Commentary

Facebook is Slowly Sucking Our Lives Away, And That's A Good Thing

On Facebook’s Q1 2016 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said that, “Today, people around the world spend on average more than 50 minutes a day using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger…and that doesn’t count WhatsApp.” In 2014, that number was only 40 minutes. This proves the effectiveness of Facebook’s model and reinforces the social media giant as a great platform for advertisers.

But is ten minutes in two years really something to write home about? Surely consumers can do better than that. In fact, I challenge them to do so.

While some may voice concerns about the loss of human connection or some sort of social media addiction, the increased usage is actually a good thing. The trouble with human connection is that it isn’t sterile. Besides, no one’s making any money off of those interactions.

Every minute consumers spend on the site puts food on the table for a bevy of marketers, advertisers, social media managers and the odd small business that takes to the platform to refute bad Yelp reviews and finds themselves a viral sensation.

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So really, spending time on Facebook is a truly selfless act, like a tree that falls in a forest, allowing smaller plants to grow on its lifeless, nutrient-rich frame.

Facebook has started to bet heavily on virtual reality devices that users can strap to their heads, going even deeper into the clean and curated digital realm, and moving far away from mortal cares like physical appearance and public decorum. The only thing missing is a way for people to take care of their bodies, but the minute Facebook acquires TaskRabbit, a sponge bath and a snack is just a click away.

At the end of the day, Facebook is both the reason we connect and the means to connect. There’s a reason it’s called a news feed—it fills us up with all the good feelings we could ever need, so that we never need to look anywhere else.

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