I was considering deactivating my Facebook account recently. I feel it has become both a marketing platform and a market research device than a place to share ideas. I thought about the email accounts I’ve left strewn over the internet: my first compuserve account, then aol, .mac, lycos, netscape – maybe others I have forgotten. I wonder if they are all steadily accumulating spam over the years? I also have a Yahoo account, but the friends that used to send me emails over that account have stopped. It saddens me to think of the people I’ve lost touch with over time, people I used to look forward to receiving an email from.
I thought Facebook would be a way to stay connected with people. In some ways it has, but in many ways it has served to distance me from people. A lot of the posts, especially the political ones, make me misanthropic. They make me despair for our future. I’ve made stupid moves on Facebook that I regret. It does not always bring out the best in me. I have a lot of “friends” on Facebook that aren’t. It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s just that I don’t know them. They are on my list because I promote events here in town and I can then invite them. There are more and more ads on Facebook – along with “suggested posts” (suggested by who?). And then, there’s the privacy issues.
It seems the internet has become a gigantic advertising medium. I know there’s thoughtful work out there – I have to seek it out, but I don’t think I’ll find it on Facebook.