This article from the Guardian seemed to be the most visible thing on the Internet round these parts yesterday: With friends like these… by Tom Hodgkinson
Facebook has 59 million users – and 2 million new ones join each week. But you won’t catch Tom Hodgkinson volunteering his personal information – not now that he knows the politics of the people behind the social networking site
I got sent it a few times by different people. And I read it and and was shocked and outraged.
Forget religion being the opium of the masses, Facebook is the CIA owned crack-cocaine of the masses! We’ve all been duped. It’s a soul-harvesting machine designed to harness the creativity and friendships of the whole world and funnel it for the forces of darkness and oppression.
Or something like that.
Anyway I was all set to shut down my Facebook account and rush to the land of hope, goodness and light, but then I had a couple of thoughts…
- I’m almost certain that the boards of most US companies can be shaken-down to find a couple of neo-con sympathisers with links to dark secret societies. Like it or not my friends that’s just the way the machine works. So I figured I shouldn’t be altogether that shocked about it.
- There’s nothing that interesting in my life that I’d be worried about the spooks seeing. I’m sure they could analyse my musical tastes and cross-tabulate them with the events that I’ve attended and figure out that I’m probably in the upper quartile of people with a likelihood of having tried recreational drugs at some point in the past.
- I should spend more ‘real’ quality time with people. But I know that already. And Facebook isn’t a big time drain for me, I only look at it every now and again, so it’s not replacing or getting in the way of my relationships.
But that’s not to say I wouldn’t advise getting out of Facebook right now if you are:
- The kind of person who wears a tin-foil hat, doesn’t own a mobile phone and doesn’t use the internet because all computers have little cameras that are beaming to the base on the dark side of the moon 24/7.
- Listing your interests as: political activism, evolutionary fuel-cell development or time travel.
- Spending more time looking at/for friends on Facebook than actually being with real people.
So I’m staying in Facebook, in a limited way. For now.
I still don’t like it all that much though.