When Facebook was down for most of the day on Oct. 4, 2021, did you miss it, were you relieved or some of both? Social scientists have compiled an expansive body of research that shows how people have come to develop a love-hate relationship with the social media giant with nearly 3 billion users.
Many users have felt their relationship with the platform devolve into a messy codependence, mired by ambiguity and mistrust. For others, reliance on the platform is taken for granted, if occassionally appreciated in moments of pandemic isolation.
And then there are the revelations that the company has been lying about applying its rules differently to important people, knowingly harming teen girls and having a big vaccine misinformation problem. Adding insult to injury, Facebook locked its keys in its car and didn’t show up for over five hours. In short, Facebook is a hot mess.
All this leads to an extremely high-maintenance relationship, leaving users to wonder whether they should just move on with healthier friends. But it wasn’t always like this.