Is Facebook working on God 2.0?
Judging by its marketing, the Internet's most popular site is curing all ills and helping mankind achieve a state of enlightenment, naked on the Internet.
I'm not a great conspiracy theorist. Mostly, when you put a group of people together - they don't have to be that smart or ambitious - and you give them a little power, it kind of goes to their head. They feel empowered to do things that feel good to the group, but not the individual. That's why big corporations make crass decisions that hurt real people and have no worth response.
Power doesn't just corrupt, it turns you into an ass. You hear me, BP?!
However,if you want to get an idea of how God 2.0, aka Facebook, will work its benevolent magic, look no further than the Facebook Blog for inspiration, or creepy messaging.
Facebook has not become self-aware yet, but when it does, we may all be very sorry. Are we supposed to believe that our enrichment comes from our interaction on Facebook? It seems like the biggest con job in the world, nicely tied to the idea that if we can give Facebook more data it will end up getting Facebook more money. You, my friend, are the dancing monkey in Facebook's world, and you are more likely to curry favor with your new Lord if you dance naked and tell him what you are eating for lunch.
It is a well known fact that most new cults require that you get naked with their leaders, or give up your bank account, or some other thing that makes you act like you are not quite yourself. Facebook is relatively benign and only requires your email address, your address, your hobbies, the names and emails of your family and friends, their addresses, what they like to do, what they want to do, when they're going somewhere, why they are going somewhere, do they want to buy anything at any point in the space time continuum, and would they like to share all that information with crazy people who they don't know, but may meet on a dark night when their status says they are alone.
Joking aside, the ultimate corporate wet dream is to have a customers tethered to and focused solely on the company's goals and not their own. Facebook's goal seems to be to make us all into homogeneous beings with no privacy and very little to offer outside of our online lives.
The message has nothing to do with finding missing kids, or bringing families together. Sure, that's nice, but do you really need Facebook to make those things happen? The impetus behind Facebook seems to be to get us to buy into the vision of the company and that vision is driven by a need to make us less private, and more susceptible to targeted messages. Maybe they figured out, the Committee that makes marketing decisions at Facebook, that the only way to get more ad dollars than Google was to just tell advertisers that they had a hook into your soul. What better way to get you to do whatever the skinny model says (because skinny models sell everything in advertising).
Less private does not equate to more open. Sharing is not caring when it comes to personal information. I don't like the Facebook mantra. I don't like it's ambition, and I don't trust its motives.
Lest we forget, Facebook's founder started this whole mess because, he put up a site where students got to rate the hotness of Harvard coeds from pictures he had hacked. That doesn't sound like much of a visionary approach to things, unless you think Girls Gone Wild is a seminal documentary series. Yup, it is kind of creepy, isn't it? I know, I said creepy twice in this article.