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Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
8 months ago

Growing up I used to collect hockey cards a common activity for the time and age group. I stopped doing it because I realize I got nothing out of it in the end. Since then anything that comes close to these kinds of activities make me skeptical that I’m being used. Social media has done the same thing to a new generation, tricking them into thinking there is some kind of value in using these platforms when all they are is ways to rob people of their time and money. The toxicity of all these platforms is by far a whole lot worse than collecting and trading cards. People aren’t paying for these services, but they are paying the price of investing their time, a whole lot of their time. I could even imagine that some might need to detox themselves because they’re so addicted. That social media has become toxic shouldn’t surprise, it’s free, but at a price, the price of click addiction and likes, so many like, so many virtual likes.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
8 months ago
Reply to  Raymond Inauen

You mention that people don’t pay for Facebook services but pay in terms of time and money, but it’s probably worse than that, didn’t someone once say something like: If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product?

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
8 months ago

I am sure there are many statements like the one you mentioned here. There is no free ride, never has been and anyone who thinks they are getting a free ride is naive.
When Facebook was founded, it was funded for a very long time without generating any real revenue. That should make everyone sceptical because at some point investors want a return on their investment. That sounds logical, but most people never thought about it, they just used the service because it was free. If Facebook had charged a monthly annual fee for its service, even if it had been a very small price, no one would have paid for it. That should be a good indication of what the true value of this company is. Its only value is that it can profit from the mass of users by running sponsored ads to pay for the service. This automatically means that advertisers also want to have a say in what is published on the platforms. The same goes for all other social media services. It is so obvious and yet no one wants to admit it.
Advertisers are very nervous about bad publicity and sh*tstorms that could damage their reputations and products. It should surprise no one that there has to be some kind of gatekeeping and censorship.
The days of the Wild West are coming to an end.

0 0
0 0
8 months ago

Meh–I ditched Facebook and Twitter two years ago, and my life has changed quite noticably for the better. Nobody NEEDS social media in their lives, and I dare say that most would be much happier without it.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Never had either of them, but signed up recently to Facebook, with no content at all, just so I could use the Oculus Quest 2, which has been fun.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago

People using Facebook need to be mindful of the manipulation and use it for what it is good at… connecting and sharing with friends and following uplifting and informative sites. I have also met some firm, lifelong friends on FB. Many beautiful and instructive sites exist that aren’t divisive and toxic.
Of course a bit of Depp vs Heard is fascinating, but it is short lived. And I do like throwing a comment into places like The Guardian commentary from time to time, but the trick is to throw the grenade and then withdraw completely. I know it is wicked.
So bottom line is that you can control your FB experience, by curating what you read, post and respond to and by ignoring what the weirdo Zucks tries to throw at you.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago

One of my favourite activities is reading the desperately frustrated comments, lacking any self awareness, of Guardian and Washington Post readers – especially when they start flaming each other for tiny issues of offence in their language.

Last edited 8 months ago by Ian Stewart
Sam Sky
Sam Sky
8 months ago

“our only way back to sanity is to realise that our opinions on Elon Musk buying Twitter or even Russia invading the Ukraine mean very little to most of our friends, and practically nothing to the world at large.”

On that note I will decline to proffer an opinion to this article.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago

Do you mean my comments on Unherd have no impact? At all?
I’m off down the pub.

latchkeyarts
latchkeyarts
8 months ago

A simple truth in that article. Happy I have read it.

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
8 months ago

I beg to differ. The groups I follow are instructive and interesting and people share their knowledge in the comments. Any unkindness is soon shut down, so it teaches people manners as well. I found Facebook helped with the isolation lockdown imposed. I love jokey memes and anything other than that that looks like clickbait, I merely ignore. Sure, lots of advertising comes up, but if the algorithms have worked, it is stuff I like and may not have found otherwise. I don’t think Facebook is responsible for the changing societal tone, I think that is down to what is happening out there. Just as in the outside world, you can always choose what company to keep.

Christian Filli
Christian Filli
8 months ago

For an article that criticizes clickbait, I find it interesting that the author chose a headline and sub-headline that suggest he’ll discuss the FUTURE of Facebook but the article itself only delves on the PAST.
Why exactly is Facebook’s strategy not working? How is it sliding into dystopia? By whose standards?
Also, I have noticed that former Microsoft and Google people tend to have a strong bias against social media companies (e.g. Eric Schmidt comes to mind).
I’m certainly not a fan of FB (to put it mildly), but I do expect more from UnHerd’s contributors and editors.

Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
8 months ago

So write one

Sensible Captain
Sensible Captain
8 months ago

Great piece again from one of my favourite Unherd writers