Training young people how to live and work extramurally—to limit their exposure to governance via terms of service and APIs—is a vital hedge against this future. We cannot prevent anyone from trusting his or her whole life to Facebook or Snapchat; but to know that there are alternatives, and alternatives over which we have a good deal of control, is powerful in itself. And this knowledge has the further effect of reminding us that code—including the algorithmic code that so often determines what we see online—is written by human beings for purposes that may be at odds with our own. The code that constitutes Facebook is written and constantly tweaked in order to increase the flow to Facebook of sellable data; if that code also promotes “global community,” so much the better, but that will never be its reason for being.
To teach children how to own their own domains and make their own websites might seem a small thing. In many cases it will be a small thing. Yet it serves as a reminder that the online world does not merely exist, but is built, and built to meet the desires of certain very powerful people—but could be built differently. Given the importance of online experience to most of us, and the great likelihood that its importance will only increase over time, training young people to do some building themselves can be a powerful counterspell to the one pronounced by Zuckerberg, who says that the walls of our social world are crumbling and only Facebook’s walls can replace them. We can live elsewhere and otherwise, and children should know that, and know it as early as possible. This is one of the ways in which we can exercise “the imperative of responsibility,” and to represent the future in the present.
I really like "extramurally" here. also the last sentence is nice