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Why I don’t use Facebook any more: It’s not just about data farming

*Farm-ville.

After having used Facebook for so many years, and having noticed the negative effect that absorbing so much distorted information has on public health, and the mental contamination of moods, ideologies, biased passions, and so on; I discovered that I am better off without it, and I feel this is reasonable. The anxiety that the user’s experience can elicit is detrimental to say the least and it is not entirely controlled by the user. The algorithms will keep you scrolling endlessly, almost in a hypnotic way. What is it that compels users to scroll and scroll? Suddenly, the bigger picture of the Internet is forgotten and Facebook becomes a digital farm of data collection; as well as the official cradle of the observable addictions to games such as Candy Crush, leading to a rise in sedentary procrastination, which contributes to the social crises of obesity and mental health. Such games offer no real value when it comes to well-being and development, and such wasted time and activity manifests sometimes as a form of cognitive dependence to such hedonistic stimuli and it teaches your mind that all that invested time produced absolutely no tangible rewards, or a healthy long-lasting feeling; and that if you are buying intangible money with your tangible money through apps, then it is no longer problem-solving, but instead it is creating an unconditioned disaster and a detachment from what it truly means to achieve goals and live the real life always looking ahead and moving forwards; and you should probably see your doctor and ask for help if Facebook is interfering with the functionality of your every day life.

Should Facebook come with a label that is similar to the labels found on cigarette pouches? I think it should. The way in which Facebook has different designs based on the algorithmic social class attributed to the user, where some people see it in one way, and others in a more “elegant” way… does absolutely nothing to bridge the gap between social groups. It reinforces the idea that privilege should exist, and often, those types of ideas are based purely on self-serving bias. I regret having been on Facebook whilst my mental health deteriorated due to the adverse life circumstances I was going through at the time. My entire crisis just happens to be documented there in eternally deactivated mode. Maybe one day I will look at it. But right now, I am better off investing my time in more productive and helpful digital platforms, such as Google Docs, the module website at the OU, The Guardian online, Trello, and this blog. The one thing I learned from my digital experiences is that bystander apathy is also a digital phenomenon. And it seems there is a general, collective predisposition to be indifferent, apathic, and even cognitive dissonant about the many hard realities we are facing as a global society. Nevertheless, just because my Facebook experience was unpleasant and driven by my mental health problems, does not mean that your experience, or somebody else’s experience will be unpleasant.

To summarise, I am better off without Facebook, and I have not even begun yet expressing what I think about data farming. That I will leave for another blog post. 

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