Imagine not being able to turn off the Facebook mobile app on your phone and you’ve got the beginnings of insight into Facebook’s HOME app for Android. Take it a step further, by making Facebook the OS underneath everything your phone does, and you’ve got the Facebook smartphone. But the whole thing is really a dumbing down of social media. Facebook is now like the AOL of the web. It’s convoluted, bloated, does a lot of stuff you don’t want it to, and though it’s the best we know, it’s really an awful experience.
But Facebook is what we’ve got.
On the plus side, it does allow millions upon millions of us to stay semi-connected to each other. It’s like asynchronous news and updates about people you know and love, people you didn’t really like in high school but who now seem less creepy, and people you don’t even know how you became “friends” with. And then there’s the sales and advertisers who are paying for access to everything about you. And Zuck and Co. are happy to oblige. After all, their IPO didn’t go so hot, and they’ve got a lot of revenue to show for their new “owners.”
So, as Facebook moves to become more and more integrated into everything you do with life, and their Facebook ads start looking more and more like the KODAK MOMENT ads of the 90’s, here’s a taste of what Facebook HOME has in mind.
Facebook Home, for example, injects Facebook directly into the most personal computer you own, your phone. It takes over text messaging, and fresh Facebook content appears every time you turn on the device’s display. It is a constant reminder that you could—should!—be sharing whatever you’re doing with your Facebook friends, in part so that Facebook and its partners can use your detritus to develop a more complete profile of who you are." -- Delete This When You're Done / New Yorker
And I’m sorry, but that was enough of a preview to haunt me into the night. Zuck and Co. as your wingman for every single activity you do with your phone. I mean, we’re almost there already, but at least we can shut the FB beast down from time to time. We are using FB more for direct communication like email and instant messaging. Facebook is constantly our news stream as we LIKE or FOLLOW more and more media companies and broadcasters. And without looking at the Terms and Conditions we are snapping and videoing our lives directly into FB’s database for THEIR later use and exploitation. And don’t think that’s paranoid talk. It’s real. You and I have just agreed to ignore it and hope for the best.
So now, can you imagine if Facebook was curating, and selecting what parts of your “friends” lives you were going to see? YEP, they already do that. It’s called the filter bubble. And how about if they used ever available data resource, including purchasing information about your non-facebook activities, that they could use to “TARGET” their ads more accurately AT you? YEP. They just started this, and now they are beginning to get the picture that I am NOT actually 103 years old. AND finally, to complete the Orwellian circle, now imagine that every app on your phone, actually ran all of it’s datapoints through the FB listening and manipulating filter. THAT’S FACEBOOK HOME.
I can’t tell you how innocent the young lives are now who are excited about the Facebook phone. I’m sure it’s going to make Facebooking even than much easier. And if having FB ads mixed in with your “friend’s” news doesn’t bother you now, well, I guess having them injecting salesy side conversations into every part of your mobile experience isn’t as bad as it might appear to me. But it sounds awful.
Can you imagine a net without Facebook? It’s a lot harder to imagine than say No Twitter or No Pinterest. Maybe Facebook has become the RSS reader of our lives. But it’s a very intuitive system. TOO intuitive in my mind. That’s why there have been several articles detailing how to kill Facebooks filter bubble and turn-on the 100% friend update channel. I haven’t done it, but I’m doing it right after this post is complete.
I’m okay with Google knowing everything about my search, email, and even some of my voice mail data. I’m okay with Amazon having purchase data on me going back 15 years. I’m even okay with Facebook OWNING my content. (Kinda.) But if Facebook becomes the operating system for the phone of the future, I think we’re all in for an unpleasant experience. Yes, I’m okay with Apple and iTunes having the same access to my data and credit card numbers. And I keep a lot of information in the cloud in various FREE services. And I have most of my privacy filters now turned OFF.
In this digital world, I am a broadcaster. I am asking you to listen to my stories. I am publishing them in as many digital forms as I can. But when ZUCK and CO. begin to sell me without compensating me, well, then I get a bit more defensive. It’s going to happen. We don’t know exactly how, or what, or why, because we/they haven’t invented it yet. But HOME is the first step along the slippery slope of asking Facebook to become your Wingman for Life.
Everything I’ve got on Facebook is here: Workin Facebook
- Delete This When You’re Done / New Yorker
- How To See Everything In Your Facebook Newsfeed / Mashable
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