Mourning Facebook

Mourning Facebook

I mourn Facebook.

Facebook is like Wikipedia for the world.

It seeks to help you find events, people, to share ideas. It's the closest to a collective hive mind brain I have experienced. It's the closest I've seen to the semantic web. Ideas and people are linked. Information that you need is surfaced.

For a golden moment in time, almost every human I met I could connect with, permanently, with a single click. Instant addressable messaging and interaction to anyone across the globe.

I wish Facebook could have been more. I wish they could have decided to focus on linking ideas into greater ideas, pushing movements forward, helping people realize better when they are looking for each other.

Here in Los Angeles, so many people don't use it. Instead of events, which show up on my calendar and automatically tell me who's going and push updates to me right away, people are back to using flyers — jpeg images with dates and times.

Why are we turning away from such a linked and connected platform? Is it because we perceive overreach? Because we are weary of politics? Because we feel the thousandth push on our dopamine buttons and are over it? Because we worry about our privacy?

It's horrifically addicting. It has robbed us of so much, not least words like friend, like, love, share. At the center of this delight is a capitalist rot which sucks out of us something true.

Facebook could have been so much better. We were grasping at something in this platform. We will lose something when it dies.

I can't stand Instagram. It's a nonsensical barrage of photos, none evoking curiosity or engagement, none deepening my relationship with or understanding of others. It's like a broken TV with antennas pointing at what random people I have met once are worried they are not.

Give me a platform for ideas that respects its users. Give me a collective brain that strives to understand things one of us cannot, to organize us around what we dream of.

I would not be who I am without Facebook. I wouldn't know the people I know, go to the events I've attended, understand the nuances in others' minds in as deep way. It enables a kind of living that is light, nimble, adaptive, inclusive, and open.

It is, for all its faults, a part of my mind. Without it I wouldn't have this platform to share my thoughts, a direct connection between my brain and yours. I wish people weren't leaving.

PS. If anyone in LA can explain why people here don't use it I'm trying to understand.