While I was reading a brilliant article today in Wired magazine by Ryan Singel, I felt myself getting increasingly uncomfortable, kind of like when you catch an adult leering at you for the first time when you just hit puberty. Creepy. You’re not yet old enough to be sexual yet somehow you’re made to be and it’s not okay.
Crazy analogy? Is it? Read Ryan’s article and then come back here and tell me it’s not similar behaviour. Nobody signed up to Facebook with anything other than a need to check out pictures of their friends, make witty comments, dump about their day, or brag about their new job. It was so great because for once, here was a world sharing the day-to-day meandering (and intimate) paths of their lives and it was awesome.
But unfortunately, Mark Zuckergerg became the leering uncle of us all and decided to pop the cherry and abuse this arena of trust, social expression, and community creation to launder IP addresses to marketers and big business as fast as he could connect your ‘likes’ to a hungry buyer.
Facebook is now an illusion of community. Be very clear: You are in an advertisement. And every single thing you say, do, and leave behind will be used. Like turkey vultures scavenging for bits of usable cartilege, Facebook is combing through your data to find feed for its advertising machine.
Don’t be naive you say? This was bound to happen. Maybe so. Maybe so. But I’d like to hope that there’s a kid out there in university fooling around with open source and coming up with a democratic opt in or out program we can feel safe using, without an eye over our backs at a virtual Peeping Tom.