“How to leave Facebook”

One of the topics we discussed in this module that really allowed for self reflection and real life application was: online visibility. Having grown up with social media and experienced the rise and fall of several platforms (RIP myspace) I think that my generation has a unique handle on the internet. In some ways we have control over what stays and what goes, we decide what we want in the online sphere and what we don’t want. However, what I have come to realize, with a greater understanding of the “networked self,” is that we usually only get this at a cost. This price comes in many shapes and forms – sacrificing privacy, or risking falling victim to the chilling effect, and countless other regulatory consequences.

As the policies, terms and conditions, and algorithms that dictate our FaceBook activity change at a rapid pace we are no longer in control of the image of ourself that we aim to shape online – defeating the purpose of partaking in social media and having a sense of control over your identity and your networked self.

The video below, by Nick Briz, a new media artist, educator and activist, is a personal essay of sorts and tutorial on how to leave FaceBook because of these costs. As someone who has only had a FaceBook for a few months (but plans of deleting it once I get back the U.S.) I definitely understand the convenience and the entertainment value associated with the platform. But I strongly encourage you to watch the full video and take into consideration what you are giving to Facebook (and more importantly what they are doing with it) in exchange for online visibility. Is it worth it?



1 Comment

  1. In my opinion, now-a-days, online visibility is heavily related to celebrity culture and the fact that people want their 15 minutes of fame. I believe that this gives a sense of validation within a society in which there is a standard of what’s considered appealing and beautiful. This is why I don’t think anyone cares about who they’re friends with on social media platforms as long as it adds to their “numbers”.
    This is the dangerous part of existing online: anyone is granted access to the online you which sometimes shares personal information believing it’s kept private.
    Social media platforms are businesses, therefore they exist to make money. So how is it free for anyone to use? The answer is: the more traffic there is the more money these companies make, to stimulate and even increase traffic, you become a target and your personal information is used without your (conscious) consent.
    The best way to “leave Facebook” (without deleting your account) is to post/share as little as possible and most importantly live your life outside a screen.


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