If Facebook has taught us gentlemen at Seriously Man anything, it’s that:
- Having a style uniform in place, such as wearing the same grey crew neck and denim everyday, can relieve precious minutes in the morning so we may focus on matters of national importance.
- Privacy policies don’t mean squat. You are your own privacy police – if personal data mean anything to you, that is.
Social media giants, Facebook, has recently found itself in the headlines again – and it is still not for the right reasons. Off the back of dipping shares and unpopular algorithm changes, it is now embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica shitstorm, in which some 50 million users’ data were compromised.
Although this incident is not the first massive data breach (and not the last, we’re willing to wager) to take place, the misappropriation of users’ sensitive information and its alleged involvement in U.S. president Donald Trump’s election campaign have stirred anti-Facebook sentiments to new heights.
New Trending Movement: #DeleteFacebook
Over at the other side of the world, the aftermath saw a growing ‘#DeleteFacebook’ movement appealing to the hoi polloi to boycott the blue brand. Apparently, it is not just the general public that has caught on; prominent figures such as Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk and Whatsapp co-founder Brian Acton have also chimed in.
We certainly remember the good ol’ times when Facebook served as a digital playground for indiscriminate ‘poking’, before it became a second-fiddle YouTube for cat videos and the de facto ad space for business organisations. In Singapore, Facebook accounts for approximately 70% of social media penetration among users here, according to 2017 statistics. In the same year, there were 3.04 million Facebook users, with a projected increase to 3.16 million this year. That works out to be about 60% of the Singapore population.
The numbers are certainly nothing to scoff at, which explains why Facebook regional representatives had to hold a conversation with Singapore’s Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods and home affairs minister K Shanmugam to, essentially, own up to the fuck-ups – which includes Facebook being a medium for the purveyance of fake news.
Man Lesson 101: Accept Responsibility For Your Transgressions And Move On…
…even if it means dishing out a late apology, right? While being forthcoming with one’s mistakes is a great starting point on the road to redemption, the question we want to ask is this: Could the call for Facebook deletion be a fad that would come to pass, à la #MeToo?
Last year, news broke that Yahoo (who?) suffered a data breach of its own, which affected 3 billion accounts. Yes, 3 billion – a fuck-up that dwarfs Facebook’s by 60 times. But that seemed to have been forgotten rather quickly.
Seeing how deeply entrenched Facebook is in people’s lives – its web of influence include owning Instagram and Whatsapp, two of Singapore’s top social channels – another question is this: Has Facebook become too big to be deleted? (Another indication is how it has become a generic trademark, like Colgate. Would you forgo brushing your teeth and risk Gingivitis?)
(P.S. W.r.t the grooming kings here, your answer better be a resounding ‘No’.)
Of course, the Facebook Gingivitis would entail the loss of the social giant’s merits: a major avenue to raise awareness on worthy causes, reconnecting with long lost classmates who have become scarily unrecognisable, and conducting meticulous research on a Tinder match to red-flag the hell out of him/her.
With that in mind, are Singaporeans really ready to disengage from their favourite social media channel for good?
Singaporean Redditors Weigh In
“I decided to delete my Facebook because I wanted less interaction with people who add me because they know me from school/work/somewhere but don’t actually regard as a friend…” – clockticktockings
“…Quit FB way back in 2013/2014. Sure, Facebook allows you to ‘delete’ your account. But, is it really deleted?” – somanynamesareused
“I keep FB around to find out how my friends living overseas are doing because not all of them use Insta/other social media platforms. I don’t really post anything on my end these days, am lazy lol.” – greenteabaka
“I still use FB to feed myself entertainment and content but I have stopped posting on it since 2015. The biggest problem I have with it is their disregard for privacy. Why the fuck do my friends need to know what post am I commenting on or what photo did I like…” – S2MAX
“I still have FB but I do not use my real name.” – kaiserkhai
“All y’all talking about quitting Facebook because hardly anyone uses it anymore etc but Facebook is pretty good for selling stuff. Like being in my uni’s flea market group enables you to sell ANYTHING… from study desks to sheet masks to subletting your apartment (for foreign kids).
That’s the main reason I still keep fb around, and for the occasional cute cat videos…” – littlesuperherogirl
“For what, quit now no difference when they already amassed information on me…” – kyloshotfirst
“Not too sure what was the rage all about.. Their T&C had state that they have the rights over informations that are uploaded to the website (All social media have this term). People are just becoming more aware of this and start to freak out…” – Flyincatz
“It’s no use to quit FB or any other social media, since most of it are owned by FB itself. Pretty sure they had dibs on our information the moment we signed up for an account so long ago. I deleted or deactivated everything since last year.” – ciao_adios
“…You see, people posting so many pics of how rich they are, being able to go on vacations… it gets to me. I subconscious compare myself to them. Made me one very, very miserable person.
That, and well, when you’re offline, you realise that hey, no one really gives two shits about you, or has a reason to, either. Makes you treasure actual physical people-people interactions and relationships more.” – lewloy