My foray in the the ‘social networking world’ of Facebook has turned out to be the massive disappointment that I already expected. Not only is Facebook the most dangerous social networking tool ever devised, it’s a gigantic waste of time. I’ll be curtailing my ‘presence’ there as a result.
Facebook pretends to be a means by which people can communicate and even effect social change, but I doubt very much that either one of these are really true. What passes for communication is the media network equivalents of ‘sound bytes’ – quips and quotes and funny graphics, selected news articles for this promotion or that promotion, likes and commentaries that are supposed to ‘mean’ something but don’t actually mean anything, an entire world of people pretending they’r ‘interacting’ on a carefully scripted platform of social conditioning and the spying on private lives.
Many, many years ago, clear back in the early 80’s when I first got online (yep – I was one of the very earliest adopters of the technology) I had predicted that this ‘tool’ would become a propaganda programming network that would take over people’s lives and even their very thoughts. I wrote several papers on this but my best work on the topic came about in the 90’s when the “Internet” was first born. Even then it was pretty obvious that it would be taken over by the advertisers and social engineers and Facebook wasn’t even invented (but America Online was, as were a few others).
Facebook isn’t alone anymore in the social engineering aspects. Pretending to be a viable tool for information and networking, many other forms and types of bulletin boards and forums have been developed. None are actually successful at bringing about any meaningful change because all of them are so filled with distraction and endless levels of propaganda and ‘self-promotion’ agendas that they are really pretty useless except as infotainment tools. Hours and hours each week can be wasted away, dribbling away lives and dreams while pretending that your online ‘profile’ and friends lists are better replacements or even a worthy replacement then real life itself. I haven’t found the experience to be beneficial at all.
But I’ve verified a few thoughts I had about what it was like to be on Facebook, something I had avoided for many, many years. It’s the same thoughts I had about writing a blog or doing any kind of electronic publication. I’ll list these in no particular order:
a) Nobody really reads anything. Short posts are best and none too controversial. Any links shared should also contain very short articles.
b) Videos are even better. Entertaining videos of cute kitties (or kids), entertaining instructions or quips about political candidates receive the most attention.
c) Science and facts fare no better on Facebook then they do anywhere else (which literally means within the entire non-scientific world). If it uses big words, forgetaboutit. If you’re going to post any facts, make it as entertaining as you can (cute animals in the videos will certainly help too).
d) Don’t stand up for anything definite. Don’t be too controversial. Don’t be too harsh either. Find a middle-ground and very carefully (if you’re like me) stay there. Don’t trespass where you don’t belong. Opinions are ‘fine’ but only if your ‘polite’ (politically correct). Expect to be ‘unliked’ if you stray out of bounds.
e) Find posts and pictures and article and videos that will get others to ‘like’ you or whatever it is you’ve posted. This is some kind of ridiculous ‘scoring system’ Facebook uses. It’s useless and meaningless. The best posts and pictures and articles and videos will get you a lot of ‘likes’. Nobody however will learn anything or change their opinions because you’re not really able to educate anyone on anything through Facebook. That by the way, is the whole idea. To spawn multiple generations of idiots who are literally being ‘told’ what to think in accordance to what shows up on their timeline.
f) Waste hours each day ‘following your timeline’ and wandering around following your friends timeline. Here is where it gets really interesting. Is this really what these people believe or endorse? Do real people actually act like this? I suppose they do – they sure spend a lot of time doing it online. But what does any of this actually accomplish? Absolutely nothing. But if you measure the amount of life wasted (years lost screwing around online like this), then you’ll start to ‘see’ what I mean here. Facebook is not real life. Neither is the Internet or this blog. Nothing online is.
g) Facebook and other social platforms is really just the logical extension of what the Internet has become. The difference here is Facebook is pretending to be what it isn’t. Targeted ads and the intrusion into personal lives, profiles, thoughts, commentary and even photographs are now considered ‘normal’ for it’s billion plus users, but Facebook isn’t benign with this information. Neither is the Internet for that matter. Any online activity creates both a history and projections of ‘who’ you are, your psychology, interests, friends, networks, hobbies and much, much more. We don’t live in a benign world and Facebook is very guilty of hoping you will forget about all of that.
h) Facebook is all about social conditioning, but here’s something you probably don’t know – it’s about using others to condition you and vice versa. You invited these others (‘friends’) in to your life (timeline) and they did the same when they invited you. Now you’re ‘communicating’ and ‘sharing’ items, pictures, videos and sometimes commentary of interest. But here’s the rub – Facebook by design doesn’t permit real interaction or education. Even a long post like this is hard to get published on Facebook and nobody would read it anyway. In effect, Facebook is about homogenizing and sanitizing information because of it’s social nature. You wouldn’t walk into a crowded room of friends (and strangers whom you’ve really never met just like on Facebook) and start talking about a difficult topic. It’s bad etiquette — and Facebook encourages exactly this kind of behavior. This is why it’s a very lousy choice for self-education or sharing real information.
i) The other part of Facebook (like all things Internet — except here on this blog, I don’t allow advertising of any kind) is the advertising aspects Facebook uses. Sponsored links and reading preferences are determined according to what you — and your friends like to read. This too is sanitized and homogenized to ‘target the audience’ and gain ‘clicks’ (advertising revenue) for Facebook. The more clicks of course, the more revenue, but once again, it’s not meat-and-potatoes you’re being served, it’s bland ‘sameness’ that Facebook has chosen for you. Oh, they’re very good at this and probably better now then they were (using the Internet as my guide), but it’s not a path towards more enlightenment and education. For that, you have to do this yourself, or hope that one of your online ‘friends’ is doing this for you.
j) Facebook encourages ‘sameness’ in this manner. It’s doing a lot of the thinking for you by serving up sponsored links and ads that it thinks you might find entertaining. Individuality and critical thinking and self-education on other topics is entirely absent. You are free to wander around — but realize that Facebook is not the Internet and certainly not the Dark Net and what is found on Facebook is but a tiny subset of what is available. Worse, not everything is allowed on Facebook as part of it’s homogenization and ‘blending’ of what people are allowed to see.
k) I was ‘encouraged’ to get up on Facebook because I might increase my readership and a lot of people apparently find Facebook useful. I didn’t do either to be honest, I didn’t find it to increase readership (my material is too long and to complex for most people apparently) and I don’t find Facebook actually useful for anything that I couldn’t already find out from the Internet. Facebook is just a subset of the Internet in reality with a lot of social controls and spying built in. It’s much harder to find out real news unless its showing up on your timeline. And it doesn’t encourage real commentary either because of the ‘like system’ built in. Notably, Facebook doesn’t have a ‘dislike’ feature (still) after years of people requesting this.
l) Don’t expect too much from Facebook — or any online effort. You won’t get it. Online activity is best thought of as ‘operating in a vacuum of false reality’. It’s not real life and it’s no replacement for real life. At best, information can be shared and if you’re lucky, you can educate yourself or a few others on a few topics, but that’s about it. You have to be willing to wade through the false propaganda, deceitful advertising and distractions to find anything actually worth reading.
Then, if you are so inclined, you can opt to try and communicate with others on what you’ve read (and this is really where it all falls apart). Anyone with any experience already knows this. Online activity isn’t fair, honest, truthful or even ethical. It isn’t like in a classroom where you can ask a question and truly engage with your peers or an instructor. It’s a shit-fest in reality, where anyone can pretend to be anyone they want (and very often do). It’s where bravado and bullshit rule the day on many sites and boards and you really never know ‘who’ or even ‘what’ you’re dealing with. It’s also filled with pretenders and saboteurs who will refuse you the opportunity to speak up, or speak your mind, or ask intelligent questions. In effect, it’s no place to engage and expect much (decency, honesty, expertise, etc.) — with few exceptions (well-regulated and even moderated blogs, forums).
But this works both ways too. Highly regulated blogs and forums will very often scrub commentary and opinions, claiming ‘censorship rights’ as they remove anything that challenges the author or favored person. It’s actually impossible now to ‘change the discourse’ on any favored topic or person when dealing with this sort of thing. You’re often literally forced to ‘go elsewhere’ and post your displeasure or commentary or even your facts if you ever expect to see them in print for public viewing. This is one of the reason I started my own blog many years ago.
m) Don’t reach for too much. As an example, this post is already far, far too long. Nobody reads anything anymore, it’s almost like they can’t. Short attention spans rule the day. Long posts are glossed over and only the first few words are understood. Facebook excels at this by the way, by system design. You have to link to Internet articles (blogs or news sites) to actually convey much information. People look at the pictures and graphics and the short few words of text shared — but not much else. You get a ‘like’ in the first three-seconds (or not), but they don’t bother to read anything longer then a paragraph. This is terrible and shows just how dumbed-down people have become. They don’t understand anything that can’t be simplified and put into short sentences.
n) I’m up to the letter N already – how many letters was that? Too many — so if you read all the way through here’s what I’m going to wrap this up with. Facebook isn’t for me. It’s a silly tool for surveillance and spying upon people who have been conditioned into believing they are ‘interacting’ and even ‘making a difference in the world’. All lies. All pretense. Since being on Facebook I’ve heard from less people and real friends then before. But I’ve wasted hours online already and what interaction I did ‘do’ was pitiful. And so was my friends ‘interactions’ (sanitized, homogenized and advertised bullshit and propaganda ‘passed on’). They don’t even seem to realize it, but I do and it’s not for me.
We use to talk and communicate and it was better before (email and in this blogs commentary). I fucking hate Facebook and find it absolutely horrible to be honest. And I simply don’t give a fuck if you ‘like’ or dislike this post. And yeah, I’m going to post this on Facebook so that everyone gets a chance to read this. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite, I’m trying to save you and some of you can only be ‘found’ these days on Facebook.
Facebook is a waste of life in my opinion and I’ve got better things to say and do then screw around on this social conditioning platform ‘pretending’ I’m interacting with others or learning anything. I’m not.