Is Facebook a Cult?

There are a number of alternative names for Facebook including but not limited to; "Faceplant", "Facecrack", "Facestalk", and "Fakebook".

But these names fail to capture the sinister nature of this "social network". Now, unlike others, I am not arguing that the Facebook company itself is evil or that Facebook intentionally started a cult. It seems to me that the cult-like nature of social media emerged organically from its users. This is easy to demonstrate by observing other services like Instagram, Twitter, and even Reddit.

Top similarities between Facebook and Cults

  • Strict adherence to "Leaders".
  • Thou Shalt not Question.
  • Connects members with other people (much-needed human contact).
  • Creates a feeling of belonging (at times).
  • Fosters "us vs them" mentality.
  • Devotees compelled to invest inordinate amounts of time.
  • Most loyal members feel like there would be little to no social life outside of the Cult/Facebook

    Zealous users of the platforms create sub groups, cliques, and ideology that is then perpetuated and enforced throughout the eco-system. Strict adherence to the "leaders" and punishment for any heretics that go against the prevailing truth. This isn't necessarily a right or left thing, in fact, it can vary depending on the platform, topic, or geographic location of the group/users.

    Over time these attributes have only become more apparent, with Facebook Marketplace creating a place for devotees to buy and sell within the cult, more group features to benefit businesses that devote time marketing on Facebook and appeasing the converted.

    I have witnessed the negative effect Facebook has on people and their relationships. For whatever reason, the platform makes people mean, combative, narcissistic and creates a very cult-like atmosphere. I see businesses pushing all of their own customers to their Facebook page without realizing that Facebook is building a pay-to-play system where you pay to build your audience and then you have to pay again to reach the audience you paid for. This is why I do not promote my Facebook Business page and why I encourage other small businesses to avoid the same mistake.

    People should understand that Facebook and other social media sites own the rights to every photo you post, every thought you share, or post you make. They can reuse or display that content in any way they wish but usually, it's as simple as selling advertising space to businesses to keep the cult growing.

    I would like to end on a positive note, and there is a silver lining. Anyone can quit Facebook or most other cults at any time. It's not easy, and there will always be a fear that there is no life outside or that you will lose a connection with some family and friends (which might happen). But be encouraged that there are many of us on the outside that will be happy to welcome you with open arms and maybe a cup of coffee in real life.

  • faceplant

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