Thursday 29 March 2018
Bye bye Facebook
I will be deleting my Facebook account soon. It has been pretty dormant for a while and the only reason I haven't done it earlier is sloth.
I am not unduly bothered by the Cambridge Analytica business. I went into my faustian data pact with the folk at Menlo Park with my eyes wide open.
No I fell out of love with Facebook some time ago and I don't want that sentiment to cause me to fall out of love with some of the people I am connected to on the FB platform. Social media naturally affects our psychologies, we can't escape that. But there is something about the personas FB encourages us to project that is particularly icky. I saw it in myself and didn't like it. I stopped posting. Many parts of our lives are edited before sharing - usually just to cut out the boring bits and attempt to create a little meaning. But the FB life edits create a Stepford Wives version of happiness, fulfilment or success. "Connection" - the company's mantra - is not an end in itself, it is not a value free proposition. I value meaningful connection. Hugely. But showing me your dinner or your location at an airport or bar is not my sort of meaningful connection.
I don't want to blame anyone for how this experiment with virtual autobiography is turning out. It has been virgin territory for us all. I am still fascinated by the way different cultures around the world behave when presenting themselves on social media. I still, and will continue to, value the direct and instant peer to peer contact social media enables by voice, text, image or video. The key piece there though is the peer-to-peer, one-to-one bit. It's targeted. It's a real conversation based on mutual interests. It's what we, as humans, do best.