? It’s free, right?
I spent more and more hours, everyday. checking, checking, checking. I’d check in the morning when I woke up. Whenever I had to wait in line for something. At red lights. I’d check before I go to bed. Scrolling through the feeds looking furtively at each post thinking things like “What can I say here that will get the most likes?” or “I wonder if I share this post if anyone will like it?” It was about getting likes. Most of the people I cared about most the world, plus several hundred others who were at varying degrees of closeness. I treated them all the same on this platform. They were like generators. Because I felt good when they liked something, and I felt bad when they didn’t. It was as simple as that. That was the hook that reeled me in, and it was reward system that made it feel worth the effort to me in the long term.
For all this time spent checking, what is the net result? 10 years, untold hours of checking Facebook. What did it do for me? Not much, if anything as far as I can tell.