REMEMBER Friends Reunited? That was quaint for a while. And so was Facebook. But now the latter social media platform – recently relaunched as Meta – is rarely a fun place to be, no matter how much you try to reconcile with its few remaining redeeming qualities.

But something interesting is afoot. This month saw record losses for the company with billions wiped off its stock market value. Then came Meta's leaked plans to shutdown Facebook and sister site Instagram in Europe if it is unable to process EU data on its US servers.

It is almost like Meta wants to break up with its users but hasn't quite plucked up the courage to say, "It's not you, it's me …" Or: "I just really need to work on myself …" Instead, it is trying the age-old trick of exhibiting a slew of toxic behaviour in order to get us to dump it first.

The whole rebranding as Meta should have been the first sign that we were on the outs. It is the digital equivalent of changing your name to Rain or Chakra or Om before heading off on a gap year to find yourself.

The Herald: Are we falling out of love with Facebook? Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAre we falling out of love with Facebook? Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images (Image: .)

I'm not here to gloat. But Facebook often feels like a purgatory of our own making. There are few people I have less in common with than me from a decade ago.

The site's "On This Day …" nostalgia feature – which pops up with reminders of old and forgotten posts like the all-seeing ghosts in a 2022 reboot of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol – is akin to being waterboarded by every vapid thought that has ever popped into your head.

Reading my trite, one-time musings about gym visits, dinner plans, shopping trips or telly viewing habits circa 2009-2012, I feel white-hot embarrassment that my thirties self was such a navel-gazing fool (although chances are fifties me will look back on my forties years with much the same disdain).

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What is it about social media that makes even the most mild-mannered and self-effacing souls behave like they believe the entire world is hanging on their every word with awestruck admiration?

That said, monster egos are by no means the worst thing you will find on Facebook. No matter how much you try to circle the wagons, a few undesirables inevitably slip through.

Idle scrolling tends to go a bit like this: cat video, meme, humble brag, photo dump of a new baby, Harry Potter quote wrongly attributed to the Dalai Lama, sponsorship request, plea for a plumber/electrician, another cat video, and then, bam, there it is: the dreaded conspiracy theorist.

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Almost always it is someone who seems wholly sensible and buttoned-up in real life, yet there they are, on some random Tuesday, arguing a ludicrous theory that the world's bird population has been quietly culled and replaced with secret government spy drones.

Or that the royal family are clandestine alien lizards. And the Earth is flat. You get the idea. Is the end of Facebook nigh? That might not be such a bad thing.

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