Off facebook…..again

Any article that begins with the sentence “I despise Facebook” deserves to be read. I have written here before how facile and downright illusory Facebook is. Then I went to delete me profile and I was Facebook-free for a good few months. At that time, I felt that the web-based social notworking site was the epitome of the internet’s ability to make you feel all special inside because you had ‘control’ while at the same time taking you away from actual face to face communication.

Then I went and reactivated my own account. I embraced it with vigour. I have about 20 ‘Friends’ and the more I have the more I want. I desperately do searches for someone, anyone who might be on Facebook whom I have known. This evening I deactivated the account again because of what I read here. Thanks to Bernard for sending it on. Tom Hodgkinson claims that it is an instrument of a right-wing libertarian ideology that ignores borders and tries to sell you stuff and make you feel all good about yourself:

Facebook appeals to a kind of vanity and self-importance in us, too. If I put up a flattering picture of myself with a list of my favourite things, I can construct an artificial representation of who I am in order to get sex or approval.

Then I saw reference to this article on the exceptionally mainstream ZDNet this morning. And while the Guardian article does lay it on with a trowel somewhat, I cannot help thinking that Facebook is a cheap way to harvest content from literate people all over the world thinking that they are special because they can type in their own email address and remember a password. He goes on:

A friend of mine recently told me that he had spent a Saturday night at home alone on Facebook, drinking at his desk.

Yes, yes, that’s precisely it. And I fell for it again before Christmas. Yesterday I was taken by surprise by a fellow blogger asking me if I’d be going to the Blog Awards. The means of contact? Yup, through Facebook. Once again: I’m on Skype, my e-mail contact details are at the end of this page, hell, half of you have my actual personal e-mail address.

Worse is to come though: Facebook is run by a bunch of American neocons, one of whom is a nice man called Peter Thiel who is also into hedge fund speculation – that’s pure robbery of economies and banks to you and me – and a leading light in a project called TheVanguard.org:

Thiel is a member of TheVanguard.Org, an internet-based neoconservative pressure group that was set up to attack MoveOn.org, a liberal pressure group that works on the web. Thiel calls himself “way libertarian”.

TheVanguard is run by one Rod D Martin, a philosopher-capitalist whom Thiel greatly admires. On the site, Thiel says: “Rod is one of our nation’s leading minds in the creation of new and needed ideas for public policy. He possesses a more complete understanding of America than most executives have of their own businesses.”

Ok, that’s me off then. If you need me I’ll be the one holding the Facebook logo with a red line through it, Alexander Hotel, Dublin from about 8pm.

UPDATE: so what do I know about Apple’s sub-notebook strategy?

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2 thoughts on “Off facebook…..again

  1. I’m not convinced by his article – “Why on God’s earth would I need a computer to connect with the people around me?” well using that simple logic he should stop e mailing and using the telphone too – silly excuse – and as for all the board members – crikey what company/service would you ever use if you start going down that route? It’s all innocent – you’re not forced to do anything on facebook – all good fun in moderation 😉

  2. Yes, ok, point taken but he is not criticising the means by which people communicate generally but the assumption on FB that this is a self-enclosed circle that tends to trap. As if the only means is by FB.

    As for the political allegiances of board members, I would never assume that Steves Jobs or Ballmer would be as clean as Daz politically but we can all do our bit, you know like avoiding Coke, or buying more organic local food or switching to free software.

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