The other night I was with my wife and daughters at a pop concert when my mom called me just as the main act was taking the stage. Normally, I would have let the call go to voicemail, but I knew my mom was upset, so I picked up. “My son, what happened to you? Please, tell me.”, she implored. I marveled at the fact I could actually hear her while I assured her that everything was fine and that I simply had decided to delete my Facebook account. She said, “Oh, my lord. I tried to tag you in a post and you were gone!” By this time, thousands of teenage girls had gone through the arena roof, so I promised to call her back and explain to her why I had committed, what to her seemed like digital suicide.
I spoke with my mom, today and she had assumed that I left Facebook due to the privacy issues being promoted in the “mockingbird media”, but I was aware of privacy issues since Sun Microsystem’s Scott McNealy warned us about it way back in 1999. I have also been aware for years that Facebook was funded by the CIA’s venture capital arm called In-Q-Tel and that the NSA had tapped into our telecommunications network and was sucking up all voice and data traffic for analysis. In the 80’s Brzezinski stated in his book, The Grand Chessboard that soon the government would have a database containing everything there is to know about each and every one of us. I did not need a congressional hearing to make me aware that the day he spoke of had long arrived.
No, it wasn’t privacy that made me leave, I left Facebook because I realized it was adding very little value to my life.
There was a time when Facebook was a really good platform for learning and sharing ideas. I was so enamored with it that I stopped self-censoring and decided to openly promote the ideas of freedom and liberty. I spoke out in favor of the 2nd Amendment, I pointed people towards information about false flags and the evils of central banking. I did my best to explain the value of the free market and how fundamentally it was based on the Non-Aggression Principle. I raised concerns about our one-party political system and how the State managed to grow despite who was in power. I accepted being known as a tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist in the name of peace and liberty. I was willing to suffer the anger and scorn from hundreds of friends because I thought there was a chance that one or two of them might be exposed to concepts powerful enough to change their perspective. I was an optimist because I had the conviction of the converted. In a matter of years, I had gone from being a card-carrying member of Moveon.org to finding myself making minor contributions to LewRockwell.com.
Those days of learning and making new connections were the glory days of Facebook. I spent hours researching libertarian and Austrian Economic thought. I would then use Facebook to stay connected with thought leaders and to share what I was learning with others. Today, Facebook’s value proposition has declined to the point where it no longer makes sense to expose oneself. Sharing ideas on Facebook today is completely futile, there is very little room for collaboration and constructive discourse. People on Facebook are dug in and entrenched daring enemies to say something from behind fortified lines. The vast majority of Facebook users have adopted a “you’re with us or against us” mentality which has created an environment in which people are uncomfortable signaling agreement with anything more significant than baby pictures, pet antics or photos of a somewhat appetizing meal.
If I had to put my finger on it, I would say that the inflection point was when university professors felt entitled to use bike locks to crack open the skulls of those they disagreed with while other professors were being run off campuses for having politically incorrect views. It was at this time that I realized many of the people I was interacting with thought it was acceptable to punch people in the face with whom they disagreed. I was amazed at how many people were and are comfortable with Facebook and other technology companies censoring ideas they disagreed with. So, why bother? People are not listening, they don’t want to hear it and many think violence is justified in shutting up those they don’t agree with.
As always, there is a silver lining to this situation for us libertarians. We do not look to the government to solve problems through regulation, which appears to be the reason why privacy is now an issue in the mockingbird media. We accept situations for what they are, we adapt and we overcome or die trying. I have found a new social network to share ideas on and I’m also using this moment in time to switch browsers and email providers. It is time for all of us to find new solutions and to abandon those that are no longer working for us. God ordered Isaiah to preach no matter how difficult the task, but he didn’t tell him where or how to do it. For me, Facebook is no longer fruitful, I’m off to sow seeds in less barren fields.