Facebook in sharp decline. Not only because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that exposed some uncomfortable truths about the global system and highlighted how the giant behind Zuckerberg is now interconnected with Data Scientist companies, the agencies that collect sensitive user information online to classify us, control us, and steer us toward mass consumption. But also because it’s starting to bore us.
According to a study by Pew Research Center, it appears that 40% of young people have removed the application from their mobile phones, and hundreds and hundreds of users are closing their profiles daily, to the point that the company has decided to extend the time required to permanently delete an account – they announce up to 30 days – hoping for a change of heart on the part of the user.
Born as a “social aggregator,” Facebook was – and to some extent still is – the virtual space where friends, colleagues, acquaintances, relatives could meet and be in constant contact, share an experience, a feeling of anger, hope, love, a moment of joy or sorrow, a place to even find themselves through a kind of collective therapy by comparing themselves with their contacts. A platform useful to the spirit and also to real life. Some have indeed found jobs through Facebook, some love, some new artistic inspiration, some themselves.
A window to the world, then, for those who, for one reason or another, could not leave their homes. There were those who worked far from family, those with children studying abroad, those with grandchildren on vacation in Papua New Guinea, those with a spouse overseas, in short: the social network was a “helping hand” for relationships, a constant and present “big brother” in the lives of loved ones. A way to never feel alone but part of a whole.
It was also the possibility to stay in touch with anyone, discovering the strengths and weaknesses of this “anyone.” It’s no coincidence that many family or friendship relationships have strengthened and others unfortunately (or fortunately) ended precisely because of Facebook. You can cheat initially on social media, but the eye of an attentive observer is enough to break down the whitewashed walls, or rather, the photoshopped lives.
In Facebook, truth, I have always maintained. And so, the best has emerged from the best, and the worst from the worst.
Federico Di Mattia