You Are Not a Customer of Facebook, But Their Cattle.

Levi Borba
5 min readAug 5, 2020

Every day billions of users make the same mistake.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

People think they are the costumers of mass and social media.

This error is not only extended but renewed by the belief that social networks exist to serve us.

But we are not the customers of social media. We are, ultimately, their cattle.

I know this may sound painful for your ears. Below I will make my point with some data discovered by using Facebook ads.

To understand how you are being manipulated is painful, but also liberating. (If you read the most recent book from Cal Newport, you know that).

A cow is not the customer of a farmer

The rancher takes care of his cattle, so they provide him with milk (or fresh meat if they are part of the unlucky). To him, the utility of a cow is attached to her capacity to provide what he needs. The farmer gives food and shelter to his herd in exchange for the economic benefits he will reap from the animals.

That is exactly how Facebook and most social media platforms treat us.

Instead of providing Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey with butter, we give them our eyeballs. Hours and hours of attention in exchange for the cheap entertainment of their infinite feeds while we scroll down and down.

To confirm this point is enough to answer a simple question:

What is the source of the 70.7 billion dollars revenue that Facebook made in 2019?

Advertisement. More specifically, 69.7 billion were generated by ads.

98.5% of all the money Facebook made last year was from corporations subtly infiltrating their ads in your timeline. Sometimes even disguised as real content.

No human on the planet has more than 24 hours of eyeball attention available. Corporations know that, and they fight fiercely to guarantee the biggest share of your time.

First were the placards and luminous announcements, times-square style. Later came television, now gradually replaced by the internet and social media as the war…