Minisode 003 – #DeleteFacebook is more important than you think

How to switch-off from social media

#DeleteFacebook. You’ve been thinking about it for a while now. And you’re not alone. But that private thought became a full blown civic movement this month. The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed the extent to which our personal information has been sold by Facebook to a variety of unscrupulous third parties.

The scandal burst into view when journalists from a UK television network went undercover to interview the CEO of Cambridge Analytica. The company, which had deep ties to the Donald Trump campaign, bragged about how they gained access to the personal information of 50 million Americans.

That information was used to craft fake news that was specifically tailored to manipulate voters during the election. This isn’t the first scandal involving Facebook. The misuse of private data has become an almost routine characteristic of the company. But it was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s anemic response to this scandal that outraged the American public.

Zuckerberg’s non-response unleashed, ironically, a new hashtag across social media. Delete Facebook has now become a rallying cry for those who have learned a terrible truth. Facebook is free because you are not a consumer. You’re the product. The company has become one of the biggest advertising companies in history by creating a platform that has sucked up the personal information of a billion people. Then they sold that information to the highest bidder.

But long before the Cambridge Analytica scandal there were plenty of reasons to reduce our use of social media. It’s making us sick. There is a growing body of evidence that shows social media contributes to an increase in anxiety, a decrease in self-worth and, of course, sleep disorders.

Angela Lockwood joined me in episode 54 to discuss how people can learn to disconnect. Angela is the author of the book Switch Off : How to find calm in a noisy world. She told me that most people think that it’s nearly impossible to reduce their use of social media.

Switching off and slowing down sounds like an impossible dream for most people trapped in the hamster wheel of modern life. But it is possible. You can leave the phone out of the bedroom at night. Or you can delete the Facebook app. Taking a few small steps will eventually lead to profound change.

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