Netnet Camomot .
A FRIEND said Facebook addiction is like drug addiction—it’s here to stay forever and ever. Thus, no one expected for the social networking site to reach the point of #DeleteFacebook.
I joined FB almost 10 years ago, in December 2008. Months later, there I was, busy with FarmVille. Or was it Farm Town? With posts on its harvest earning a wow from clueless FB friends who were convinced the farm was real.
And then, there was Pet Society, my answer to the question, Para kanino ka bumabangon?
Social networking used to be harmless. It was one way to connect with family, friends, and former schoolmates you hardly recognized. But it morphed into a daily diary chronicling each and every second of one’s life, complete with details of at-the-moment (ATM) events—who, what, when, where, why, how, basically the requirements for a news item. If only that FB post had gone through the eye of a needle a.k.a. an editor’s eagle eye, then, we can all say goodbye to legitimate media and say hello to fake news.
But even Mark Zuckerberg paid for full-page ads in three American and seven British newspapers last month to apologize for “a breach of trust,” referring to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Yes, he inadvertently proved that print media is here to stay. He did post an apology through FB but apparently that was not enough for him, and we can now sit back and watch “The Greatest Showman” again: “Never be enough/For me.”
But it’s the movie’s other popular song, “This is me,” that Zuckerberg probably prefers:
“I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ‘cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me.”
I thought by this time FB users would be tired of posting details about their life. But the site has been mostly unrivaled in its niche and has continued to attract subscribers—more than two billion and counting, with the #DeleteFacebook campaign hardly making a dent for now.
FB is the ultimate time waster. Precious time that could have been spent talking with family and friends is instead wasted on scrolling down one’s news feed. Add to that the games that FB subtly suggests and there you are, having sleepless nights, no thanks to a game’s unlimited free lives that could last for—gasp!—six hours.
Remember when television was the ultimate time waster? Netflix has not exactly replaced it—people still do watch TV and check out their FB news feed during commercial breaks.
Last Tuesday, Zuckerberg faced US lawmakers in a hearing on privacy issues, mainly due to Cambridge Analytica’s use, misuse, and abuse of the data of about 87 million FB users for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The hearing was of course posted by legitimate media via Facebook Live. There were instances where it morphed into a basic orientation on Social Network 101, with Zuckerberg explaining how it works.
To get the message across, Sen. Richard Durbin asked Zuckerberg, “Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?” Of course, Zuckerberg replied with a “No.”
Durbin then asked, “If you messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?” To this, Zuckerberg said, “Senator, no, I would probably not choose to do that publicly here.”
And Durbin continued: “I think that’s maybe what this is all about. Your right to privacy, the limits of your right to privacy, and how much you give away in modern America in the name of, quote, connecting people around the world.”
But Sen. Thom Tillis emphasized that FB users have the responsibility to control their posts, saying he’s a “proud member of Facebook,” but “if you don’t want to share something, don’t share it.”
FB posts can be misunderstood. If it’s a negative post, your frenemy will absorb that as an attack against him—yes, praning much.
Messages sent through the phone and Messenger can also reach a lost-in-translation phase, resulting in question marks as thought bubbles for the recipient. So, better call, chat through FaceTime and Messenger video, or how about an in-your-face interaction for a much clearer understanding of the message.
At the hearing, Zuckerberg hinted, “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free.” FB charging subscription fees has been part of fake news for so long, we’ve learned to dismiss it each time it’s revived. With its CEO’s revelation, though, the fake news may soon become a reality.
Will paying subscription fees cure FB addiction? That’s the question.