The straw that broke the camel’s back? The weight that tipped the scale?
Could this be it?
Let Me Explain
I wrote a long time ago about how I was losing faith in social media.
A couple of years ago, I took Facebook off my phone altogether, and limited the time I spent on there to when I actually opened my laptop.
Now, as I am writing on a much more regular basis, I am opening my laptop more frequently. And since I post the blog articles I publish to Facebook, I end up on the platform.
In fact, in July I wrote about how being on Facebook more often makes me feel.
I’ve seen articles over the years that talk about the spread of negative, or just plain wrong information on Facebook.
Yesterday, however, I was listening to On the Media, a long-running media analysis show. The podcast extra featured an interview with Fadi Quran of Avaaz (a non-profit organization that focuses on identifying misinformation in social media).
The host, Bob Garfield, was interviewing Quran about Avaaz’s latest report, entitled “Facebook’s Algorithm: A Major Threat to Public Health” (link to the full report).
In a nutshell, the report shows that health misinformation spreads like wildfire on Facebook, and the company does very little to stem the tide because doing so would endanger their business model.
Not New Information
This is not new. It is not surprising. But this time, it shocked me.
I don’t know why it hit home so hard this time.
Not after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Cambridge Analytica. Brexit. QAnon. And all the shady shenanigans Facebook has failed to do anything about (or participated in).
And especially considering my own instincts! My own feelings of lethargy, dissatisfaction, and general malaise after spending any amount of time on Facebook (and, increasingly, Instagram).
My better judgment has told me for years that Facebook is not healthy for me.
Why Not Quit?
Because pretty much all the traffic to my blog comes from Facebook. If I were to delete my Facebook account, it would be the death knell for this blog (already on life support).
And because I can see a lot of positive uses for it, too. It’s helped me to connect to people in new places time and again (in Canada, Brasil, Germany, the U.S….)
But how do I get the positives from Facebook while also shielding myself from the insidious nature of the beast?
The feeling of being sucked in, of being trapped into a vicious scrolling cycle. Of being marketed to.
How You Can Help
I’m getting there. I’m about ready to cut the crap and just delete my Facebook account.
But I need your help. If you’re reading this, can you do me a solid?
Can you sign up for email updates from this blog? You’ll get a nice little email whenever a new article is published. It’s super easy.
But who am I kidding? We all know that blogs like mine and small businesses are why Facebook keeps afloat. We can’t survive without it.
Now I’m kind of depressed about it. Time to pick up my knitting! I’m finishing up the Tempestry project I had set aside a while back. And I also owe you an article about my Weekender sweater.
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