Facebook Is Down — So Now You (Should)Understand That It Isn’t Stealing Your Friends, Your Life, Your Identity. You Are.

POSTEDIT:

  • Ironic Fact #1: I started writing this post when Facebook went down on the historical date of March 13th, before it actually happened.
  • Ironic Fact #2: On this occasion, I also Tweeted for the first time.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long time.

The main catalyst was the magical moment Mark Zuckerberg stood in front of the Congress in 2018 and said this:

That moment brought along two major revelations (well, one of them was a revelation, the other one was a re-enforcement of an older belief):

  1. People are god-damned crazy about finding a scapegoat boogieman for everything. I’m not going into detail on how many times history has shown us that this can lead to really awful, dreadful things. But most of you will definitely have at least one major example of where this goes.
  2. Mark Zuckerberg can smile. Leaving aside the jokes about him being a robot, that moment proved to me that the man can have a personality, whereas I had always perceived him as a stay-on-the-safe-side-kind-of-guy in terms of the statements he made over the years.

Octavia, you’re late to the party — this whole Facebook privacy scandal thing has been discussed and over-discussed to exhaustion already.

You’d think I don’t know that, with being in digital marketing and all, right?

But this article here is not about Mark or his scandal. Or how Facebook (and, by the way, Google too) has some pretty darn shitty privacy issues right there at its core.

It’s about people waking up from a slumber, realizing they have completely messed up, and trying to blame it on the next big evil: Facebook (actually social media in general, but “Facebook” because everyone and their grandma is on it).

Yes, of course Facebook is alienating you from your family and friends, because Facebook specifically mentions that you can’t call your mom if you want to continue to be able to check in to fancy nightclubs.

And OF COURSE Facebook is tearing you apart from your wife, because it’s right there in the Terms and Conditions you clicked “I Agree” on: Thou shalt not leave your phone aside to kiss your wife good night.

Last but definitely not least, it’s absolutely obvious that Facebook is the underlying reason Trump was elected. What? You didn’t get the memo? Mark clearly stated that you aren’t allowed to stay on Facebook for cat videos if you don’t vote for Trump. Or at least allow him to get there — because in a country with 300+ million people, it absolutely had to come down to him and Hilary.

Obviously, this is all ironic.

What I actually mean is that Facebook has got nothing to do with how people have alienated themselves. It’s just that Facebook and social media, in general, are tapping into a pretty basic human desire: that of being listened to, adored, liked, shared, followed.

OK, that’s not very basic — but you get the gist.

Facebook and technology aren’t stealing your power to socialize in real life, they aren’t stealing your data, they aren’t stealing your dignity.

You are.

You, the user, are fully responsible for the things you sign up for. Nobody forces you to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. You put yourself out there because:

  1. You want to connect with people;
  2. You want to show off — your music tastes at the very least, the very best of the fine life at the very most.

Facebook didn’t vote for Trump, they didn’t support him, they didn’t fund him.

Facebook, like all social media, is a channel of communication. It can be used for amazing things or it can be used for awful things. Just like TV or newspapers or books can.

Would you blame books for Mein Kampf?

No, you wouldn’t.

And coming to an even more current example: would you have been that upset if a genius marketer somehow managed to use Facebook ads to collect money and end world hunger in one year?

Or if your favorite politician used the same means Trump’s team used to win their election?

Probably not.

Facebook ads (and all online ads, I really need to emphasize this) are based on who you are, what you search for, and what you support. Facebook did not create a fanbase for Trump — they were already there and someone thought that they could use data to reach out to them.

Are the means by which this data was acquired ethically correct?

That’s an entirely different question — one for another story, for another time, for another midnight rambling.

Facebook is stealing absolutely nothing from you. You are giving it away for Likes and Shares.

And when Facebook will fade (because it will eventually fade, like all things human do at some point), you will turn to another channel to feed your ego, your appetite for gossip (and (fake)news), your insatiable desire to see cute kittens playing around.

Proof?

Today, March 13th 2019, #facebookdown happened.

And then this happened:

And this:

My point with this entire rambling (because I promise, there is a point to every rambling I post on Medium) is that people should start taking responsibility for their own actions — online and offline.

There’s no boogieman out there. No massive conspiracy working against you. No group of reptilians celebrating virgin deaths on chicken feathers.

It’s you.

It’s not Mark Zuckerberg, it’s you. And it’s been you and I, and everyone else all along, since the beginning of time: we find a scapegoat, we place the blame, we clean the hands, we move on. Clean, rinse, repeat.

Facebook isn’t stealing your life. You are.

The Illuminati aren’t stealing quality produce off the markets. We are unconsciously pushing for mass food production because there are 7 billion mouths to feed in the world.

Poverty exists not because there’s a group of rich people in the world. Poverty exists because we don’t care enough to actually take action. One dollar from every person living in the EU and USA would amount to more than $800 million — more than enough to feed everyone, dress everyone, and give everyone at least basic access to education.

The source of everything wrong is not everywhere else, it’s within you.

And me.

Failing not that gracefully is my niche. A humorous and sappy exercise in honesty.