What Having a Face on a Book Really Means

If you think about it, the name ‘Facebook’ is a bit creepy.

When it started, it wasn’t so bad. It brought to mind an image of a book full of the faces of people you love.

Kind of sweet, really.

Now, it’s like sitting down to read a book in the privacy of your home…

And the book watches you.

It’s closer to the vision of 1984, where you didn’t watch television – television watched you.

What’s worse is how inhuman this face is. It watches you without judgement, accepting whatever truth of yourself you show it. How Zen! Except it’s constantly analysing, labelling, measuring, assessing…

With cold, dead, mechanical eyes, it guesses as to whether you’ll buy soup or shampoo.

But even if we got rid of all the bigger problems with it:

the rampant privacy violations, the stalking, the bullying, the psychological experiments, the divisiveness, the censorship, the advertising, the incessant comparison of your life against sanitised others…

There’s still a fundamental problem with it – and every other social media platform.

I do mean every.

You could design the most benign, user-respecting social media platform out there – and some folks have – and it wouldn’t escape this gnawing chasm lying at the heart of it.

Such platforms can do a lot of good… but they can’t escape this fundamental problem.

But you, my pendo, can.

Not only can you avoid the real cost of social media, you can go the other way. You can flip the problem into a handy talent – one that makes you more interesting, charismatic and, yes, even attractive, without having to change too much.


Pages 19-20 of this month’s Phronesis Accelerator explain how.

Grab it before the deadline here:


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