11 April 2018 | No One is Deleting Anything

Every now and then, I will see on the Interwebs how people are calling on others to delete Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever it is the kids are in to these days and it makes me chuckle. Because no one is going to do anything like that when it comes to things they like.

Now, I've known for some time that social media is garbage, and this is why I don't have a Facebook or Twitter account. But like you, I'm sure everyone you know certainly uses one of those services if not both or more. And with the news that Facebook didn't really care about your privacy and allowed all sorts of personal data to be scraped by Cambridge Analytica so that it could be used for ill effects, here come the calls to delete Facebook as protest.

Yeah, right.

People are not going to do that. Well, at least not enough for it to matter. I heard there was at least one high profile user who deleted his page: Elon Musk, the unquestioned darling of techie boys who can do no wrong. But this act didn't precipitate a wave of deletions at all. And I certainly did not think it would. Not enough people will remove their Facebook accounts beyond a stated "I probably should," but then the irrational factors come into play that masquerade as rational arguments: how will I stay in touch with my friends? What if I need to communicate something really important? Then comes the denial that you could ever be duped into taking one of those quizzes that we now know were mostly bogus and designed to elicit personal data from you. Top that off with the dead certain belief that I can't be so easily fooled, because I can spot a scam or fake news from a mile away. And in the end, you won't be deleting anything.

Social media is not an invaluable service that people can't live without. But that's what they've been trained to believe, in the same way it's probably a good idea to get an extended warranty on your iPad or your car because, well, "just in case." And this is also why I found Mark Zuckerberg's appearance in Congress to be the farce I knew it would be: lots of "we can do better" and "this doesn't reflect our values" type of BS that companies always say when they get caught doing bad things. I don't know why he looked so worried going into his testimony because just about no one there knew how Facebook worked, or, if you're a particularly stupid senator from Tejas, just wanted the opportunity to bitch about conserative voices "being silenced" on the platform. Zuckerberg should have left the chamber with a big smile intact because he knows Congress isn't going to do anything about regulating his toxic company.

And in the same way, no one is going to be doing any deleting of Facebook. You're addicted and prefer to remain that way.