Facebook. The Social Monster

My Facebook Homepage My Facebook Homepage

There was a time before Facebook. People searched for and visited websites to find other people interested in the same things. They joined up, conversed with each other, shared ideas, made friends and discussed things

that were important to them.

They formed groups about similar interests, invited other friends from college or family – real life friends – to join them. They built their own businesses through these conversations and in turn, the companies who created website software grew as well.

That’s how the internet grew. 

Then along came Facebook. And everything changed. Suddenly, you could find people you used to know but had long forgotten, just by giving the Facebook people all your personal information and signing over your rights to whatever you upload, to them. Your full name, phone number, contact lists, address, job history, address history, current workplace, schools attended etc, etc – all the information they ask for, give it to them. And people did.

It was addictive. Because, Joe, the guy with the big ears from the 3rd grade you hadn 't thought of in 25 years was sending you a friend request! And that stalker you had forgotten about found you through Facebook after 14 years. How exciting.

Nappturality on FacebookThen the celebrities joined in. You could join an official blue tick “page” for a celebrity and follow their every move. Maybe they would even respond to your comment one day. How exciting.

Businesses joined. No longer needing independent websites, they just used Facebook’s system. Everyone was on it already and they could target people by race. How exciting.

Then politicians joined. They could enlist celebrities to “like” and “link to” their Facebook Pages. They could create ads and upload videos that don’t even have to be true. Because there is no policy that says videos and ads have to be true. And people will watch. And share them so much that it became the word “viral”. How exciting.

Elections could be swayed. Laws could be swayed. It’s all about the spreading of information as fast as possible, even if that information has not been verified as being true.

It will be great for everyone, they said. We will never misuse your private information, they said. As they did just that.

So yes, I was there for a while. I started a Facebook Page. At last count I think I have about 4500 friends and about 7000 followers on my personal page and about 325,000 followers on my blue-ticked Nappturality Page.

And all of this means absolutely nothing.

Because by 2006, Facebook began to kill my and many other people’s websites’ traffic. The new shiny Zuckerberg thing took away hits, visitors, conversations and popularity from Black-owned website communities all over the web as millions moved over to the latest thing on offer and it happened very fast. Money poured into the Facebook owners’ pockets and drained out of ours, making Facebook owners very rich and powerful. Like a snake, Facebook and their social media army then swallowed the internet whole.

I don’t believe in datamining for people’s personal information, whether they give it to you willingly or not. Facebook does. I do not believe that it is OK to allow fake and offensive information to remain online. Facebook does. I do not believe in allowing a platform for violence, racists, sexists, pedophiles, and murderers to spew their rhetoric. Facebook does.

Regardless of all the family, recipes, reunions and homeschool group meetings people create, Facebook to me has become a dinosaur. A useless, overblown piece of extinct history that sucks all the oxygen out of the room and is no longer relevant to me. But still, it has become so invasive and so encompassing. It's a monster. But to not maintain a presence there is not good business practice. This is the quandry and the dichotomy. Every post, feeds the beast. So If I must feed them, I will feed us first.

So here's the deal. I am going to now blog here. I'll link to my blog there. But I'm going to be here. Back home, because it's ours.

I am older. I am wiser. I still have a lot of stuff to say and show and I'll say and show it in our Black Women's platform first, not on Facebook.

See you soon not there.

~Dee~

Patricia Gaines

Patricia Gaines aka Deecoily is the founder and creator of Nappturality in 2002, the beginning of the natural hair movement. Since 2000 she has been blogging on all things natural hair, Black culture and politics.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2 comments

  • Comment Link Patricia Gaines Saturday, 29 June 2019 14:16 posted by Patricia Gaines

    Thank you so much Tiffany. It means a lot to me to know that what I have done here has helped you. Times change and people evolve, new people come and go. But through it all, this place remains and I will make sure it stays available, grows and evolves as necessary so all of our information stays for future generations.

    It is a special place - and I love my NP sistaz with all my heart.

  • Comment Link Tiffany TheophaniaPaige Saturday, 15 June 2019 14:35 posted by Tiffany TheophaniaPaige

    Hello Deecoily! I joined your website forum October 2009. I was in the last 2 months of my last year in college and had just done the big chop a year prior. I needed guidance. This place is where I learned of mayo and egg masks and how to coil my TWA. Facebook had just went from college students only, to adding high schoolers and more. I've seen exactly what you are talking about. I miss the old forum here. I felt like I could really bond with the women that were here. Seeing their progress pictures and advice on how to take care of our hair was a treat and food for my soul. I will admit, as Facebook gained popularity, I moved away from websites like these and didn't even realize it. I literally didn't realize it. At that same time, youtube was gaining steam and some women migrated to making videos about hair (myself included, after a couple years.) This was before "hair gurus" were a thing, before people were petty and patronizing in the comment sections, before Youtubers stopped responding personally to comments...I miss this place. I didn't realize exactly how much until now. I still get a birthday message from your site every single year, on May 24th, in an old email account I rarely use, and it always makes me smile. It makes me smile and it makes me feel guilty because a lot of us have unintentionally turned our backs on you, when, even though it may be automated messages, you haven't turned from us. Your work has impacted my life, unmeasurably. I just want to say I appreciate you, Patricia, more than you will ever know. And I'm back.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Nappturality Shoe 300 faded

Copyright 2002 - 2019 Nappturality.com (TM) All Rights Reserved -- Privacy Policy. As the ordinary or otherwise use(s) of my homemade hair recipes or styling techniques and hair advice is outside the control of Nappturality.com., no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the effect(s) of such use(s), (including damage or injury), or the results obtained. Nappturality.com expressly disclaims responsibility as to the ordinary or otherwise use(s). Furthermore, nothing contained herein should be considered as a recommendation by Nappturality.com as to the fitness for any use. The liability of Nappturality.com does not include any consequential losses from the use of advice given here. The articles on this website may be reproduced in whole or in part provided that the reproduction includes a credit of authorship to "Nappturality.com", plus a crawlable link to either http://www.nappturality.com/ or to the original article on this site. Contact us if you would like to reproduce an article on your site.