Let’s face it, we are all dumb f***s.
Or at least, that’s what Mark Zuckerberg called those of us who are willing to give Facebook our data. That was way back in 2004 — when Zuckerberg was just a college kid, not the CEO of a bazillion-dollar company that has literally become our social fabric.
But recent news developments have many of us thinking that the social media giant has treated us all like we’re idiots. With all the drama surrounding Russian ads, “fake news,” and finally, the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, which harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, and used it to target voters during the US election, people are losing faith in the social network and its ability to keep our private information, well, private.
The hashtag #DeleteFacebook has getting some serious traction. You may have seen it among your more socially conscious friends as well some big companies, like Playboy and SpaceX — and let’s not forget my favorite diva, Cher — wishing the app goodbye. So you have to wonder: shouldn’t we all be jumping on this bandwagon?
First we #DeleteFacebook. Then we take LinkedIn.
— Nein. (@NeinQuarterly) March 22, 2018
Unfortunately, not all of us are strong enough (um, yes, that’s a Cher reference) to break up with Facebook. For starters, some of us — including yours truly — need it professionally. (I am Kveller’s community editor, after all.) My job would be half obsolete without Facebook.
I have also used Facebook to register for countless external apps, like Spotify and the one I use to sign up for my weekly prenatal yoga class (a total life-saver for this 7-months pregnant lady).
But perhaps the biggest reason I can’t fathom deleting my Facebook account is that I am about to become a mom (tfu tfu tfu, as my mother would say to ward off the evil eye). Facebook is going to be a way for my family in Israel, and for my husband’s family across the U.S., to see our little boy growing up. There just isn’t any other app or platform that brings all of our extended relations together the way that Facebook does.
And I’m not alone, of course. There are so many families are like mine, split across states, continents, and generations. Facebook is one of the only ways for us to stay connected. We just don’t have the privilege of leaving it.
At the same time, I can’t profess any real love for Facebook. I don’t like to admit how much time I’ve wasted scrolling through my feed, mindlessly watching cat videos. And while the network has enabled me to connect with some long-lost pals, if I’m being honest, most of the time I’m not actually engaging with anyone, apart from the occasional “like” or “haha.”
What’s most troubling: I don’t believe the company has shown strong ethics. To me, Facebook has always appeared to put its own profitability before anything else (see that time Facebook used the term “Jew hater” to target advertisers).
So while I can’t leave the app, I fully support the #DeleteFacebook movement. I hope its high-profile deserters will help put enough pressure on the company to care more about about how it treats its clients and users, and the impact it has upon the world. After all, I’d like to feel good about a social network where I plan to share something as precious as the pictures of my child.