I have quit Facebook three times in the past year because I don’t like how it does business. I always felt like quitting was the right thing to do. Then, someone sends me a message that I want or feel I need to read. Sheepishly, I open the message and see myself as weak, wishy-washy, and spineless.
Why do I want to quit?
When social media first became popular, people centered their lives around it. It seems that every move in one’s daily life needed to be shared on Facebook. I once saw a lady in a shoe store Facebooking someone about every shoe she picked up. I became mesmerized watching two people waste so much time doing nothing.
Then, I noticed some folks becoming obsessed with it. I suspect some folks have developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder based on social media. At our gym, I have witnessed many people do one rep on a machine and then immediately go to social media.
As it grew, I felt Facebook and other sites collected too much information on every person who uses their services. I have no idea what they know about me, but that idea makes me uneasy. They could misuse that information, and I am powerless to do anything about it.
Information is power. Fascism, dictatorships, oligarchies, and theocracies use it malevolently. Supposedly, democracies don’t.
I do not like the fact that Facebook allows hate speech, malicious rumors, and outright lies to flourish and destroy other people without dealing with the consequences. Many suicides and homicides can be traced back to something that happened on social media.
The owners of social media provide a pulpit for bullies and wannabes. They make money allowing this, and money is what they are all about. Mark Zuckerberg most likely does not see you and me as human beings but as simple dollar signs. He doesn’t seem to care if you take your life or if someone shoots me because of something said or did on his platform. He pretends he does, but according to some whistleblowers, he gives great lip service but not much, if any, follow-through.
Do I believe social media has a positive place in our society? Yes, as long as these sites understand that they have the obligation to be responsible. I have not yet seen much of that.
Is the positive more powerful than the negative? To me, it isn’t. But with government guidelines and active monitoring, social media could become a foundational stone of a strong democracy. Right now, especially in light of January 6, 2021, at our capitol, it could have been an extremely important tool to bring down our fragile, delicate nation.
Presently, our church uses Facebook extensively for positive purposes, but I, as a devotee of agape, want it and other responsible faith-based religions to leave Facebook and similar sites until they clean up their act. I wonder if they will. Without an outside source of monitoring, I think the foxes will continue to guard the henhouse.
Could you stop using Facebook?
Peace Love Joy Hope
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash