It’s been over two-weeks since I deleted my Facebook account. This means that it is truly deleted with no chance of coming back. Over these past two weeks, I’ve been monitoring how much friction I’ve had not having an account and I’m happy to say — not that much.
- I lost a recommendation for a graphic designer that was in a Facebook chat
- I’ve lost contact with a couple of clubs I belong to
- I’ve lost contact with customers that post information exclusively to Facebook. In other words, not on their web site, or Twitter as well.
The business contacts have the most friction for me and I expect that I will have to create a business page at some point, otherwise I think I can work around it. I have no strong desire to re-create an account.
Then I come across this post from Daring Fireball, which only doubles my resolve.
What this means is that even more than it is in the advertising business, Facebook is in the surveillance business. Facebook, in fact, is the biggest surveillance-based enterprise in the history of mankind. It knows far, far more about you than the most intrusive government has ever known about its citizens. It’s amazing that people haven’t really understood this about the company. I’ve spent time thinking about Facebook, and the thing I keep coming back to is that its users don’t realise what it is the company does. What Facebook does is watch you, and then use what it knows about you and your behaviour to sell ads. I’m not sure there has ever been a more complete disconnect between what a company says it does — ‘connect’, ‘build communities’ — and the commercial reality. Note that the company’s knowledge about its users isn’t used merely to target ads but to shape the flow of news to them. Since there is so much content posted on the site, the algorithms used to filter and direct that content are the thing that determines what you see: people think their news feed is largely to do with their friends and interests, and it sort of is, with the crucial proviso that it is their friends and interests as mediated by the commercial interests of Facebook. Your eyes are directed towards the place where they are most valuable for Facebook.
W O W.