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Are We All Prisoners of Facebook?

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Some people run afoul of Facebook’s rules and find themselves locked out of their accounts for a few hours or a few weeks. They call it “Facebook jail.”

I’m a Facebook prisoner of a different kind. About a month ago, I tried to delete my Facebook account. I couldn’t quite pull it off.

Deleting or deactivating an account is supposed to be easy, just a matter of a few clicks. But I kept trying and failing. My laptop screen would go blank. The app on my phone would keep popping up timeout errors.

Truth is, I’ve been wanting to leave social media for a long time. I kept finding excuses to stay.

But I also had the inescapable sense that I was wasting huge amounts of time. Didn’t I have a mountain of books to read? Shouldn’t I be writing something? And don’t I have kids?

I started calling Facebook “Zuckerberg’s dopamine hit machine” because that’s really what it is. Read some of the growing literature on the perniciousness of social media and you’ll get my meaning. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are a behaviorist’s dream. You make a post. You wait for “likes.” You scroll. You “like.”

Read the rest in the Sacramento Bee.

Photo Credit: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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