Sunday, 17 June 2018

Why I don't care about you quitting Facebook

You say you're giving up Facebook? That's an intriguing perspective: the world's biggest social media network has faced plenty of criticism in recent years. In fact, for the past decade many of my own Facebook posts have been about the negative effects of using it. Oh, the irony, eh?

What's the best thing about leaving, do you think? The freedom from intrusive advertising? An escape from being tracked when you visit other sites across the web? Getting away from having your viewpoint manipulated by activists based in foreign states?

Nope, none of those. Apparently it's a bit of schadenfreude, delighting in Facebook's emailed attempts to win you back. That's like telling me you've become a vegan because lamb's too chewy. 

Anyway, surely, after you've quit, Facebook can't keep sending... Oh, I see. Despite your opening line, it seems like you've not actually left. You've not pressed the big red button and jettisoned your account into the void. You've just turned your back for a moment to see what divorce feels like. And, unlike millions of people, you're in the fortunate position of not relying on Facebook for much of your online access.

But let's put my cynicism aside for a moment. You feel as though there are now "new acres of mind opening up". That's positive, even though you offer no objective evidence for it. When I'm a bit sad I'll sometimes have a cup of tea and a piece of cake but I wouldn't claim it as a cure for depression.

One of the genuinely interesting points here -  about the way that Facebook keeps reminding us about the past instead of letting memories fade naturally with time - is lost in the middle, tied up with stuff about mental decluttering (you might as well recommend that we don't read The Guardian every day) and enjoying events in the moment (which could as easily be warning me off using a camera). And, like everything else, it's unsupported.

I know, it's an opinion piece. But I'd like a bit more proof, please. Where's the meat?

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