One day earlier than I had planned, I have deleted my Facebook account for good. Facebook (and most likely all social media) is the societal equivalent of McDonalds: every time you go there and eat from their menu, you’re getting a little bit sicker. They combine the ingredients we most crave for (fat, carbs, salt) and create a cheap and highly addictive offering to make sure you come back.
Unlike McDonalds though, Facebook allows parties who mean actual harm to our entire society and the fabric that holds it, us, together, to have an influence on their “menu:” Nationalists and extremists of all sorts. Climate change deniers. Antivaxxers. Holocaust deniers. And worst of all, other country’s secretive cyber-operations that aim to manipulate us, and turn us against each other. They’re all welcome to organize there, post divisive content and “boost” it with some $$$ so that FB’s algorithm then injects into the “Newsfeed” – targeted precisely at you. They’re the customer. You’re the product. Facebook profits.
As little as it may be individually, there is simply no reason to help Facebook make money, with my data or through ads that they show me. In the 4th quarter of 2019 alone, Facebook made a staggering seven-point-three billion dollars net revenue. In three months! That number is almost too abstract for me to grasp, so I tried to think of it as 7300 million dollars. And write it as $7,300,000,000.
Make no mistake: just like McDonalds has accepted the harm their food is doing to our bodies as a necessity to make profit, Facebook has accepted the harm they’re doing to our society as a necessity to make profit, no matter how innocent, surprised and apologetic Mr. Zuckerberg appears in front of Congress and the media.
If I remember correctly, McDonalds considers people who eat there once a week “heavy users”, and people who eat there 10 times per month “super heavy users”. How many times per day do you check Facebook?
Of course there are people on Facebook whose photos and posts I will miss. But on the other hand, every person that I talked to who has left Facebook told me that they don’t miss it even one bit – or they even think their life is better altogether, without Facebook in it. My friends have my email address and telephone number. That’s all that is needed to actually stay in touch with me.
I know that this rant won’t change anyone’s mind, make anyone say “hey, I’m quitting Facebook now too”. You’ve got to do your own reading, thinking, researching, at your own pace. And perhaps you’ll find that your personal ethical and moral boundaries too have been crossed too many times by this company.