Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like without social media.
Last week gave me not one, but three glimpses into such a world.
Facebook went down twice last week, taking with it Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Friday’s outage was less disruptive than last Monday’s one, which was widespread, affected the whole world and lasted for more than seven hours.
Of course social media addicts lost their minds, but for a brief moment, a little bit of sanity returned to our lives.
We could make up our own minds without being told what to think, what not to believe, what to like, or who to trust.
I think there was even a little less anxiety and anger to contend with, because that seems to be what social media is about these days – a place of ugliness, rudeness and constant conflict.
People post things on social media that they would never consider saying out loud.
If those are the results of the outages, then it perfectly illustrates the points of the woman who proved to be a royal pain in the butt for Facebook last week.
Frances Haugen left the company earlier this year and took thousands of confidential documents with her, showing how Facebook makes millions every day from the misery of pitting us against each other.
In an interview she did last week, Haugen explains how Facebook is so morally bankrupt, that the company wilfully erodes social cohesion across the world, by amplifying hate, misinformation and political unrest.
Facebook and Instagram thrive because it puts the very worst of human nature on display, because that is what makes it the most money.
So while we argue, posture and try to out-ego each other, Facebook is raking in the cash.
The conspiracy isn’t all that stuff that you see on Facebook that makes you so angry.
The conspiracy is that Facebook makes sure that you see those things, whether they are true or not, because they know it will make you angry.
Because when you are angry, then you comment and share and come back for more.
That is the real conspiracy, with the emphasis on “con” because the motive is profit.
But I doubt anyone cares enough to stop Facebooking.
body copy_bold: And Facebook knows that, which is why they won’t do anything about it.