There are many reasons why we feel Mass Deactivation is important. In this section you can find a few of these reasons as well as some of the ways that we suspect Facebook is changing society and human interaction.

It's important to note that, at this time, none of these are taken for fact; they are merely "hypotheses." This means that, by the end of the experiment, all of these reasons for carrying out Mass Deactivation may be disproved or rendered irrelevant.


  • A Facebook profile is an online representation of a human being. But on Facebook, "human being" is grossly simplified to a series of photographs, interests, "likes," and text-based status updates. In sum, all of this information may not adequately or accurately describe you as a human being. Thus someone who "knows you" on Facebook may not actually know you, which could qualitatively change what it means to have an acquaintance, a friend, or even a significant other.
  • Not only does Facebook facilitate interaction with other people, but it also encourages interaction with one's self. Arguably, people today look at pictures and other representations of themselves more than ever. Often, when you look at yourself on Facebook, you are not looking at your true self -- i.e. you don't see everything that you have "untagged," either literally or metaphorically. This may have an effect upon people's self-perception.
  • Facebook may discourage real-life interaction. For example, if you see someone at a party whom you are interested in, you may defer going up to that person and saying something until after you have "investigated" his or her Facebook profile. You may even "friend" that person. For some, this online connection may replace any type of real-life interaction.


  • If you are a Bowdoin student today, you can remember a time when Facebook did not exist; Facebook was launched in 2004. This cannot be said of children born within the last decade. As the last generation to know a world without the Social Network, it is our responsibility to ask questions about its effects upon society.
  • If you and enough Bowdoin students participate in Mass Deactivation, it could literally be the last time for the rest of your life that you and the people around you exist without Facebook. To borrow a phrase from Jaron Lanier, Facebook may become "locked-in" to society, much like email and cell phones have been.


  • Facebook is a business. Their goal is to make money and the way they make money is by getting as many people as possible to create accounts and keep those accounts. Like any other business, they have a strong incentive to make the experience of using their service as pleasant as possible. But, unlike other businesses, the product they provide is not a toy or a dining experience; it is a vehicle for interaction with other human beings. Should a service like this be mediated through Facebook's economic incentives, marketing, advertising, etc.?
  • Facebook is a "world" with a very specific design, interface, and layout. This is important because there could be an alternative. In other words, if society does find it valuable to have online social networks, is having a profile with pictures, likes, and interests the best way?

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