Sometimes it's hard to see how our individual choices can impact the biggest issues we are facing – and how our voice can be heard in a world driven by mega, "meta" corporations who control our personal data in ways that we never truly agreed to.
Why a Boycott?
This week's Facebook Logout boycott (November 11–13) is asking users to log off of Facebook and its associated properties like Instagram and WhatsApp in order to send a message. It might seem like another insignificant attempt to be heard, but we are participating both as a brand posting organic content and as an advertiser. We are doing so for the same reason that our new Generation Now is storming the halls of the latest COP26 climate conference.
The truth about Facebook's damaging policies – the many ways they have allowed false information to run rampant or encouraged political distrust – is now well documented thanks in part to whistleblower Frances Haugen. Just as troubling are the ways Facebook and Instagram are shown to negatively impact the mental health of millions of teenagers.
This boycott matters. Even if it isn't the deciding factor to ending the digital tyranny that is now well understood, it is a stand. It is a beginning of taking back our voice and our personal data and a collective human truth.
Let's Reconnect During This Break
I encourage everyone (myself included) to use this break from Facebook and Instagram to connect more directly with your friends. Go old school and call someone or, better still, take a walk outside with someone that you haven't talked to in a long time.
Yes, there are many ways that social media has moved real agendas and been helpful. I believe it can be reformed to serve the people who have trusted it with our most personal data. But only if we show up and own it. There is a lot at stake.