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Facebook Users, It's Your Fault

We’re this close to an Internet as revolutionary to itself as the Internet was to the world, but we can’t get there because you lot are content with using services that fail to do what they claim. Humans are storytellers - it’s how we relate to the world around us, and relate our selves to each other. And so much of our lives are telling stories - “today I ran into becky at the grocery and omg her roots were a mile long” - and building our own oral tradition, that we cultivate and share with those around us.

Social media was our chance to merge that wonderful ability we all have with the written word, and oh my gods - the magic that is possible from that; taking our ability to relate to others and spreading it so it can exist regardless of chronological or geographical impediments.


But, that’s not we have. We have walled gardens - well-featured ecosystems of products existing to take our oral-turned-written histories, and shuffling them, displaying them disjointed, cut together with advertisements, to make the advertisements better.

So we cultivate our posts, to make them more in line with what they need to be to compete with our own digital avatars, and to fit with our corporate sponsors. In doing so, we’ve lost the agency in how we tell our own stories - we’ve lost the agency in doing one fo the things that helps members of our species define themselves.

We were promised a way to bring one of the best parts of being human - relating to one another - into more parts of our lives, and instead, we got conned out of being able to hold an identity that isn’t subject to corporate audit & revision.


“So leave.”

That’s as silly as suggesting I not talk about my day vocally. Online text is the language of the day.

“They need to do it to make money.”

Each of us carries around a computer powerful enough to run a small web server. Fifteen years ago, I’d’ve agreed, we need centralized web services. Today, it’s simply not true.

“This post made me feel sad and like I”m being a bad person by using Facebook.”

Online text is the language of the day. Do what you gotta - rather have an identity warped by opaque corporate sponsorship than no identity at all, right? But also, you should give some serious thought to supporting the next stage of the Internet’s development. There are many decentralized platforms out there to meet any need that Facebook (or another social media site) fills. The main players to look at are mastodon for social media, matrix for instant communication, and steem for forums and content repositories.

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<2018-03-03 Sat>: Created as a Facebook post

<2018-11-05 Mon>: Added to Personal Record

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My name is emsenn and I wrote this essay for the benefit of the commons. To the extent possible under law, I have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to it. If you're viewing it on a remote server, you're encouraged to download your own copy. Essays like this are made possible with financial support from readers like you. Thank you. To read more of my work and to learn more about me, visit https://emsenn.net