My take on current social media landscape is this: I don’t trust facebook. I don’t trust google. I don’t trust twitter. I have been betrayed by popular platforms several years ago with the revelation that they are used for surveillance. The writing was on the wall. When I pay nothing for a service I become the product. Now the writing is on the wall, spilled on the floor, tattooed on the sky and every blade of grass is whispering it as I pass it by. Here is a summery of the problem as I see it.These tools are used to spy on me in ways we don’t fully understand and for purposes that are mysterious. My private info is sold to whomever for purposes that I can sorta imagine.
These tools are used to sway elections in countries all over the world in ways that are not legal in those countries. This last point concerns me the least.
The really big problem in all of this is the fact I have facilitated the invasion of my own privacy with my own hands. Freely. Willingly. Pretending to be innocent would be dishonest. Innocence looks cute on children. On a grown up woman such as myself it would be tacky. The time to act is now.
I applaud people who went ahead and deleted their facebook account. However facebook provides me with a rich online interaction with friends and acquaintances that I have come to value. Closing down my account feels like severing a bunch of relations. I love seeing cute baby picture posted by recent parents. I enjoy seeing pictures of what somebody made of dinner that day. Following people’s travels all over the world makes me feel like I am travelling with them enjoying a tiny residue of their experience. I know so many creative and intelligent people. Witnessing their adventures inspires me, gives ideas and informs me. Some people call facebook an addiction like heroine. I disagree. Most of us are social beings. Facebook, among other platforms, gives us an online outlet for a deeply human desire to be part of a group. However, sitting around and waiting for psychopathic CEOs and their happy band of minions to develop a conscience is like the abused wife who is waiting for her husband to change while residing with him. I need an alternative to facebook. Plus I need to convince my social contacts to migrate with me. As somebody who has immigrated several times, I am a bit of an expert in the field. I can tell you, leaving a place is always painful. There are so many new things to get used to. But if you take a few friends along the way, the transition becomes less painful. Our options are: 1) find a social platform that charges money and therefore cares about its customers. Something like the Netflix of social media 2) find a social platform that is free and uses advertising ethically. I am not against advertising. I am not against profits. However I want to know how my info is used . I want to be able to choose to participate in it or not and I expect to earn a portion of the profits. WhatsApp and Instagram are not an option since they are owned by facebook. So I am starting this conversation. What are the options that you suggest. Leave your comments below. Once a list of suggestions is accumulated we can have a poll. Vote on our favorite option and then migrate as a group. Send a link to this blog post to people you would like to migrate with you so that they can be part of the conversation. I am a facebook refugee in search of a new digital homeland. The transition will be so much joyful if all you beautiful people make the leap with me.