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Yet another former Facebook executive has come out and expressed his guilt and concern over the role he had in developing the hugely popular social media giant, Facebook.

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Chamath Palihapitiya, the vice-president for user growth at Facebook prior to leaving the company in 2011, said, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we created are destroying how society works. . . . No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.”

These remarks were made at a Stanford Business School event in November, but were recently published by tech website The Verge earlier this week.

“This is not about Russian ads, this is a global problem. It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.”

Interestingly, Palihapitiya is not the first former Facebook president to come out and expose the truth behind this corporation. Sean Parker also said in a press conference that he was “something of a conscientious objector” to using social media. These words were echoed by Palihapitiya, who says he is now hoping to use the money he made during his time at Facebook to do good in the world.

When a former president of such a massive corporation has such strong words to say about their employer, I would say it’s certainly worth considering. He is passionate about not using Facebook himself or even letting his kids use it, so there must be a good reason.  

He called on his audience to “soul-search” in regards to their own relationship to social media, saying, “Your behaviors, you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much you’re willing to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.”

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What a powerful statement. I think many of us are aware by now of how addictive Facebook can be, but the idea that it is actually controlling our thoughts and actions gives a whole new level of concern and is certainly something to be wary of.

Palihapitiya’s advice is a bit different from the other warning given by Parker earlier this year, as Parker says what Facebook is doing is and always has been intentional. To read more about Parker’s warning for Facebook users, click here.

What Can We Take Away?

Sure, many of us use Facebook on a daily basis, and perhaps too much. You may even be reading this article because you happened upon it by scrolling through your News Feed. Facebook can be an incredible tool for connection and for sharing information, but it is important to take a step back from time to time and determine whether you are controlling Facebook or if Facebook is controlling you. Do you rely solely on Facebook for your daily news? If so, you may not even realize that Facebook is dictating every piece of information you digest, and no doubt, they have their own agenda. Don’t forget that. There are some simple things you can do to take your power back, however.

1. Limit your time on social media.

Don’t let Facebook be the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do in the evening. If you find yourself on Facebook too much, try deleting the app from your phone. Don’t forget, it is designed to keep you addicted, detached from society and wanting more.

2. Don’t let Facebook be the only place where you get your news.

Facebook is censoring content, and Collective Evolution has seen a massive drop in readership over the past few years because the content we are posting goes against the establishment. Facebook is no longer a platform for free speech and this is important to remember. Get your news directly from your favourite sites; bookmark those pages and check them daily instead of relying on your News Feed to serve them up for you. Decide for yourself what content you would like to read. Don’t let Facebook do it for you.

You can use Facebook as a tool for connection and learning, or you can let it use you. Having awareness about the true agenda behind this social media giant can help you to break your addiction and take your power back. Learn more here.

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