If I hear someone start a sentence with, “I saw on Facebook that…” when talking about anything dealing with science, politics, medicine, or any other important subject matter I will quickly become the world’s biggest skeptic.
We are unfortunately living in a Facebook (FB) world. So many people rely (and I mean r-e-l-y) on FB for so much dealing with their lives. I even had a friend use it exclusively. He would never venture outside of the walls of FB for anything. He used it to search for everything and anything. Talk about a filtered experience!
Now, I’m not here to bash the platform. Well, maybe a little. I’m just pointing out the absurdity of the whole thing.
In college students are taught to seek, research, and cite credible sources. The list of credible sources is short and has to meet specific criteria in order to be used. These sources are usually large, trusted institutions/universities, government agencies and departments, and other private research centers with long and rich reputations.
Injecting what Uncle Joe posted into a conversation about a scientific subject doesn’t qualify. Sorry.
Opinion, no matter how strong, is not the same as fact. It’s not even the same as a hypothesis or even scientific probability. It’s not the same. It’s just not. And to top it off, Uncle Joe, and all those like him, never even think about fact-checking or researching the source.
Despite all the scandals from Cambridge Analytica and privacy hacks to political controversies people continue to turn a blind eye and use it out of habit. The funny thing is that those who don’t want to be tracked by the government will wholly and willfully give up all their identifiable and personal information to FB. Kind of an odd mindset really.
I have a profile, but only keep it around to use as a sort of phone book. If someone is looking for me they will usually go straight there to look. I don’t have it on my phone and only access it through my laptop and it isn’t bookmarked or signed in permanently.
I use a Google Chrome extension called News Feed Eradicator to block the feed and only see notifications. When I tell others about this they are a little baffled and that’s okay.
The near future
My future with the platform is in the air. I’m sure I will eventually delete my profile one day soon as it’s tough for me to have something so intrusive out there with my name associated with it. As a digital minimalist in training I don’t like to have unused profiles and accounts for anything lingering out on the web. I’m not paranoid or anything, it’s just something I do to minimize hacks, stolen identities, and anything else I haven’t heard of yet — there’s usually a new scandal right around the corner.
Another speed bump is the fact that schools and work use it for updates instead of there websites. I get it. Social media platforms are “free,” easy, and require little-to-no setup.
So, we shall see what the future holds. Maybe I’ll just get tired of it one day and just delete the dang thing already.
What about you? What is you relationship with the platform?
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