Friday 29 December 2023

The Devil Behind Social Media

 Today, I decided. If I don't leave Facebook (and other social media) then I'll be cutting it out a lot. I have to do it.

Step one: Check through all the friends and followers on my personal profile.

There have been some 5000+ there since I first started in 2007. And the discovery itself was horrifying.

Facebook has this thing where it won't let you see your friends' posts, unless you talk to them all the time. Then they will distract and grab your attention, flooding your senses with all sorts of utter bullshit and crap. Useless plastic crap.

Well, I got caught. Too long. And the fallout of that caught my attention when I went into my friends and followers lists.

It was great, looking through it, checking on faces I'd never seen in ages. Then I came across one I'd not spoken to in a long time.

Excitedly, I clicked on the profile to check the feed. Hmmm not too many posts there. Just messages from friends on the wall to wish a happy birthday. Then I saw it.

A birthday message.

"Happy birthday to you, wherever you are and whatever you're doing."

"Happy birthday. I'll have a beer for you and hope you're enjoying one up there too."

"Happy Heavenly Birthday. It's been two years, and we still miss you."


A friend had died, and I didn't know about it. It wasn't the first either since I discovered a few months ago my best schoolfriend's mother had passed away too. That cut deep. Today's cut deeper, not because that friend had been any closer, but because I realised -- one day that could be me.

All of these people I *love* entertaining with my Dad Joke posts. I'd just disappear, and they wouldn't even notice. A forgotten blip on the radar.

Can you imagine the same happening to you?

I continued through the list. There was another old face. Damn! She had died too. And another, and the list continued. There have been two dozen people who died, and I hadn't noticed. Partly my fault, but also influenced by a pathetic algorithm fostered by a weedy "entrepreneurial" creature who owns the social media company. How do others feel when they go checking up on friends they have missed over the months?

Obviously, it's not Facebook's fault that my friends had died. Not entirely their fault I hadn't heard... but I do blame them for their insatiable greed behind their algorithm that treats its users the way a sociopathic kid tortures small animals. It is despicable.

I'm not naive to the fact that it's only free to users to "be the product" for businesses who pay Facebook (and other social media) for advertising. It's how they remain "free to use". But we all know, there's no such thing as free in the world. It's all an illusion.

So that's another reason added to the growing list of reasons for my deepening dislike and distrust for social media.

At least the newspaper, radio, or televison tells us when people pass.

But not the heartless money-grubbing bastards like Zuckerberg. One day, he will pass too. You can bet we'll all hear about that!


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