Ever since Facebook took over the internet, people have talked about quitting it—why they want to, or how they did, and why you should, too. Maybe you’ve thought about deleting your profile, and if you have, congratulations! But I can’t quit Facebook. I can’t because my salsa team depends on me.
You may be thinking, Hey, Harrison—salsa sounds neat! Why don’t you try WhatsApp, set up a team calendar, or make an old-school Google Group? I can’t do that. I only joined the team a couple months ago, and I don’t have enough pull to make them switch from Facebook and Messenger.
But Harrison, can’t you find another salsa team that uses something like Signal, the secure messaging app? No, I like my salsa team, our name is Rumberos de Nieves and we will be performing in New York this summer. Stop by for a show, okay? Great.
You might also wonder what if my fellow salseros hate Facebook, too? I don’t know if they do, but I’ve noticed my teammates use it a lot. Our Facebook group is where rehearsal plans and performance dates get announced. We share videos and memes and plan surprises for birthdays on Messenger. It’s where we say if we’re running late, or if we’re going to grab drinks.
At first, I tried not really using our Facebook group and assumed I’d hear big announcements at rehearsals. That strategy failed early on in my salsa career. I missed a few reminders about our performance schedule, freaked out, and resolved to dig through Facebook’s web of notifications to make sure I’d see every announcement from our director going forward. I still haven’t figured out all of those settings, so now I keep Messenger and Facebook on my phone and check both regularly. I am but one occasionally rhinestoned man in a sea of 1.45 billion daily active Facebook users.
The worst—and best—part is that my salseros have made my Facebook feed better. Amid a sea of Fox News posts and personal essays from people I don’t know but somehow friended over the years, my feed is now occasionally fun. My team is full of great people who post goofy shit that I enjoy. Sometimes I scroll through my feed and forget that I hate Facebook. I forget my disdain for Mark Zuckerberg’s terrible, terrible advertising machine.
And there are more reasons why I can’t quit, despite Facebook’s last scandal, its new scandal, or whatever scandal will break tomorrow. Facebook is how I chat with relatives whose phone numbers I’ve lost or never had. It’s where my mom runs her business. It’s where everyone is. Where everyone I might want to catch up with one day is only a DM away. Where, early on, I dumped photo after photo and post after post. I can’t delete Facebook, even though I want to.
Why can’t you?