Disconnection is harder than you think
In his new book, disconnect
, Assistant Professor Tero Karppi
examines everything Facebook does to ensure its users don't disconnect. For platforms like Facebook, he argues, user disconnection is an existential threat.
Karppi – who teaches at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and holds a graduate appointment at the Faculty of Information – chose to focus on the ever increasing of difficulty of disconnection partly because he wanted to question the conventional wisdom of social media companies, who argue that connecting the world is always a positive thing.
While he doesn't necessarily take issue with that principle, he worries about how connectivity is used to drive particular business models and how our social relationships, desires, and activities can become captured by this logic. As a result of this process, he says, connectivity becomes ubiquitous and the ability to disconnect disappears.
Recently, Karppi has been trying to gauge how people responded to last month’s headlines about the hacking of 50 million Facebook user accounts. "Everyone has heard about it. But maybe out of 50 people, only one did something," he said. "No one quits. Facebook users don't even change their passwords. You know the risks and you still use these sites. This is what I would call user engagement.” Read More