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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Facebook

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

Shoshana Zuboff

2019

Link

2019-03-17

- Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (2019)

They say on Facebook, you're not the customer, you're the product. Which, according to the book, is not even quite true. You're the raw material from which data and predictions can be extracted.

And so Facebook's goal is not your satisfaction or happiness. Your dissatisfaction and insecurity is more likely to keep you on the site, hoping for something to make you feel better, like a gambler trying to recoup losses.

The author says going off the grid is like tunneling under the Berlin wall -- it won't really change the big picture. But I'm not out to change the world. The thought occurs that maybe there's a way to redesign the Facebook interface, so I don't have to socially disappear, but I get to use FB on my own terms. I think my book posts make me happy, but maybe it'd be better if I didn't know whether they were getting likes or not. They are little band-aids, I guess, to limit Facebook's emotional powers, but perhaps a good first step.