Im not at all happy with the commercialization of social media and the commoditization of its members (you and me). In a recent post here, I proclaimed the destruction of my Facebook account as I made the shift to Ello. However Ello soon became one massive disappointment. The interface was terribly unfriendly to use (despite the minimalist design that I loved) and it was just a pain to navigate. Soon after my act of Facebook suicide, I realized Ello was not the answer to the social media dilemma. Fortunately Facebook allows its users to return to life if done within 30 days of deletion. So just like the resurrection of Christ, I too rose from from the dead.
One of the major disappointments of Ello was the revelation of the social media start-up accepting $435,000 in seed funding from Vermont based venture firm FreshTracks Capital back in March. The reality of this became clear; Ello was not founded on some noble intention to be the un-facebook. In fact, its the complete opposite. Its all about the money. I’m sure the owners are already planning the IPO. In fact, I wouldnt be one bit surprised to hear Ello eventually gets acquired by Facebook.
I really don’t know what to say about social media anymore. I continue to grow frustrated and angered at the fact that I am participating in a business that goes against everything I believe in. The Czars of Facebook continue to make billions of dollars and trade on the stock exchange at the expense of its members (i.e. products). After all, WE are the products that Facebook manufacturers. This goes for all of social media including twitter and tumblr. I really don’t like being whored out by these pimps. I am speaking as someone who is very active on social media with 5000 Facebook friends, 4400 page likes and abouther 4000 twitter followers. It turns my stomach to think that these parasites are making money on me. It seems like we are all becoming products. Sure, I have benefited from social media. More eyes are viewing my art, resulting in more traffic to my website and potentially more opportunities for exhibitions etc.
At this point I don’t have a solution to the moral and ethical dilemma of social media. While I maintain my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I have eliminated everything else including flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest. I try to post original content on my own website and blog and link to it from Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps there will come a day when I walk away from social media for good. Until then I will probably continue to bitch about it.