Following on from my abandonment of Facebook and the Legions of the Enslaved, as of March9, I came across this fine article in Gizmodo which gives a much more coherent description of the problem than I was able to manage at that time.
The narrative is purely a ‘technical’ one and does not touch on the ‘societal’ and ‘pyschological’ aspects of F’book.
We already live in a highly artificial society where ‘marketing’ and ‘consumerism’ tries to make slaves of us all. Most of the artefacts of the market deliver far less than they promise, thereby generating discontent and anxiety for whomever they are ‘consumed’ by.
F’book exacerbates this trend by giving an illusory and superficial rendering of community, society and amity delivered via the ‘Web’. At the same time, as documented in the article, they are abusing your data so as to further manipulate you and your ‘friends’.
I trust that I am not alone in seeing in F’book the first elements of the cyber-enslavement of our minds that was so brilliantly exaggerated in the film ‘The Matrix’. ‘Hyperbole’, I hear you say. If you take a minute to reflect on it you might think differently. How many of the people in some of your F’book circle of friends have met recently? How many of them have you ever actually met? If you are in some campaign, how do you know that the majority of these are not just ‘avatars’ rendered to you by F’book in the same manner as the androids in ‘Blade Runner’ were given ‘lives’ and ‘back-stories’ by their creators.
You don’t know. And the more you rely on F’book the less and less you will know.
Until you find some program or interface that repects yours and everyone elses’ privacy and data, until you start refusing to allow yourself to be treated merely as a consumer and not as a citizen you are part of the problem rather than the solution. As with all of these things, by the time the majority wake up to the problem it will most likely be too late to bring about meaningful change.
Yes, I know it is ‘convenient’. So is buying green beans flown in from Kenya. We all know where that is leading to.
I know that I am not the only ‘blue-pill’ guy on the planet and I am sorry that my computer skills are not up to building a better Web but no one is forcing you to enslave yourself.
Wired magazine have joined in on the subject in this article.
These guys have a good plan for doing ‘social networking’ properly and it seems that they have some backing as well. Go for it, guys…..