In October 2008 I joined Facebook and my first status update said “have given in to the facebook pressure..”. I was really late in joining because I didn’t really feel I had a reason to join and frankly I did not get the whole thing. But as soon as I joined I was hooked and found it a great way to connect with old lost friends and also find new ones. Now, a bit more than 10 years later and after wasting way to much time and energy, I am posting my final Facebook status update.
Social Media bring out the worst in most people. It is pretty similar to when consuming large amounts of alcohol. Inhibition gets lost and things are being said and done that will be regretted later. I think it has to do with the feeling of being safe and in many times anonymous. That makes people stupid. Why say stuff online that you would never say to someones face? In Sweden we have had politicians getting caught using “anonymous accounts” then claiming someone else have borrowed them.
If this was my biggest qualms with social media I would probably stick around trying to change these behaviour by acting in a more grown-up way. Trying to affect change from within. But the biggest problem with social media today is not people it is companies. Today we have a couple of big social networks that essentially is an oligopoly. There is a lot of problems around this.
These big companies they curate your content. Essentially they determine what posts you will see and not see. This is of course done programmatically and controlled by various algorithms. This is done to make you consume more content and spend more time on the platforms. They are then selling your attention and information to other companies in the form of advertising. The very same system is being used to influence people and drive opinion. There is still a big debate over how social media have been used to influence and manipulate public elections all over the world. It is scary the see how much power these companies have to control what is being spread in these networks.
So what am I going to do now? Firstly, my Facebook and Instagram accounts will be deleted. Personally I see Facebook as the biggest villan right now since they are not even trying to make it right. I will also gradually leave Twitter and Youtube. This doesn’t mean I will leave social media, I have chosen to use social media where I am in control. Going forward you will instead find me here:
Mastodon: @firstname.lastname@example.org (Mastodon works similar to Twitter)
Pixelfed: @email@example.com (Pixelfed is similar to Instagram)
I will also setup a Peertube (similar to Youtube) account somewhere. When I have chosen where to put that I will link to it here on the blog but of course also post about it on mastodon – where most of my content is being boosted.