Marcuse predicted it. Debora predicted it. Adorno and Horkheimer predicted it. These cats are only the tip of the iceberg …
Facebook, as a social media platform, is absolutely NOT neutral. Facebook is an ideologically geared profit making machine, commodifying one of the purest human actions – interpersonal relationships. And its users, we the users, we give them this sacred human connection for free! They sell it back to us in the form of targeted, soul-destroying images of need, images we can contemplate until they replace any genuine needs we might have left. Talk about imagining another world? If everyone deleted their Facebook on the same day, that is 1.38 billion people (monthly active users), we would see one of the most devastating and exhilarating corporate falls-from-grace in history.
Facebook aids us only in the process of reifying ourselves; we begin to make ourselves in the image of the commodity. We create a personality that is marketable, that has only an exchange-value. We contribute our ‘likes’ to the attention economy that provides us with a manufactured carrot to strive forever towards, unthinkingly.
We are rapidly becoming depoliticized, pacified, massified. Seduced by leisure, individuality, entertainment. Facebook is rapidly replacing what is left of our lived experience. This mass deception robs from us our ability to develop community, autonomy and independence.
Oh. And be sure not to bring this up at a party. I can guarantee there will be users defending Facebook’s services so rabidly, so violently, that you would think the user happens to be a major shareholder in one of the world’s most valuable companies.
Talk about imagining another world? Talk about imagining a social media technology liberated from the shackles of advanced consumer techno-capitalism, void of exploitative and greedy masters. Talk about a social media that is truly social. And these platforms exist, open-source and user-owned, if you need the platforms at all.
Editor of Adbusters… do you have Facebook?
– Amy Mowle