Monday, May 31, 2010

There Just Aren’t Enough Days in the Year for Quit Facebook Day

Two Toronto, Canada men created a website to encourage the 400-million-plus users of the world’s largest social networking site to abandon it, because of privacy concerns.

Joseph Dee and Matthew Milan created the website, calling for Facebook users to quit en mass today, because Facebook is too hard to use.

Oh boo hoo you.

Yes, there is a complex web of settings to go through, but all it takes is a little time and even a child could figure out how to set their settings just the way they want.

And Facebook has since resolved this issue – last week their CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes to make it easier to protect private information.

Having a day of protest for a website?

Speak of lazy protesting. Back in my day, you would have grabbed a placard, your running shoes and a megaphone, and walked a picket line.

That’s how you make a statement. Or rather did.

I think that’s what concerns me more than the 6,000 nuts that joined the Quit Facebook Day website – the lack of real social awareness thanks to technological advances like the Internet.

These days, it is all too easy to create some online site to badmouth whoever or whatever you want, without any real thought.

And what’s even worse, is millions of people can join into these causes, with just as little thought or effort as the causes creators.

SO what you end up with, are a bunch of people YELLING AND SCREAMING online for reasons which they themselves don’t fully comprehend.

All it takes is for someone with an understanding of the issues to cleverly manipulate these naive protesters, and you end up with a group of people, yelling and screaming online, for something they didn’t intend too.

Either way, it certainly raises concerns over grass roots democracies which formed the basis of our current governments, via real protests over real issues, with really intelligent, thoughtful and aware individuals that actually knew what they were protesting and why.

Many of our greatest leaders have risen from the protest movement of the 1960’s – former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau was known to cause a ruckus in his university days, even current American President Barack Obama was known to take a stand on controversial issues in his pre-political days – much as he does today. Just look President Obama’s healthcare and fiscal reforms – they are very clearly taken in part from his younger days of action.

But these days, protests are days of inaction – by asking anyone with half-a-brain to “sign” online petitions, mass email everyone they know, and even going so far as to quit using online sites.

Can’t get any more inactive than to quit.

Inaction leads to no action – it is a basic law of physics, which just so happens to work with policies and procedures just as well as it does an apple falling from a tree.

Does this mean the end of grass roots politics – and in turn – the end of real knowledge, power and good governance?

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