Oh, wow. I see your point.
I’m up against a similar issue. At reallyread.it, we’re building features that integrate directly with Twitter. I remind myself that win, lose or draw, the net result of our product is fewer clicks and more deep reading. I have accepted that it’s inevitable that we have to dance with the devil in order to achieve our mission. (Somewhat related, we’re in the process of entirely rebranding from reallyread.it to Readup, and it’s forcing some great conversations about who we are and what we want to become. We debated the name “JustRead” too, but the domain was impossible to get. )
That video is incredible! You’re right that I’m missing out on good content because I’m not on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or reddit. I just created a Facebook account (under a pseudoynm, obviously) to stay tuned in to Friends of Time Well Spent! (I’m pretty strict about avoiding ad-supported communities, but I’m eager to see how this little experiment goes.)
Somewhat related, here’s a long story that I’ll try to make short: I went to Roger McNamee’s book launch (for Zucked) in New York City. Two things kinda bummed me out: (1) He brazenly defended his very active presence on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) because he believed that that was where the target audience for his book was hanging out. Of course that’s true, but it doesn’t make it right to be over there. Any use of Facebook is support for Facebook. Right? A bit worse, though, was (2): He’s really unapologetic about the role he played, all along the way, with respect to both Facebook and the culture of Silicon Valley. He seemed to be legit bragging, in great detail, about his role every step of the way. He does that in the book too. I think I walked away so crestfallen because my expectations were initially so high. (I listened to a bunch of moon alice in the weeks leading up to the event!) Can you be an activist against a company that you’re also a major shareholder of? (An analogy: Is it morally right to protest climate change AND own stock in oil companies?) To me that’s just ethically bonkers. Over the course of several questions that McNamee was asked (which were ultimately about ramping up action against the evil overlords!) McNamee’s message was: chill out, there’s nothing you can do about it, the government has it covered. He literally said, “Everyone just needs to wait a few years, it’ll all get taken care of,” and then making an around-the-horn movement with his finger, he referred to all of the Bay Area representatives to Washington DC, geographically: Nancy Pelosi, Ro Khanna, Anna Eshoo, yadda yadda yadda, and I was aghast. The message was that he knew these people personally and they assured him that Facebook would be adequately regulated. What?! No way! That’s crazy! We’re barrelling toward dystopia and we need collective action to take the wind out of Facebook’s sails. (So Boycott! Divest! [Right?])
I discussed this with Cal Newport too. We can’t put all our faith in government regulation. If we do, we’re toast. Consumers must hold companies accountable. We vote with our dollars and our attention.