Because that is where I get to hear from all my friends and family scattered around the globe, and none of them are likely to resume yearly postal newsletters, or follow me onto some new experimental social media platform any time soon. Despite Facebook’s best efforts, I still manage to get a few occasional glimpses into the lives of the ones I care about. Which is nice.
I won’t be deleting my Facebook account, because it just isn’t worth the hassle. Thanks for coming to my TED talk and have a great day.
As for why I will no longer use Facebook…
Not because of the frenetic mining of my personal data: everything they could grab has long been grabbed, and will live in their datacenter long after the end of humankind.
Nor because they betrayed my trust by selling access to my private conversations to whatever government or company gave them a few bucks for it: they never had any of my trust for them to betray in the first place.
Nor even because their mix of greed and incompetence singlehandedly took the world that much closer to the global dystopia we were all warned about before the internet even existed.
I no longer post on Facebook, I no longer “like and comment on what my friends have to say”, I no longer “engage” with Facebook contents… because I am so fucking tired of playing guinea pig to 20-year-old brogrammers looking to optimise their metrics by turning my reptilian brain against me.
Because for every tiny bit of actual news from a friend, I have to sift through a million attempts at goading me into clicks and likes and emoji angry faces. Because ‘liking’ that thoughtful progressive feminist queer-friendly left-leaning post, will have no other discernable effect on the real world, other than trading me a short-lived bout of smug self-satisfaction in exchange for yet another datapoint heaped upon my ad profile.
Because even when my feed is not entirely made up of shitty clickbaits trying to weaponise my emotions, the remaining leftover content overwhelmingly features those people most desperate to convince the rest of the world that they are doing great-so-great-look-at-my-fabulous-holiday-selfie-great. And because resisting the constant urge to feed the great data moloch with the dregs of my own online persona, is downright exhausting.
Hi Dave, why don’t you let all your friends know what a cool person you are by posting these pictures of your weekend in the Hamptons! Just click here and I will post it all on your behalf!
I shall still try to keep up with your Facebook wedding announcements, birthday reminders and holiday pictures, and I might even occasionally hit that ‘like’ button, when my frontal lobe fails to catch the electrical impulse in time, but I will continue to do my utmost best to keep my interactions with Facebook at a minimum.
I might even resurrect this blog, and party like it’s 2009 again.