I’ve decided to share stuff here instead of on Facebook. At first I was just going to give up all sharing online, but I’m like a smoker who “needs” to chew gum to take the place of the cigarette, and when I get the urge to post, I figure this is a healthier outlet.
I’ve got to say though that it is very freeing not wondering about who I might annoy or how I’ll be perceived when I post something here. I pretty much know that nobody is going to see my posts here and that’s OK. If someone wants to know what I’m thinking about, let them work a little to come here. In the meantime it is kind of fun expressing myself in a much emptier/less cramped environment. Or forever as the case may be. If you are reading this, you are probably the only one in case you are wondering.
I’ve also been thinking about what is wrong about Facebook today. I think I’ve decided that it is the “News Feed.” It’s funny that we worry about robots taking over the planet (ok, some of us worry) when we have turned over much of the decision about the information we consume to robots. What determines what shows up in your News Feed? A robot. Or more precisely a computer algorithm, and a proprietary one at that. Did you see your sister’s new baby today? No? A robot decided not to show you that. Did you see that your neighbor is at Disneyland Jamaica living it up? A robot decided to show you that. Did the robot remind you of your home you used to live in last year that burned down this week? And so on.
In fact, FB has even admitted to tweaking the News Feed algorithm to study how it can affect people, with narry an IRB board or research ethics team in sight. Still waiting for the robot invasion? I think it’s here, it’s just happening with information processing rather than motorcycle riding cyber soldiers.
Anyway, if you don’t like this post, hey, it’s your own fault for reading it. No robot pushed it in front of your eyes. And thankfully, if you did like this post, you don’t need to feel obligated to clicking a like button because there isn’t one to push.