Thanks for saying that, Acill.
For me, Facebook has been something I've constantly been torn over. I used to be a very active participant many years ago, especially when my kids were born and very little. Lots of pics.
But the way Facebook feeds and psychologically games content was literally making me ill. Oftentimes I'd find myself in heated discourse with high school folks I'd not seen in well over 20 years over topics that no one would ever back down from. Online, we all seem too eager to become fire breathing dragons over pancakes vs waffles. No one was ever going to back off from their personal biases or opinions; they'd simply reload for tomorrow and aim once more. I would dread opening the site, but also yearn for it the way one might want to catch a glimpse of horror at a car crash on the highway. I don't want to see, but I kinda can't help from looking.
So, years ago I decided to make a full break. I didn't put the account on hold or whatever they call it. I deleted all of my data (supposedly). I am being 100% honest that it was not an easy thing to do. I worried about some of my old connections that I'd never see or hear from again. It was a rolodex I was willingly throwing into to a campfire. I'd never see my old aunt's posting of a religious or political meme again - what would I do?
For the first 2 weeks, I went through what I believe were really and truly withdrawal symptoms. I couldn't just open it up anymore and flick to my notifications or feed filled with addicting bile dripping from the mouths of trolls. Trolls I once knew really well (or barely). The first week was the worst. By week three, I felt pangs of mild guilt and wondered if anyone noticed I was gone, but those egotistical thoughts slowly ebbed away. By week four, I really didn't miss it at all anymore. I was free. That's pretty scary, now that I type this out and read what I've written.
Anyway I'd created this site right before that epic divorce if I remember correctly.
By year two after the break, a friend told me about Facebook Groups and how instrumental they were for keeping tabs on the various retro scenes, as well as some local finds not to be found on Craigslist. I shook an invisible fist to the heavens and silently screamed. To my shame, I created an "anonymous" account that wasn't connected to any family or past friends, nor was it in my real name. I joined Facebook with a new account so I could check out the Groups for Amiga, C64, Seattle's retro community, and made a page for this place.
Over time, folks from all over the world in the retro scene would try to connect with me there (or at least the moniker I use there). Most of the time I ignore those requests (it's hard to connect user handles to actual names and faces). But sometimes I would accept a request. I leave scores untouched, which creates a mild sense of guilt - which is exactly what FB wants me to feel.
But with no family or historical personal connections, there's no real "news feed" anymore - just group posts, which are moderated. News feeds aren't, except by the Heavenly Algorithm. Even still, over this past year I've found myself using it less and less. There are so many other ways to get the information we need to stay connected and informed: Twitter (if you keep it laser focused on the hobby, it can be very rewarding), YouTube, Twitch, forums with some basic adult decorum, Reddit, etc.
If the news is big enough, it will probably get to you at some stage. I've been very tempted to lob off the AmigaLove account on Facebook, too, just to make it one less place to potentially run into a pool of brain eating acid.
What made me create this place in the first place was my perception at the time of other forums being difficult to parse the most basic of questions and information. That, and the attitude I found in some places really was very unwelcoming. I wanted to create a place where some of a platform's most basic concepts could be found, explained or shown step-by-step, and not be written with assumptions in knowledge or delivered with condescension. I feel like we do a pretty damned good job here sharing our learnings and experiences with our brothers and sisters. And for that, I will always be grateful.
I think because we're small (just a hair short of 1,000 member accounts, with far fewer truly active) it helps a lot. It allows us to get to know each other to a degree I'll never attain on Facebook.