Facebook is a popular website – and even this is an understatement.
All you have to do is take a stroll down the street to witness the phenomenon that is this online social media platform.
People glued to their screens incessantly, not watching where they are going as their thumbs furiously jab at the screen to get the rush of dopamine that only their newsfeed provides. This can’t be good.
A former employee of Facebook, Chamath Palihapitiya is now regretting all the fine work he accomplished under the capitalizing thumb of Facebook.
He has even gone on record to say that he feels “tremendous guilt” for the work he did and that it has opened his eyes to the impact Facebook is having on the world around us.
It is now known that Facebook feeds upon the physiological makeup of our minds. We have been caught in the trap of self-validation through a virtual online world, and the thought of extracting ourselves from something that feels so good momentarily just spells disaster.
As Facebook gives us a rush of chemical affirmation every time we get a new like or comment, we become powerless to this cycle that only requires more of us every time we use it.
The problem is, it’s a monopoly.
The social media world is dominated by a tiny select few platforms that require all of everybody’s time. Recent political discourse like the U.S. election and Brexit has been shining examples of fear-mongering and online propaganda. Unless you are completely cut off from virtual reality and prefer to live life without a screen either in or near your face at all times, you have probably, unwittingly been sucked into the phenomenon that is “fake news.”
Facebook uses these global events to collect as much information and data on you and your loved ones as possible. You don’t even have to subscribe to the angry political discussions taking place – all you have to do is some online shopping. Facebook’s algorithms collect data from your likes, dislikes, websites visited and even the photo of what you had for dinner last night.
This complete domination of power channelled through one global website is a scary concept. The worst part of the entire thing is that you don’t know how much they know about you. This means you don’t know how much control they can have. What is evident is the adverse effects that spending to much time on social media is having on society.
Naturally, Facebook denies all of these manipulating mind games
When being asked about their former employee Chamath Palihapitiya, they claim that they are no longer orchestrating the kind of activity they had him doing. He has not worked for them for years, they say, and therefore could not possibly know what he is talking about.
They have stated that they take their roles and responsibility in the online world very seriously and continue to pursue research into the well-being of their users.
It’s worth thinking about when signing into Facebook, just how much damage it might be doing. While we don’t know all the answers and can’t possibly measure the impact social media has on society as a whole, it is worth being cautious when blasting ourselves and our personal lives all over the platform.
While it is a great way to stay connected to our loved ones around the world, the question needs to be asked – do we need it more than this? Can we function satisfactorily in the real world without the need for a constant hit of Facebook dopamine?