In the beginning, Facebook started as a place to share ideas, connect with friends and family, and become the global hivemind, has now decayed into a cesspool of vitriol, hate, and unfettered biased judgement.
I’d like to assume we have all been there, “I don’t use it as much anymore. It’s just filled with people bashing on each other. I only keep it so I can stay connected with my family. How else is the family going to see pictures of the kids?” Among these examples, I’m sure there are a million others. It’s like the Dane Cook joke (probably stolen), where the female stays in her relationship with her beau because her cd’s are in his truck. Same principal for Facebook.
We all make excuses on why to keep things and you would think after the documentary “The Social Dilemma,” it would have convinced many more to unplug from “The Matrix.” All human minds and attention spans being harvested to appease stakeholders. Most of the evidence compelling people to abandon their digital lives were literally spelled out, spoon fed, in an easily digestible format. But like the drug-addicted mind, the masses kept going back for more, looking for the next dopamine hit.
There are movements in the name of unplugging. Countless bloggers, vloggers, streamers, and influencers whom are attempting to persuade people to leave the platforms and log out for good. I know not everyone fits in the criteria of jumping ship as they need their logins for work. Social Media managers, directors, and content developers/curators do have important roles to fill. Albeit contributing to the mass addiction. This post is definitively aimed at Facebook, but it can be said for any social platform.
Conversely, I do have hope that I hold onto, white-knuckled at that, in the good of social media. The benefits of positive social media by cutting through the white noise of the negative. There have been strides made to encourage and maintain a safe-space for Facebook users, but is commonly met with even more backlash and negativity. I would like to think Facebook does have the global mind in its best interests, but I have yet to see the paradigm shift.
Technology has advanced so fast, it literally has given older generations whiplash. Look to when any technology group or platform is required to go to congress. Most of the people in government lack the common knowledge to use their own “smart” devices, let alone, they probably still own a VCR. Similar to the medical field, technology has advanced so quickly, the majority of the world is running to catch up.
Maybe Facebook was put into the mainstream too fast, too soon. Maybe it should have remained on college campuses for a few more years to be perfected before handed to the likes of the world. I am curious if all this negativity was always in the world and platforms like Facebook provided these people and ideas with a digital soapbox. Or having this ability is what unleashed the keyboard cannon fodder.
The baseline to be questioned, what would your life be like without Facebook? Provided you don’t need it for work. When you open your phone, is the first application you go to a social platform, is it Facebook? Have we as a society been conditioned like Pavlov’s Dog to immediately be drawn to Facebook? Do we bite the hand that feeds? What would you consider the food Facebook provides you? Is it good for you? These are all critical questions we should be asking ourselves, instead of consistently increasing the MAU / DAU (monthly/daily active users) of Facebook to help line the pockets of shareholders.
In recent(ish) news Facebook was placed under scrutiny with earnings calls, essentially damaging the value of the stock ultimately losing Meta $230 Billion in a single day. This kind of loss is alarming, but at the end of the day, do you really think Mark Zuckerberg is concerned? Given his total value/worth, he can easily live the rest of his days without working another day.
Thinking back to the movie, “The Social Network,” if Mark Zuckerberg is anything like Jesse Eisenberg‘s portrayal of him and the conversations used in the movie are valid, Zuckerberg never wanted to create an advertising behemoth. Even further if this speculation is true, while the lavish luxuries are nice, there is a good chance Zuckerberg is looking for a way out. All contingent on if art imitates life.
Facebook has the foundation for good intentions, but leave it to humans to destroy something inherently beautiful. Humans have always been destructive, but now it seems even more so now that it is no longer physical. Destroying something digital needs to be that much more grand to satiate the thirst for demolition, at least in my assessment.
Ultimately, no one truly NEEDS Facebook, but after so many years using the platform it can be that much more scary to unplug. I have had the thoughts of unplugging and deleting my profile, but here we are, and it still lingers in my app drawer. I would like to think there are more positive social media advocates out there, but the battle is an uphill one and it seems not everyone is geared for the task. Until then, I’ll keep holding my breath until we have a perfect world and social media is used for its intended purity purpose and not just to tear everything down that doesn’t fit the deformed new status quo.
– Omnium Rerum Principia Parva Sunt –
“The beginnings of all things are small”