Good thread, I've been thinking this for a while. The main points I agree with Royster:
- People who make money through Facebook tend only to care about making money, as opposed to doing good and improving conditions for employees/overseas workers/the environment
- A lot of information about a lot of people and their connections, all centralised, as you say it's easy to connect several of these networks
- Facebook lax with privacy policies/don't seem to really value this
- Distractions and games instead of things that develop and fulfil long-term (contant checking for new messages etc)
- Activism has gone from picketing to "Start a Facebook group"
- Other users can control a lot of data about you and link it to your account, including photos (and de-tagging yourself will be irrelevant once facial recognition improves)
The US and UK might be largely asleep in this way, but other places aren't. France, for instance, like to set things on fire when their government does something they don't like. I saw a thing on the news today where yet another small town (in UK) was about to get a large brand supermarket, and locals complained because local businesses suffer, resources are sucked out of the area instead of circulating inside it. This is the sort of thing that should overturn a decision like that, but I'm sure time will see the supermarket built and the people ignored, because their best interests aren't important. By the way, the French call this process of small towns all ending up with the same brand name stores La Londonization.
Anyway, back to Facebook. It's not the only thing here - I write on blogs about my likes, dislikes etc too. Should I be worried about that? I can pull it anytime, but you know it's all cached. And in a way it's a shame that the internet is probably the best way to get a passive income which is a good way to be free(er).
On the other hand though, I know people whose network is pretty wide - people in different cities, countries, continents - Facebook is simply a better way to stay in touch with people like this. I know you can
email, but people just don't!
Royster, what other steps in this general direction are you taking? Quitting the web completely?