I am not sure what you are thinking, at this point, as to what I will be saying in this writing. Simply put, Facebook has been at the top, bullying, and buying its competitors long enough. For their sake and that of the over 2.5 billion users' sake, it is time for them to come down. Let's look at a few stats quickly. Right now Facebook sits at the top with "YouTube" 2nd at 2 billion users and "What's app" at 1.6 billion. Facebook has 1.9 Billion users daily. Over 100 languages are used in the app. Over 1 billion users are from Asia. Women, ages 18-29 with an income above 50,000 are Facebook's largest user group in the U.S. 41% of the U.S. teens use Facebook. Facebook users are labeled according to political bias based on posts and ones liked by them. 87% of employees use Facebook to connect. From April to September 2019, $3.2 billion fake Facebook accounts were removed. Same time frame 18.5 million instances of child nudity and 11.4 million instances of hate speech. Facebook is worth upwards of 593 billion dollars
It is not a surprise to hear that Facebook is at the top of the social media food chain. Social media has become so much more than a way to stay connected to our loved ones. Before Facebook deleted my account-(no explanation)-I had close to 5,000 friends. It was a platform that I could reach thousands of people for free. That is an extremely powerful tool to have in this digital age. Facebook played a vital role in the last three businesses that I took part in creating. Without it, I would have died in the flood of advertisers. Facebook is also a tool employers use to vet possible candidates for job openings. As well as singles who want to deep dive on their upcoming date. This way prospects can know what they are to be expecting.
We don't realize that we are being carefully classified by interests, hobbies, careers, beer of choice, shopping desires, preference for clothes, and much much more. All of this info is so valuable to companies who want your attention. So they continue to make new ways to have our lives funneled through FB. The result then is spending countless hours on this platform to conduct our day-to-day. This is the vicious cycle that we face. We have to be here because our family, business, and social structure depend on it. The way we coordinate with our kids' sports team is here. Everything we do is here. It should be self-evident at this point but if not, this is a big f-ing problem. Facebook can control the lives of its members. If they so desired they could be like the bully in elementary school. Try and dictate who had what priveledges. It is scary knowing they can do without warning and cause. Sounds much like the SS under Hitler if you ask me. It appears that we are stuck, we need what they offer and they have bought all the competition. Is there anywhere to turn? How can we get away from such an animal? How do we get others to see the need to do so?
So what else is out there? Tik Tok, Caffeine, Lasso, Houseparty, and Steemit, are platforms that are moving up. I have heard of one of these except Tik Tok. I have also never used Tik Tok, just a PSA. None of these seem to have the reach or scope that Facebook has. These could all be extensions of Facebook but do not appear that any would ever overtake them. Caffeine and Houseparty both seem very cool in that it is a new way to socialize with others from all over the world. Compared to the monster, the value isn't there. Honestly, I am asking the question. I do not know what needs to happen. I believe right now, there are over 75 viable, different platforms to socialize on, yet none can replace Facebook. The elephant in the room is the fact that we, as social beings, have found a way possible to live a life seemingly connected through social media rather than social gatherings.
There is a way to separate our lives from FB. The hard obstacle that we face is capturing the audience. That is what Facebook has done brilliantly and why no one can touch them. And most people in the world do not want to have a site or subscribe to a new club for every aspect of their lives. We like the one-stop-shop. So in finding ways to separate from FB it is clear that we would create less work by working with them to create a solution. This will face its challenges because that is asking FB to freely give up control and revenue. That might be impossible. I do not think the government needs to step in a tell FB what to do (people already do) The only power we as the people have is the power of our self-control. We determine what we have and don't have. So if we chose to leave FB in a mass exodus to start a new way it would make an impression on FB. Probably not one big enough to get them to play with us but maybe big enough to be in a place to stand on our own two feet. We will force them to interact in this new way because we will build a viable market.
Facebook deserves this. FB created a place to connect with the people you want in your own private space that you had control over. We did not anticipate and possibly neither did FB, that one day all of our connections and personalization were the very thing that is so valuable to advertisers. Essentially they are taking back what they gave us originally and leaving us without a paddle. They are also ignoring the culture that is screaming for more privacy. Instead, FB is aiding in the eradication of our privacy. To put the final nail in it for me FB is acting like it owns the connections and benefits that we created. Yes through their software and platform but it is still a co-creation and not something that they have complete ownership over. We have grown to take ownership and pride in our FB pages. It is in a way like a home that you make the front look nice because you have special guests coming over.
So we are here. I said earlier that I do not have the answers. I feel right now we need to get the problem out first so that as many as possible can see it. Then we can come up with a collective solution that works for us all. I say all this intending to be more present and aware of what is right in front of us and not on a computer screen. To flatten the curve of our ever-decreasing attention span and learn to be more mindful of the people that we can touch. Technology is incredible, and so are people plus we need to give both their rightful place in our affections. We cringe at the thought of being addicted to harmful things and fight it with such vigor. The aforementioned is no different. We are not just addicted but dependant upon it for the day-to-day. Take a stand and think of ways that you might free yourself from the monopoly that is Facebook. Stand up against a company that has grown so distant and disconnected from its supporters. Show them why they need to value the very thing that enables them to be where they are.
About the author
I like getting dirty and being outside. The things that make my stomach drop and the breathless sensation help me know that I am alive. I try to live with my eyes wide open while my heart ready to be overwhelmed with joy.