Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Aw, Mark Zuckerberg is worried about us.

No, really.

He fears we might be suffering from serious psychological problems, ones that haven't actually been caused by Facebook.

After Apple CEO Tim Cook had mused that he wouldn't have got himself into the parlous situation in which Facebook finds itself -- mired in one privacy scandal after another -- Zuckerberg called Cook's comments "extremely glib."

He really knows how to toss a hurtful zinger, does the Facebook CEO.

Then he turned to our mental problems.

"I think it's important that we don't all get Stockholm Syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me," he said.

Many things might sound ridiculous to Zuckerberg. One of those used to be the notion that people cared about privacy.

Turns out they at least might.

Still, the Facebook CEO is miffed that his Apple counterpart, Tim Cook, has been critical of Facebook's practices, of its apparently cavalier attitude toward people's data.

So his logic is that just because a company like Apple charges you a lot of money, it doesn't mean they care more.

Perhaps not. But it means, certainly in Apple's case, that they have to show more caring.

You see, Mark, when you've paid lots of money for something, you expect a certain level of service.

You expect that company to consider your feelings, your wants and your needs.

You expect the company to deliver on its promises and make you feel as if their product is worth it.

When you're paying nothing for something, you may have fewer expectations.

You may even be confused as to what they should be.

You don't necessarily stop to think whether the company giving you something for free actually cares, because you're too busy using its service to show off.

Sadly, people are greedy for free. 

And some tech companies have been all too happy to take advantage of that and even hook these greedy people, using twisted psychological methods of reward that would make Pavlov and his puppies cover their eyes.

It's surely true that all those who blindly piled into posting their lives on Facebook didn't stop to consider how the company felt about them or how it might make money out of them.

When you give a human being something for nothing, they feel oddly fortunate - and even clever -- to have obtained so much for so little.

But what Facebook has repeatedly shown is that it actively doesn't care about people's feelings at all.

It has progressively made decisions that favored Facebook over any wants, needs or feelings of those who use it.

Whether it was the company's 2007 Beacon service that automatically exposed users' shopping habits to the world or its 2010 wheeze of making sharing automatically public, it never once thought its users were customers. Or, frankly, even humans.

The users were there to be used. 

The contrast with Apple is stark.

The company's very ethos was about its products making people feel good.

As opposed to, for example, scared, manipulated or ignored.

Steve Jobs understood that in a world full of cold, metal heads designing cold, metal computers, bringing humanity and playfulness to the fore was likely to appeal to people who just wanted to enjoy life.

Facebook, on the other hand, was far more interested in seeing how it could use the data people gave it -- Zuckerberg once called users "dumb f**** -- to make money.

And so, yet again, we see Zuckerberg make an attempt at psychological analysis of others, when it should have been directed at himself and his company.

Zuckerberg now says it will take "a few years" to fix Facebook. 

How many years, though, will it take to fix Zuckerberg's myopic, robotic, sclerotic view of human beings?

Published on: Apr 3, 2018