The Facebook Factory
Is Facebook using you or are you using Facebook?
Imagine going onto facebook – you see the red notifications – post updates and you see what others are doing. It all seems quite nice and friendly. It appears that Facebook is providing YOU with this wonderful platform to connect with friends and keep in touch.
But is that what is really going on?
Or is it the exact opposite truth?
Social media is smoke and mirrors – it masquerades as a valuable service to us – but its motives are not transparent nor is our relationship with them.
“In their now classic study of traditional media, Manufacturing Consent, Herman and Chomsky explain the basic business model of newspapers as being the production of an audience for advertising. Their analysis suggests the counterintuitive notion that publishers’ main product is not the newspaper, which they sell to their readers, but the production of an audience of readers, which they sell to advertisers. In short, the readership is their product.”
Big Corp Social Ranking, Customized News & Advertising Company
Facebook is a big corporate company like many others. It is made up of office buildings, cubicles and corporate hierarchy etc, like other big corporations.
Hanging out at Facebook is like spending many hours a day on a computer in a cubicle – yet unpaid.
It’s like working in a factory for free!
Except we do it in our spare time, working virtually.
The difference between Facebook and traditional media is that on Facebook, there is no readership in general, but there is an algorithmic labour and production within the Facebook Factory which allows them to profile and sell each user as a different product.
The readership (YOU) are the product and the audience is the advertiser.
I am an advertiser on Facebook because there are people there who want what I have.
Just because your friends are on crackbook in the factory staring at their screens sending emojis – it doesn’t mean you have to join them in their unpaid toil for big business.
In fact , would it be better if you went to the factory to join all the other people wasting their time, or would it be better to call your friends who are in hypnotic trance in the factory and tell them:
“Hey! It’s a great day here! How about come up for the day, we can go for a swim or a hike or hang out and talk, do meditation, or just be fully present with each other etc.”
What is better?