22 February 2010

Facebook: oppressing us by giving away something popular for free?

World' Best Ever | T-Shirt of the Day for a Cause

Leif Harmsen, a Toronto based artist is campaigning against Facebook. After his group, “nude cyclist” was deleted from the Facebook world, Leif began campaign against the totalitarian state of Facebook. His main message to take away from all of this. You do not own your Facebook profile it’s not yours its FB’s.

“The more we come to depend on the site for socializing, the more Facebook controls our lives—and, by selling ads, profits from us”.
Let me rephrase that quote so that it isn't duplicitous prevarication:
"The more we voluntarily choose to use the site for socializing, the more Facebook controls our lives—and, by selling ads, profits by providing us with a service we value."
People "depend" on Facebook, and are "controlled" by Facebook in the same way you "depend" on and are "controlled" by a sandwich shop you frequent.  They could stop selling you light mayo, or start telling other customers about your bread preferences, or demand that you but chips with every meal.  They control you! Of course, you can stop buying their sandwiches.

That's what happens when you trade with people and when you introduce relationships into your life.  You give up some control in exchange for something else you value: a sandwich, the ability to share pictures with friends, someone to have a laugh with, or not being eaten by wild boar.  You can't expect all upside and no downside.

I barely use Facebook.  I fully support people dialing back their usage or ending their accounts entirely if that's what strikes their fancy.  Go for it.  But Facebook (and Google, and Starbucks, and Walmart, and...) isn't oppressing you, they're trading with you.

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Self-sufficiency is the road to poverty.

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