Why Facebooks sucks so badly (what you can do about it)

Facebook sucks right now, at least when you compare it to the early, innocent days of 2007-2012, it was just an easy-to-use tool for keeping people connected and organized.

Since then, Facebook has become both a scandal-ridden company and a nasty chore.
That being said, there are ways to improve the Facebook experience to some extent, as well as provide alternatives to each of the major Facebook features.

6 reasons Facebook sucks and why it’s ok to hate it

Facebook is bad for society

Facebook has been at the forefront of creating the internet’s “echo chambers.”
Social media platforms carefully monitor what people like and dislike, then algorithmically serve people content that aligns with their views, while protecting them from content they might disagree with.
The end result is a breakdown in communication between the different groups in society, with each group isolated from each other until each person demonizes the others.
The people who profited the most from it were Facebook (of course), and the people who originally created and maintained these divisions.

Facebook search sucks

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, Facebook’s search feature is great.
But if you don’t know the exact name of a person, company, brand, page or product, Facebook’s search feature sucks, you’ll be rummaging through a bunch of useless stuff and still can’t deliver what you need.

Why does Facebook have such bad UI?

Facebook is now a jumble of myriad features: videos, marketplaces, groups, games, dating, and more.
The problem is that in isolation, none of these features are good at what they do.
There are better dating apps than Facebook. A better alternative to Facebook Groups. A better alternative to Facebook videos etc.
But even as a pure social media platform, Facebook still has a terrible interface with difficult control over privacy settings, navigation events, bookmarks, and more.

Facebook Groups user management sucks

Facebook has recently attempted to pivot and focus on its Groups feature.
The only problem is that most Facebook groups have poor moderation policies, are inundated with people posting content to promote themselves, and often have very little traffic.
If you hang out on Facebook specifically for the group feature, then you know there are better options in terms of content quality and traffic.

Facebook has ads everywhere & everyone tries to sell you something

Seriously, these ads are really scattered throughout the Facebook app, and because they take up so much space, it’s pretty frustrating to navigate.
Not only that, but most of them look pretty much the same as regular posts. When you realize you’ve been scammed, you’ve interacted with the post, and now you’ll be bombarded with other similar ads in the future.

Facebook encourages validation seeking and narcissism

To be fair, most people post on Facebook to let other people know about their lives: new relationships, workplaces, engagement, having kids, things like that.
However, a large percentage of people use the platform just to humbly brag about their lives and post ostentatious photos screaming “hey look at me”.
On top of that, Facebook has been shown to have a net negative effect on mental health, as it encourages the comparison of your behind-the-scenes mess to someone else’s well-rehearsed prime time.

So Facebook sucks, what can you do about it?

Delete Facebook if you can

The simplest and most radical solution. Not everyone can do this, as their job may require a Facebook account (such as an online marketer), or they make heavy use of certain Facebook features, such as groups or events.
However, if you don’t have an investment, delete it. Life will be simpler and cleaner.

Bulk unfollow people and pages you don’t care about

Unfollowing someone will not notify others that you recently unfollowed them.
It’s a cleaner way to remove all the “noise” in your feed and keep everything tidy.
You can do this in bulk by going to Settings & Privacy -> News Feed Preferences -> Unfollow.
From there, just unfollow all the people and pages you don’t care about.

It’s easier to do on desktop, but works just fine on mobile too.

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Replace Facebook app with Facebook Lite or Friendly app

If your main problem with Facebook is the app itself, then consider replacing the main Facebook app with the Facebook Lite or Friendly app (available for iOS and Android).
Facebook lite generally runs smoother than the main app and removes a lot of useless features. That’s why Facebook lite apps are usually less than 10 MB, while the main FB can sometimes take up 500 MB to 1 GB of storage.
Another app you might consider trying is a friendly social browser. This is an alternative to Facebook that lets you combine Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and pretty much any other social media app you can think of. Available on iOS and Google Play.

Friendly Social BrowserAndroid Download | iOS Download

Use some lesser known privacy settings

Facebook actually has some pretty in-depth privacy settings. They really have no choice, the platform has gone through too many scandals instead of them.
Some of the ways you can protect your Facebook privacy include:
  • Revoke your login permissions for apps and websites you log in with Facebook.
  • Download a copy of all the information Facebook has about you.
  • Off-Facebook Activity: This shows which non-Facebook apps and websites are tracking your activity and sending it back to Facebook to better serve you ads.
  • (iOS only): Ask iOS to prevent Facebook from tracking your activity outside the app.
  • Hide/Show if you are active (good for Messenger).
  • Who can contact or send you friend requests (everyone or just friends of friends).
  • Control who can follow you (everyone or just friends)
  • Allow or prevent Facebook from using facial recognition on your photos.
There are a few other settings on a smaller scale, but the point is that you can at least control a lot of what Facebook knows about you and what it does with your data.
The only downside is that you have to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour fiddling with the settings to get them to do what you want.

Facebook alternatives for every feature

Reddit – Replacement for Groups and FB News

Reddit is the 9th most visited site in the US, so you may already be a user.
If you’re not a user, here’s a brief description from Reddit:
The profile you create has nothing to do with who you really are. Anonymity is the key to Reddit.
You subscribe to interest-based communities, which are strictly regulated so they stay true to the purpose of the community.
Almost everything has a community: science, politics, even a cat in a towel (https://www.reddit.com/r/Purrito/)
You don’t follow people or personalities on Reddit. It’s all about community and discussion, not about the lives of individual users.
Most of your time on Reddit is spent reading comments and replies. Trending topics can have thousands or tens of thousands of comments, and everyone shares their own unique experiences that you can laugh at, learn from, or empathize with.

Telegram – Replacement for Facebook Messenger

Telegram is a privacy-focused messaging app that competes with WhatsApp and Messenger.
Unlike those, Telegram natively encrypts every conversation you have on the platform, making them impossible for outsiders (even Telegram itself) to read.
Perhaps the final positive comment on Telegram is that the service is banned by many countries because they cannot monitor the conversations of their citizens: Iran, Russia, China, Cuba, Belarus, and some countries that have temporarily banned the service.
Unlike WhatsApp or Messenger, Telegram doesn’t sell your data to advertisers.

Meetup – Facebook Events competitor

Meetup is a community-based social platform that helps groups organize real-life activities based on various interests, such as watching movies, playing board games, and more.
To be fair, Meetup is not as popular as Facebook Events simply because there are nearly 2 billion powerful social media networks behind FB Events.
Still, there are quite a few communities that are exclusive to Meetup and simply not available on FB Events, making the app worth checking out.

Discord – Facebook Groups alternative

Discord is a community-based VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), messaging and communication application originally aimed at gamers.
Over the years, Discord has become a universal app designed for nearly every type of community, including cooking, gaming, sewing, urban exploration, and more.
To use Discord, users need to find an invite link to the server (a Discord server is the equivalent of a Facebook group).
Most servers tend to have multiple channels (or subgroups) where users can discuss specific topics.

Nextdoor – Neighborhood based social media network

Nextdoor is a social networking app built for the community. Each community is assigned a private Nextdoor website that only users who live within that particular community can join and participate in.
To join Nextdoor, you will need to submit personal information, including address and name. However, you do get access to a unique social network that fosters community connections.
Available for PC, iOS, Android and MacOS.

TikTok – Facebook Video replacement

TikTok is the new cool kid when it comes to social media and video.
However, its recent reputation has been mixed. Some people think it’s too superficial, while others are more concerned with the app’s privacy policy.
That being said, the use of TikTok is undeniably interesting, and the video content has been established. It has everything for everyone: educational content, small talk, politics, how-tos, cat videos, dog videos, everything.
One thing holding back TikTok is that you need to put in some time and effort to train its algorithms to show you what you like and hide what you don’t.

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