Sabbatical

So, I’ve been frustrated about the amount of time I spend on Facebook. I’ve tried taking hiatuses and breaks, and I think the longest I went without logging in to the thing was 36 days at the beginning of this year. I always seem to find some excuse to go back on there. 

I’ve been on that thing for 13 years, sometimes spending over an hour a day on there. I don’t totally blame myself. The thing is evil now it wasn’t always that way. It isn’t just about what I can tell that it’s done to my brain chemistry or how it’s influenced the way I interact with others (at least on there), it’s also what I’ve noticed about what it does to others. I’ll be fine without it after a few weeks, but I’m genuinely worried about everybody else. I’m not even talking about Cambridge Analytica or ownership of my data which are important too, I mean more like the “dopamine feedback loop” stuff. More on that from a former Facebook executive. This article is a couple of years old, but this problem has not gone away.

I’ll start with a year off and see how I feel about the place then. I’m not going to deactivate or delete the thing; civilization is breaking down out there and it might be a good idea to keep that channel available. Or a bad idea, I don’t know.

—-

Today’s links:

An article from Our World In Data on social media use and well being.

A John Green article in the Washington Post from January of 2019 about his year off from social media altogether one month into it.

and his reflections on on it November of 2019 in on vlog brothers.

Journal 8/1/20: My Facebook Addiction

I don’t call it a social media addiction. I have a twitter and I go on there occasionally, and I go off of there, and that’s that.

I joined Facebook in 2007 and I don’t recall what year it happened, but they introduced a feature called Newsfeed, it was a feed of all your friend’s posts in chronological order. That was really cool.

Then they introduced the “like” button, and then they started doing a buncha weird shit where what they put in front of you is based on what you give them to keep you on there longer. Then they became publicly traded. Facebook makes their money by leveraging their user data and selling and targeting advertising. I never heard the phrase Dark Patterns until this week, and I’m not sure what the sociological or marketing term is for what Facebook does, but it’s bad too.

Congress did pretty good on the topic of antitrust, I didn’t give much thought to the antitrust issues, until this week but considering how the last time Mark Zuckerberg appeared before congress went down and how pathetic it was, either members of Congress learned a few things, or they just understand business law issues more than technology ones, either way, they did good.

I think from when I joined the thing up until they did away with the chronological feed, the time spent on there wasn’t a waste, but from then until the present, which is a lot of years, the thing has been doing more harm than good to me. I don’t think anybody goes to their grave wishing they spent more time watching TV, same goes for Facebook. I’m probably never going to delete the thing entirely, but I gotta cut down. When an alcoholic walks into a bar and orders a drink, you don’t blame the bartender, but, unlike Facebook, they do not allow children in bars. A generation has grown up thinking that thing is the internet. That sucks.

I know I’ve said it before, I’m gonna do most of my writing and sharing of stuff here from now on, I think for real this time.