In the article ‘Why I Left Facebook’: Stubbornly Refusing to Not Exist Even After Opting Out of Mark Zukerberg’s Social Graph, Robert Gehl argues that those whom leave Facebook are making the right choice. Through Facebook quitter’s blogs he describes Facebook’s worst qualities, which give you all more reason to leave Facebook yourself.
Gehl first touches on how Facebook has managed to hide the truth about privacy, and sharing so you don’t think about it. Facebook with ease allows users to fill out personal information, upload content, and then it is in the hands of Facebook. I was guilty at a time of uploading party pictures, not thinking where these pictures could end up, or how they could possibly affect future employment. Once learning though of the trouble I could run into with my activity on Facebook I started to monitor my use; as mentioned in the article you must perform for an always-watching audience (p. 229).
Secondly he touches on the commodification of the user; the user provides all their content for free, and Facebook rolls in the dough. Yes I agree this highly seems unfair but sometimes this free content is beneficially. As mentioned in a previous blog I belong to the group Visual Arts at Brock, here I am enlightened with news, events, opportunities, otherwise that I really wouldn’t have heard of if I hadn’t gone hunting for it.
The third argument is reduction in true relationships. As mentioned in the article I can agree that a vast amount of my friends on Facebook are just people ‘I’ve met at some point’ (p. 232). My true friends I actually spend time with physically in person. What I find strange is when people I never really talked to (say in elementary school and/or high school) add me, I then accept, and they don’t ever interact with me. These individuals just become another part of my audience.
His 4th argument is that despite the noise of Facebook it’s addictive. My Facebook news feed is constantly fill with usually useless information that is in no way beneficial to my life but as stated we continue looking for meaning. I will spend hours on end though despite me well knowing that I could well enough leave the online world, and find true meaning in the outside world.
His final argument is that Facebook is uncool. Personally I feel like the big hype over Facebook, or having a Facebook account is gone but until a new social networking site comes along Facebook’s existence does not seem like it will disappear. In a sense it is cool that you can ‘connect’ with others online, but it’s a lot more cool to connect with others in person.
After reading this article I feel like should delete my Facebook, but in reality I probably won’t because I myself am an addict.
Gehl, Robert W. “‘ Why I Left Facebook’: Stubbornly Refusing to Not Exist Even After Opting Out of Mark Zukerberg’s Social Graph .” Unlike Us Reader: Social Media Monopolies and Their Alternatives. Ed. Geert Lovink and Miriam Rasch. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. 220-238.