Saturday, 5 January 2013

Why I gave up Facebook

Aside from the fact I got stalked?

Way back at the restart of this blog referenced Jaron Lanier and his views on how the internet had changed from a space of open possibility to a place of restrictions. Not long ago I was reflecting on how the internet had changed shape from communities of common interest to communities of convenience. Somewhere around the pre-dawn of Facebook et al there was a lot of talk about the Web 2.0 a more creative space driven by user content on platforms provided by interested groups and corporations. We moved quickly from bare bones, clunky blog tools to streamlined integrated/embedded multimedia suites making the most of jumps in processing power, increased memory and storage. Youtube showed who we are and facebook showed who we knew all with a few simple clicks.

This social media landscape is now a given, it is likely the primary way in which people interface with the increasing body of information that is the internet. But it was not the way we always did it. Withdrawing from social media is a liberating action, it is a reclamation of an optic we were so quick to give up in the race to voice our opinions, however mediocre.

But what of the cognitive dissonance? After all, here I am writing on a blog, part of the initial 2.0 scaffolding. The difference between most social media platforms and blogs is the potential of the latter to allow sustained writing and at times even dialog. The standard of conversation tends to be higher because at the very least a blog has a pretence of literary quality. A blog entry frequently (though not always) requires greater commitment than a random Facebook screed or Disqus still huff and puff.

I have long thought and previously hinted: there are many internets layered on top of each other and a certain version, popularised in the late 90s has been increasingly papered over by subsequent waves of digital natives. The frequency and density of information produced by the young is having profound, transformational effects on the shape and tone of the internet. Perhaps even, one day as the platforms themselves are fully normalised the only way of access imaginable will be through these restrictive lenses.

Facebook is one of these platforms and combined with the platform's purpose, methods of data mining, questionable ethics about discrimination/hate speech and overall low standards of contributions has demonstrated that it is a community in which I have little interest.

That and the fact that I had a creepy stalker moment.

Nevertheless, however you found your way here, thanks for reading.
Post a Comment