In my upcoming book “Present Shock,” I chronicle some of what happens when we can no longer manage our many online presences. I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.
Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we’re not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others. To enable this dysfunctional situation – I call it “digiphrenia” – would be at the very least hypocritical. But to participate on Facebook as an author, in a way specifically intended to draw out the “likes” and resulting vulnerability of others, is untenable.
All software – social software even more so – embodies a set of conventions between computer and user.
Software is itself a contract. We move a mouse, we type, and then we expect the software to act on our behalf to do what we expect.
Facebook continually finds ways to break with its own conventions and astonish in the worst possible ways.
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