Believe it or not, The Ku Klux Klan didn’t start off as a bad thing. It was a simple Christian organization. I know… hard to grasp, right? Ever heard of The Crips? Bloods? They didn’t start out as criminal organization. They were actually a place for young people without family or homes to go for safehaven. Child support. Unemployment benefits. HipHop. LoL. These all started out as good organizations, good concepts with good intentions! How did they get so messed up, you ask?
People! People, unfortunately mess everything up. It’s not REALLY the consumerism. Or, the big bad investors or marketers and advertisements… it’s us! Ads don’t bother me. People do!
Imagine if there were no terrorists in the world. [And this goes all the way from funded and organized terrorists right down to Congressmen in our own government and monsters like Devin Patrick Kelley (the asshole who shot up the church in Texas last year).] Would the government even try to hire/use social media to spy on us?
But seriously. This issue is unique. Not in how it started though. If we go by the story, and the movie, Mark Zuckerberg started facebook, NOT to get friends, necessarily, but because he could, he was bored and lacked a real social life to speak of. Not totally unlike many of us. But it went on to be something that helped bring people [who signed up willingly] to connect and be connected!
Let’s keep in mind, that no one told you you had to sign up for Facebook! There are plenty of people on earth, like my Dad who have internet, computers, cell phones and… whatever else one needs to join a social media site… he just doesnt. My father owns a house phone. A landline phone. With a chord. I mean… it’s not a rotary dial but, yea. He has a phone. that only rings at his house. Remember those? He uses this phone, to talk to people. My father is 77 years old. So he doesn’t get around that often. But he still talks to… like has real conversations with people who either have or make the time to speak to him.
When was the last time you had an actual conversation with someone? Like, using your mouth? For longer than 10 minutes?
So, before I get too deep into all the reasons there are to leave Facebook… let me delve into the reasons why it will be hard for ME to leave Facebook.
-At the moment, it’s how I communicate with my oldest son and daughter mostly [Instagram, same thing]
– At the moment, it’s how I mainly communicate with my girlfriend
-At the moment, it’s the best way I have to share my literary events
-When I log onto new things… I always use LOG ON WITH FACEBOOK instead of creating user I.D.s and all that B.S. It’s just easier!
-I SEND AND RECEIVE MONEY ON FACEBOOK MESSENGER! FOR FREE! NO MATTER WHERE I AM! My ex best friend helped my buy an Infiniti QX56 using that shit! While I was overseas! It’s miraculous!
-Groups… most, are annoying, but the ones I am a part of help Filipinos and other foreign workers connect and support one another if they find themselves in a bad situation.
-I get to spy on people.
Sidenote: I think it’s quite hypocritical that ALL OF US spy on people secretly on Facebook but get mad when the government does it, or FB uses our info to sell us shit.
Let’s get this straight. Spying on people to get a sense of what to market to certain individuals was genius! Social Media Marketing, using “harvesting” to sell us things we may be interested in.
Ever notice how when you look up something online on any of your devices, and the next thing you know while you’re scrolling through Instagram, or Facebook or Tinder etc. that an advertisement for that very thing you were looking for pops up?
I’ll give you one better… a few weeks ago I was speaking outloud in my car about buying some wheels and that very night… you guessed it, an ad for an online wheel store popped up. Yea… they’re not only harvesting our online searches, and online purchases, but they’re frikking listening to us too! Aint that some shit?
So… yea, that’s pretty jacked up.
On top of that, there’s the drama. I mean… don’t we get enough of that in our homes, with our kids, and our friends, coworkers and people who go to church… come on! Drama overload! Do we really need to be online where people will argue about whether the sky is blue or not? People getting mad at you because you post pictures of your food? People getting mad at you because you LOVED someone elses status but only LIKED yours?
And the word around the world about how people who spend too much time on sociall media don’t have lives. On one hand… I’m sure it’s true. I see it all the time. But… I’m on social media quite a bit. And I’m pretty certain I’ve been doing a lot more living than most. I’ve been to five countries this year already, going to leave the coutnry again next month, took my kids to Vegas, visited Kansas (don’t ask me why), hang out with my parents, and a hundred other things I won’t mention because the point is… one doesn’t mean you’re devoid of the other. In my case… but in most cases, it does lol. I see someone every day spend more time on facebook than she does looking her children in the eye. I’m not exempt. When I’m with my kids, I literally have to tell myself (and them) to get their noses out of their phones and spend some actual time with the people who matter the most. THEY’RE RIGHT THERE IN THE ROOM/CAR/HOTEL/HOUSE with you!
It’s addictive. When you go to the store, or a restaurant or have a second of idle time at work, what do you do? You grab your phone out of your pocket and start scrolling. Whether it rang or not. You may not have received a notification in 5 hours! But you still go and check it. Why?
Has being social on our phones replaced being social in the flesh? Couples go out to eat, sit across from one another and instead of looking at the other, they’re both looking at phones. I don’t understand it.
So, before I get off topic like I so often do, I know Facebook isn’t the only culprit. However, they’ve taken the title as the social media -and pretty much everything else online- power house, they have to take the bulk of responsibility for this. The rest of it lies on us.
As I stated before. No one has forced us to join facebook. Take my father, he’s decided not to. That’s one side of the spectrum. The other side is, well… what I’ve been yammering about this entire blog. But how about some moderation? A happy medium so-to-speak?
Hear me out.
I’m going to get a bit technical if you don’t mind. There are browsers and there are Applications (apps). When you go to a computer [you know, this really BIG things that do all the stuff phones do?] type into that long box at the top of The Internet window, that is a browser. You, the reader, can log on to Facebook there. From work. School. A library. Unemployment office, wherever. And I’m hard pressed to say that, THAT action would allow for facebook to gather your contact list, what you had for breakfast (unless you posted it) or what you plan to buy. That’s if you’re not logged on to google when you do so. (I’ll talk about Google in a second).
But the second you download that app… no matter what “permissions” you sign up for.. they’ve got you! That app is gathering everything it can from your hand-held device. It’s IN YOUR PHONE! And anything else you’re logged into. It’s the apps! I’m going to get rid of mine.
And yes, I know… the apps make everything so convenient. But in this case, convenience is a two way straight. Just like the apps make a streamline connection between your device and the app… it gives whoever has the authoriztion, or the money streamline access to you.
So, those of you who don’t want to give up whatever it is that social media does for you, give it a shot!
But can honestly say you can’t live without it? Do you really NEED to be on Facebook? Instagram? Do you really need to be on snap chat… which, lets be honest, is for children, and grown-ups who haven’t realized they’re adults yet. Is it necessary to have it to keep in touch with people? Do we need it to keep up with people? I have to say… I’ve been on it for years, and some of my “friends” still act like they don’t know I’m a blogger and an author! I mean… some REALLY don’t even know! Assholes…
So, as an answer to all the outrage about Mark Zuckerberg, data Harvesting, and government blahblahblah, I pose a simple question.
Will YOU leave Facebook?
Scream at me.