The new owner of a venerable Sisters retail establishment has joined a hot new trend. Is it a brilliant new technology, disrupting the bookselling business?

On the contrary. Lane Jacobson, owner of Paulina Springs Books since November 1, used the good old-fashioned medium of the email newsletter to announce:

"Given the recent and continuing revelations about Facebook's misuse of and seeming disregard for the privacy of its users and their data, I have elected to halt any further Paulina Springs Books activity on Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook). We take the privacy of our customers very seriously, and we expect the same from organizations we partner with and platforms that we use."

The straw that broke the camel's back, according to Jacobson, was news of a Facebook boycott by prominent civil rights supporters. A report for the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee revealed that a Russian influence campaign "made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans" via the social behemoth's network.

Reports show that a variety of ploys were used on Facebook to suppress voter turnout. The Facebook-Instagram-WhatsApp corporate empire is under scrutiny by politicians, businesses, the press, and citizens for a wide range of systemic abuses of public trust.

According to Megy Karydes at Inc., customers are "wary of social media platforms right now. What we can do is build up our other marketing tools, like building our email list or consider other ways to market to our customers."

The bookstore already takes a similar approach.

"Paulina Springs is fortunate in that social media is not a huge part of our marketing strategy," Jacobson told The Nugget. "We exist in a community that operates outside of that."

Community is a common thread among the many businesses and individuals abandoning Facebook, and social media in general. This was observed in a recent roundup of trends to watch in 2019, conducted by Adobe Spark.

The software company Adobe has enormous reach with creative and marketing professionals. Their apps are indispensable in the industry.

"Several of our influencers and insiders that we spoke to believed that creators and community builders will start moving away from the big platforms that do little to support them or their communities," an Adobe blog reported.

It went on, "As we continue to define for ourselves how social media fits into our lives, we see communities getting creative with how and where they connect."

Brick-and-mortar, independent bookstores provide a connection point.

"I definitely understand and appreciate what bookstores are to communities," says Jacobson, who has been in the business about a decade.

"The idea of algorithms and Amazon's recommendations - that's all based on where you've been," he added. "Booksellers can help you figure out where you're going."

Studies show that if a customer spends $100 at an independent local retailer, $48 will circulate throughout the local economy. Spend the same $100 at a big chainstore nearby, and only $14 stays local. Buying from online stores like Amazon drains money out of a community. A mere $1 remains local.

Paulina Springs customers can curb online spending by ordering books from the store. It takes approximately 1-2 business days for most deliveries. Customers may phone, send email, drop in, or place a website order. Jacobson hopes to update the web ordering system soon.

The 27-year-old bookseller considers bookstores an important "third place" for people in a community. He said, "They have home, they have their work, and they have their third place - coffeehouse, gym, bookstore."

Bookstores disperse information and knowledge, public perception of which has been substantially altered by social media, Google, and the digital surveillance economy.

"It's a really tricky time, because everything is political now," Jacobson acknowledged. He believes "it's good to read outside of your experience" and that bookstores should "encourage people to read and think critically.

"Polarization is a problem because it leads to lack of conversation," he said. "Democracy is built on conversations with those whom we disagree with. And when we're not having those conversations, the process kind of falters."

Paulina Springs Books plans to host new events including discussions aiming to bridge the gap between readers of differing beliefs.

The bookstore will use Twitter to maintain a presence in the publishing industry and attract bigger-name authors for in-store events.

Jacobson quit his personal social media accounts about a year ago.

"No regrets," he said. "Even moving across the country, away from all my friends, I'm entirely able to keep in touch."

Time management, prioritization, and mental health were his primary reasons for quitting. Now he relishes losing the urge to "share," which used to interrupt activities like hiking.

"Everything that I do now is for my own enjoyment," he said with a grin. "Going a year without that desire to take a picture to share on Instagram? That's great."