Over the last few years I have been on a mission to wean myself away from social media. Today I have made the decision to finally close my profile on Facebook, as well as other social media accounts.
WHY AM I DOINGS THIS?
The short version is this: Facebook is wasting too much of my time. Social media has never been high on my priority list as the work I do doesn’t rely on social media networking, presence, or followers.
One of my major goals for 2020 and beyond is to optimize my creative time to develop those interests that will drive me during the next decades in my life. This led me to ask a few questions regarding my Facebook use:
- How much time am I investing? Has that time taken away from things I’d rather accomplish?
- Do I have full control of my content, or the ability to curate how it’s used?
- How much have I profited from my time on Facebook?
- Does someone else profit from my effort and time?
ANSWERS = EPIPHANY
Facebook relies on the effort, content, and contributions of individuals. It’s a multi-billion-dollar business. Yet users, who are the content creators and consumers of targeted advertising, never see a penny of that profit.
The content we create is used as a psychological tool to attract other users, the data collected about us is sold and used to target us, and the reward for being a user is to be:
- Inundated by far more paid content than posts from friends,
- Consistently fed memes, news, ads, polls, and games developed using emotional-engagement tactics intended to drive engagement and change our personal opinions,
- Forced into debate and drama that we would not normally allow in real life.
Facebook in 2020 is more insidious than the Telescreens in George Orwell’s 1984: it’s more like an IV drip of an addictive drug. We are quite willing to sacrifice our time, creative efforts, ethics, potential profits, and personal morals to just keep that drip coming.
“He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them.”George Orwell – 1984
A CHANGE IN PATH
My goals going forward are to simplify and take control of the fruits of my own labor.
- I will own the profits of the content I create.
- I will control and curate how my content is used.
- I will not be forced to ingest a regular diet of disinformation.
- I will not allow advertising from sources with hidden agenda to be associated with my content.
To this end, my engagement will diverge. This site will serve the same purpose that Facebook did: it is a place for my observations and activities during my normal life.
LRW Media will become the site for my software sales and consulting work.
Aging Engineer will become the place for analysis, technical and political writing, and in-depth engineering articles.