Musings & Rants

I’m taking the Facebook diet

I haven’t deleted the Facebook app from my phone, or my iPad, or blocked it in my browsers but I’m taking a well needed Facebook diet. I have turned off all the notifications, background refreshes and removed it from my home screens. Facebook: We are on a break.

I’ve long believed that no good can come from the way most of us use it. The silly time wasters, it’s relentless focus on making users present themselves as happy, and a full-frontal attack on democracy because it’s more profitable to act as if you’re a platform rather than a media company… The list of negative side effect is almost endless.

The past few weeks have shown that this company is either woefully unaware of these unintended consequences, or — more likely — willfully blind of them. Yet even their study has concluded that using its product can be bad for your mental health. It’s time for a Facebook diet.

The last few days have also shown that the company leadership has drank too much of their own Kool-Aid. While they might believe they’re bringing people together, their algorithmic filter bubbles pull them further apart. The way they casually traded data to collect even more information about its users is worrying. The missing sense of wrongdoing is probably worse.

So a whole lot of downsides to a product that doesn’t offer too many upsides. While it’s great to know that Anna from high school is proud of her kids and #blessed… I have to give up too much privacy and mental well being. All of this so that Mark Z. and his thousands of employees can make a living selling slightly better-targeted ads, unintended consequences be damned. Seems like a pretty bad deal for me and you.

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