The eBook Zone Mind is out Now! Learn more...

The eBookZone Mind is Out! Learn More...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Is there life after FaceBook?

Yellow Question Mark followed by the FaceBook Icon

L)) Listen to a recent episode with the same name I published oN my podcast channel at AudioBoo

FaceBook Memories

Last week, I took what seemed, at first, to be a difficult decision. I de-activated my FaceBook account. Even if I can re-activate my account within a time window, it’s unlikely for me to return. I admit that I was pretty excited when I started using FaceBook for the first time. It felt good to see more ‘friends’ and acquaintances joining me as a ‘friend’. Indeed, over the years, I did gain a modest number of followers, including new and old friends, schoolmates, relatives and had the chance to connect with like minded people.


On the other hand, I have grown weary about what FaceBook has become. While I find that the idea of social networks and FaceBook in particular, to be a positive one, I regret that, on its part, FaceBook has sold its soul (if social networks can have one) to businesses and companies. Unfortunately, as a FaceBook user, I noticed that many of those using what is now a social network giant don’t yet understand the implications of posting stuff on the platform.

In fact, people have been posting updates about the most trivial things happing in their lives, posting photos that may be inappropriate or sharing ‘feel good’ updates or ‘feel bad’ updates to gain attention. We also sometimes tend to post status updates to provoke controversy. All in all, we seek to create an identity and seek to be popular - even if it means portraying ourselves as tragic victims. Worse still, we fill our profiles with details about who we are or what we do to the whole world to find. Things that we might not be comfortable sharing with a person we met in the street, we are ready to tell the world.

A Privacy Lost

Many people have rightly expressed their concerns following Edward Snowden's revelations that the US government Is monitoring the activities of its citizens, and most likely, other citizens from other countries to protect “national security”. But, forgetting this issue for today, these concerns arise because we value our privacy. After all, we want to keep aspects of our lives to ourselves. However, our insistence on the ‘sacred’ right to privacy seems to be inconsistent with how we behave on FaceBookFaceBook activity is also precious information for businesses to use and exploit for their own business interests. A thing that we make easier for those seeking to make more profit whenever we press LIKE on a particular product and service. While this can help the company improve their service, it is also somewhat an invasion of our privacy, It night even mean that we are valuing products as people. For, in truth, the FaceBook started off as a network of friends, it has been colonised by an aggressive commercialisation where objects become our friends and friends, in a way, become objects.

Sadly, I realise that FaceBook is neither the utopian social network which connects people from around the world to encourage dialogue and mutual understanding. Yes, there are some groups and individuals who are engaging in a dialogue to promote peace and justice around the world. Yet, as with anything we create as human beings, FaceBook has been the meeting place for those who spread hate or intolerance to others, including far right groups and those groups which implicitly support homophobia, people of different race, faith or disability. This tendency for us to form our own affiliations even if they condone hate crime or violence, is a reality. And if a group is private, FaceBook can be a place where we limit ourselves to reading from people who have our opinions without even giving the chance for us to hear a different opinion than our own.

Again, I am not condemning FaceBook or those who use it. For all I know, I might return. However, I believe that I have become too dependent on FaceBook to the extent that I wasn’t sure whether I could live without it. A feeling I am sure some readers can relate to. I haven’t become addicted to FaceBook. But, then again, I had a life before FaceBook. We all had. In a way, FaceBook. I thank all of you who joined me on FaceBook is not going to be there forever. And it could continue to change too much.

I left FaceBook tO regain my authenticity and grow in self-knowledge without having to adopt an identity that is NOT who I am!

PS: I will still be on Twitter though - so you can still connect with me @GordonGT!

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