Prayag Verma | Thursday, November 07, 2013 | No comments

I love Facebook.

There, I’ve said it.

It’s one of the very few “social” places I’d be genuinely sad to see gone from the internet.

That’s crazy, right? I mean, Facebook is just a personal data farm, isn’t it? It’s just a not-too-coy set of dopamine-optimized actions to trick you into dumping information about yourself into the magic Zucker Woodchipper? And do you know what comes out of the Zucker Woodchipper? Gold nuggets. Made of advertising. And then leprechauns dump those gold nuggets into political lobbying — ha ha!

I’m not denying any of this. It is an ad machine, in part. But that doesn’t mean Facebook can’t also provide value. (We’re partially to blame for these ad machines — we’ve given them permission to exist by not wanting to pay for things … but that’s another post.)

Ad issues aside, there is the possibility that nobody else derives the same value from Facebook that I do. Fair enough. But let me tell you why I like Facebook so much. It’s very simple.

Facebook keeps me connected to folks I care deeply about who aren’t nearby.

That’s it. That’s the core value Facebook provides me. It’s one of my very few “emotive” online experiences. And it provides that experience daily and tangibly.

My newsfeed is almost all signal. This is, in part, because I am ruthless. If you are overtly negative (which is different than having opinions differing from my own), you get hidden. If I don’t find value in your postings, you get hidden. If you’re a high school friend I friended just to be nice, I hide.

I hide unhesitatingly.

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