Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

We Should Replace Facebook With Personal Websites

Jason Koebler, Vice:

There’s a subtext of the #deleteFacebook movement that has nothing to do with the company’s mishandling of personal data. It’s the idea that people who use Facebook are stupid, or shouldn’t have ever shared so much of their lives. But for people who came of age in the early 2000s, sharing our lives online is second nature, and largely came without consequences. There was no indication that something we’d been conditioned to do would be quickly weaponized against us.

Facebook has of course become something much larger than a single website, and has, despite its flaws, “helped connect the world” for better or worse. But Facebook tapped into a trend that was already happening — it didn’t invent the idea of letting people put stuff about their lives online, it just monetized it better.

More than once, upon giving my personal email address to someone, have I been asked how I managed to set up a website of my own. It is seen as impressive when, theoretically, it ought to be very simple. The tools have been made a bit easier; Squarespace, for example, is far easier to use than preceding DIY website builders. But they are not easy enough, and there is still a psychological barrier, not to mention financial constraints.