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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > May-18 > Is it time to delete your Facebook account?

Is it time to delete your Facebook account?

The Duel

YES It was uncomplicated fun once, wasn’t it? A lovely, free way to share photos with our friends. Smartphones supercharged the experience. I could post photos on the move! I could narrate my life!

I wasn’t honest of course. I didn’t mean to lie exactly but didn’t want to bore anyone with my problems. I gave out the highlights; the cocktails but not the hangovers. It took me a long time to twig that I was not the consumer but the product. Facebook was selling me on. And I walked right into it. I whored myself out as traffic in return for some digital strokes.

I’m increasingly convinced social media is bad for us in ways we hardly begin to understand. Facebook makes me feel like an unstable teenager, which rather begs the question of what it makes an unstable teenager feel like.

I can’t cope with the noise, with the way that a picture of someone’s new pet or exciting day out will be interwoven with a video clip of a dead child on a beach. It makes me feel bad about my fellow humans and about myself but I don’t seem to be able to stop my hand twitching towards my phone for my next hit.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s May issue: More than a dozen writers critique the current state of economics, suggesting there are still lessons to learn more than a decade on from the financial crash. Howard Reed writes that the ideas we hold about the way economics works need to be ripped up. Ten of the world’s best living economists explain what, in their view, is the single most important lesson economics still has to learn, and Linda Yueh suggests what three of the past masters would think about economics today. Elsewhere in the issue: Vernon Bogdanor outlines why Brexit could cause a constitutional crisis in Britain; Jean H Lee explains why young South Koreans don’t want their country to reunify with their Northern neighbours; Sian Norris writes about the coming battle over abortion and shows where the UK ranks among its European peers; and Sonia Purnell profiles Jacob Rees-Mogg.