I’ve never really felt comfortable posting on Facebook. Like most of you, I am only there because you are there– because of ‘network effect’.. It is certainly not because I resonate with the vibe of Facebook or its ethos. Over the last years, this unease has grown to encompass all the main social platforms. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what it is exactly.
Of course, you too have probably been hearing about all the issues with Facebook. How it is undermining democracy, exacerbating conflict, addicting people to their phones, distracting us with adds, sucking us in to hours of scrolling. And indeed, my own experience here convinces me. These platform are not a good things.
It’s not that social media is intrinsically bad, nor that facebook’s intentions are malign, or someone behind it is evil. Actually, it comes down to geometry.
There’s a simple reason beneath all the complex issues and concerns: Facebook is structured as a for-profit corporation. As a consequence, no matter how well intentioned its founder, executives, or employees, no matter its mission or vision, working beneath all this is a geometric pattern of energy management destined to subvert all of its endeavours. The way that the enterprise is designed around the priority of profit and the distribution of this profit inwards into the hands of its owners and shareholders contaminates all intentions of openness, greeness, sharing of knowledge etc. It is an energy dynamic that, no matter what it tries to do, no matter what form it morphes (or “metastasizes” into) will continuously extract energy from society and the biosphere, concentrating it in the hands of its owners, and seek to devise ever more effective ways to do so.
When Facebook and other of the big social media platforms started up, for-profit business was the only paradigm to operate under. It has the momentum of centuries of steady development of doing business in a capital based economy. Of course, it actually isn’t the only way to do business.
Societies, cooperatives, tribes and more have operated without spiralling energy inwards into ever great concentration all over the world. Indeed, organisms and ecologies work in the opposite way all around us. Instead of steadily concentrating energy, this disperse and dissipate outwards and upwards through the biosphere.
Finally, I am happy to be able to fully articulate the reasoning for my dis-ease on the platform, and likewise, my reluctance for posting on other for-profit, big company platforms: medium, linked in, wordpress, etc). But what to do? Do we just stop posting and sharing to deny these monsters (as that is in fact what they are, gobbling energy up and concentrating them).
At last, I think I’ve found the appropriate constellation of platforms to do so.
In particular… I am excited about GHOST. I am transitioning my 20 year personal blogging site from wordpress now (a for-profit corporation) to my own server install of ghost.org open source platform (a not-for profit enterprise, that disclose their net-zero carbon impact and their fiances).
Does this mean I will stop using Facebook or the other platforms?
I am excited to say…. NO! 🤩
Instead, I will post MORE on social media now. But this won’t be where my primary posts go, nor where I will seek follows. Instead, they will be echoes of the originals on ghost that will all lead back to the open source, non-profit, carbon-tracking, decentralized platform that is my medium and expression, both at the same time.
This way, my posts on pro-profit-platforms will not only offer an alternative, they will be an alternative, and they can point to that alternative: decentralized, opensource writing on platforms running from our own servers and setups where we can follow and support each other without comprimising our soul.
Check out my new site and follow me at www.earthen.io
(I will keep this russs.net for personal blogging and use earthen for professional posting such as essay and inventions).