Andrew Keen: Facebook Is ‘Zucking Up’ Human Society

Something even dodgier than a potential stock market fraud is going on. By sabotaging what it really means to be human, Facebook is stealing the innocence of our inner lives. It may even be “Zucking” us up as a species.

We are creating a world in which our sense of identity, of who we actually are, is defined by what others think of us. Social media’s ubiquity means that we are losing that most precious of human things — our sense of self . Our devices are always on; our “Timeline” is there for everyone to see; we are living in public on a radically transparent global network that, by 2020, will be fed by 50 billion intelligent devices carried by the majority of people on the planet. Yes, digital narcissism is a narcotic.


It’s time to wake up to the truth about social media. Networks like Facebook have turned us into products in which their only economic value is our personal data. Like any other addiction, we need recognize its destructive reality. Facebook is free because it sells our most intimate data to advertisers. Forget about last week’s dodgy IPO. The fraud is on anyone who has ever used Facebook.

At the dawn of our brave new networked 21st century world, we are faced with two options. Either, we succumb to the narcotic of digital narcissism, turn ourselves inside out and let our kids inherit a world in which the quiet mystery of the disciplined private self becomes a historical artifact. Or we fight our growing addiction to social media so that we are no longer enslaved to the personal update, the tweet or the check-in. Privacy or publicness? It’s not a hard choice. Zuck-up or save the species. I trust you’ll know which one to make.

Have you already been “Zucked up” by Facebook? Tell us what you think about this write-up!

Source: CNN

Image: Scoop

What the Facebook IPO Means

We all knew he’d eventually get around to it: Mark Zuckerberg is expected to finally bring Facebook public. The company is reported to be preparing to file for an IPO — initial public offering — through which anyone will be able to buy shares of the social networking company on an open stock exchange.

In reality, however, I don’t think we are witnessing Facebook’s victory over the financial markets as much as its acquiescence to them. Yes, Apple challenged Microsoft for software supremacy, just as Facebook now challenges Google for Internet supremacy. But there’s another operating system churning away beneath all this high tech activity, and it’s called corporate capitalism. If a company is big enough — and that means simply holding enough money — then sooner or later that money influences the rest of the company’s activities.

In Facebook’s case, it meant approaching the legal limit of 500 investors, which triggers a requirement to open the books to regulatory scrutiny. It also meant dealing with a few thousand coveted employees who took jobs at Facebook instead of Google or Apple or anywhere else because they were hoping to get in on a big thing.


The more money a company takes in, the more obligated it becomes to function in accordance with the properties and rules of money. It’s a real corporation, now, and has to behave like one. By all accounts, Zuckerberg was trying to delay this eventuality as long as possible. However much we may not like his vision for our future, his primary purpose was to change the world.

Instead of revolutionizing our reality, by filing an IPO Mark Zuckerberg is finally getting with the program.

 

Source: CNN

Image: iBug