The other day I read a very interesting article in Gizmodo by Kashmir Hill – I Cut Facebook Out of My Life. Surprisingly, I Missed It. The second in a series of five articles on cutting big tech out of our lives recounts Hill’s attempt to cut Facebook out of her life for 30 days. Hill has written about the evils of social media in the past and I was surprised to read that she actually missed Facebook when it was gone.
Like a drug addict jonesing for her next fix, Hill found that the most difficult part of getting rid of Facebook was losing contact with her friends and feeling left out of their lives. In an interesting observation, Hill posits that this may be a form of Stockholm Syndrome, a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.
It is interesting to think of Facebook as a kidnapper showing you a little kindness every once in a while to earn your trust yet this is exactly what Facebook does, it takes you hostage sends you constant reminders that you need them in order to be social. If you joined Facebook in 2007, like Hill you have unwittingly given Facebook hundreds of contacts and thousands of pictures and posts to use against you to earn your trust.
If an experienced investigative journalist like Kashmir Hill with a bias against social media found it hard to leave her Facebook friends behind what hope do the rest of us have? This is a real problem. We all seem to forget that Facebook friends were our friends in the first place so why are we afraid of losing touch? Are we all so far gone that we cannot remember how to be social without Facebook?
If Facebook was a real kidnapper nobody, including an investigative journalist, would think twice about escaping when presented the opportunity. Resist the temptation to trust your kidnapper and delete Facebook now while you still can. Time to escape the captivity of social media and remember what it was like to have friends of your own.