With the current boycott of spending advertising dollars on Social Media platforms, it reminded me that I was overdue in speaking out about our departure from Social Media last year, aka Social Media Distancing.
From the time the Information Super Highway was a dirt road, I have been an optimistic pessimist in regards to the Highway …reading Clifford Stolls: Silicon Snake Oil paved that Highway for me.
At the Sol Center, we had been questioning the efficacy of social media platforms for a long time. Cambridge Analytica, constant false news and adverts, personal privacy, the incendiary ramblings of elected officials, etc …it was all really just too anti-social, and not at all compatible with the verdant mindful mission of the Sol Center.
In the fall of 2019 it all became abundantly clear, that it was now the time to depart and no longer offer any support to Social Media platforms in any fashion.
The catalyst for this departure came about after reading what happened with Suzie Kelly and the loss of her retirement savings. The data that Facebook and Aristocrat had compiled about Suzie, allowed Aristocrat’s behavioral analytics to easily recognize and prey upon her gambling addiction, or that of any Facebook user. Good News! Susie, and two other Plaintiffs were able to reach a class action agreement in principle totaling 155 million in the Spring of 2020.
Upon learning about the peril of Suzie, I had come to realize that our departure from Social Media needed to happen with immediate effect, Natasha understood and agreed. The business implications of a social media presence for the Sol Center or Natasha could no longer, in any form, be justified …and with that we were gone.
From a purely business perspective the decision was difficult, but it was conscience, reasoned, and liberating.
I do miss the adventures of: Felix at Huddersfield Station, Augie the Plant Doggie, my cousin washing his RV, Sadie Golden, and of course your adventures as well. So for now whilst we practice Social Media Distancing, I just imagine.
To be truly effective in forcing the hand of change on Social Media platforms, an entity cannot simply temporarily or permanently suspend the spending of advertising dollars. Entities must remove themselves from Social Media platforms entirely …and the same for individuals.