Welcome to the Hotel California a.k.a Facebook

There's a metaphor I just haven't been able to get out of my head recently.

Facebook is the Hotel California.

It’s stayed here long enough that I'm starting an essay series that dives into what makes Facebook Facebook, and why we should be wary of it as individuals. This series, if I do it right, will end up convincing you that Facebook is the Hotel California made software, and help you start thinking about how do you escape somewhere that’s programmed to receive.

This is an introductory post, an appetiser to the three essays I'm working on atm. They’ll sliiiide right into your inbox in this order:

1. “We are all just prisoners here of our own device”

How to become a doer! | lovefoodbaby

Facebook isn't really tricking us into using them, it simply knows how to satisfy our immediate desires well enough, frictionlessly enough and with enough variation that it becomes addictive. I introduce a framework for how we make decisions, discuss intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and show how Facebook manipulates your reward system until subconsciously you don’t want to leave.

2. “They Stab It With Their Steely Knives but They Just Can't Kill the Beast”

Kill The Beast GIF | Gfycat
  • Ways people have tried to kill Facebook

    • Activism

    • Regulation

    • Competition

    • Innovation

    • Pointing out fatal mistakes

  • Ways people have failed to kill Facebook

    • See: Ways people have tried to kill Facebook

I’ll spin through how people have tried and failed to kill Facebook, why none of them have worked, and what they miss in their attempts.

3. “You can check out any time you like, But you can never leave”

Reaction GIF by moodman - Find & Share on GIPHY

Why is Facebook so sticky and hard to get rid of? Find out what hooks Facebook has attached to its users and what makes them so painful to remove. Here I lay out a roadmap for building a usable “exit door” from Facebook.

hope you’re excited. in the meantime…

This series follows on well from my post about a future not controlled by a corporate algorithm, so check that out if it takes your fancy.

I think about social media and personal data a lot as a co-founder at Ethi (ethi.me). We help you understand what data Facebook and Google have about you, and what you can do about it. Let me know if you want to be an early user or supporter with a Twitter DM to @michaeljelly or @EthiData.

thanks, love you. until next time.

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