On social networking

On social networking

Updated 2017-09-09

Why no Facebook?

You might think it’s the negative impact social media in general, and Facebook in particular, have on life. Or, perhaps the privacy concerns and data-sharing with the walrus-mustache guy that was elected this time around. But mine is a much more pragmatic reason.

The suggestion that social networks were created to attenuate the negative effects distance creates between any two related hunter-gatherers or that they enforce relationships is an unfounded one. What we now refer to as social networks were mere computer programming exercises some rich virgins in their late teens took up to in order to, shall we say, get lucky. While many articles in the mainstream media have circulated about the negative impacts of social media in general, scholarly articles in the past five years have sprung up like mushrooms after the rain.

That’s not my only concern. In fact, my main concern is the lack of freedom one has when bound by the terms of most social networks. For instance, the precedence that Facebook sets when sharing personal data with authority, while smart on their side, happens to be a pernicious move to which the present-age insensible hunter-gatherers have no objection. I shouldn’t include all in that category. There’s a minority of us out there who opt for a completely free social network — diaspora*.

But the pragmatic reason I don’t use Facebook is related to money. I wrote to them to ask for a 52% share of the revenue they generate from ads their algorithms tailor based on my profile. They never got back to me. To this day, I’ve yet to sign up for a Facebook account.

***Update (2017-09-09):Facebook finally responded to my request positively. Naturally, I’m required not to share details of the deal besides the fact that I now have a Facebook account.