It’s interesting watching the paranoid display their paranoia. I love their conspiracy theories and listening to them rattling on about how terrible it is that the Government are doing this or the Government are doing that, and their references to it being a ‘big brother’ state. Fools. They’ll hold court about cctv or id cards or about paperwork or about photos on id cards or dna records or police stops or anything but the one single thing they should be being wary of: The internet, especially Facebook.
For some reason the paranoia stops at the internet. They think it’s their friend, even an ally against their fears of ‘big brother’. They will happily use free web-based mail services or search engines or social networks and media without even seeing what’s really going on. Information and statistics about them isn’t being collected by the Government or the police, but by the providers of the ‘free’ internet services they are using. It’s available to anybody who wishes to pay for it, and it’s freely available for those who don’t want to pay for it, even me.
Not only do places like Facebook collect and store all sorts of information about the users, including their entire life story, but Facebook regiments its users in a way that Communist China could have only dreamed of.
Everything about a Facebook user’s life is carefully and obligingly written-up by the user him or herself. Their life story, their profile, who they are, what they are. Pictures of their indiscretions, comments on where they’ve worked. Their families, their holidays, everything. Nothing is missed out. And, as with everything on the internet, it never really goes away. The info is there forever even after it’s currently ‘deleted’.
Nothing on the internet is every truly deleted, once it’s out there it’s out there.
Via Facebook anybody, not just the feared Government or police, can watch as people change from single to in a relationship, get married (complete with all the photos conveniently labelled with who’s who) and then become single again. Everything about the user is available forever. Now that’s just got to be far superior to any database or surveillance that any Government could have wished for!
Facebook also regiments and controls people. Just as in Communist China everybody had to look the same and wear the same, so they have to within Facebook. There is no place for an individual to express themselves outside of the framework and structure they are forced to accept from Facebook. They have no control over the colours, the content, the fonts, the style or layout of Facebook. They have to pick the nearest ‘location’ and ‘network’ they are allowed to belong to, they can’t invent a new one. Those who deviate from the norm and maybe actually belong to more than one ‘network’ are not allowed to. Those who live in places Facebook hasn’t heard of are not allowed to live there. Those who are in relationships that can’t be categorised by the options available have to either not mention it, or lie and pick the nearest in order to conform as they are profiled and catalogued. Everything about Facebook is regimented and fits inside pre-determined little boxes or it doesn’t exist.
This, of course, is because Facebook is really just a huge gigantic database of information and surveillance and an agent of conformity. It is designed to reduce the independence of the users and to make them passively accept and comply. It is the ultimate mind control.
Why won’t Facebook users reject any or all of this and make a bid for freedom? Peer pressure. They want to be part of what everybody else is part of, and they fear that if they aren’t they’ll somehow miss out. Truthfully, of course, the only thing they’ll miss out on is voluntarily putting even more intimate details about themselves into the massive database they can never delete anything from. Fear of missing out on Facebook is so strong that when the occasional account is ‘frozen’ because the user has been ‘out of line’, fear of the loss of all their photos, their online life and friends, drives the user to be completely compliant when their account is reinstated. Such is the complete level of mind control Facebook has over its users.
To keep Facebook users even more compliant and to start to empty their wallets, low grade ‘games’ are available. These are far more expensive to use than ‘proper’ multiplayer or interactive games, but Facebook users bow to the carefully designed peer pressure to see what their ‘friends’ are up to when playing these games, and the only way they can do this is to pay to play themselves. Like a virus it multiplies and takes control of the Facebook user, and it’s also stored as evidence forever.
Would I want to employ somebody whose data I can easily see from Facebook tells me that they spend all day playing games? Would the pictures of them puking during their latest night out (And why the feck are all the photos people put on Facebook of them hideously drunk?) tell me more about them than I’d get at interview? Oh look, they can’t seem to hold down a relationship. Hmmm. That’s not nice, they said they’d kill somebody. Whoops, is that a hint of racism in that joke on their wall?
Of course, the paranoid conversations we first mentioned about the Government and the police and all that surveillance will even go on via Facebook, yet they are far too conditioned to appreciate the complete irony. Somewhere the real ‘big brother’ is laughing at just how compliant they are as it is watching and controlling them.