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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:46 AM

On the Virtues of Facebook

I am graduate communication studies student and feel compelled on occasion to dispute the negative perceptions of Facebook and social media. Here are my thoughts.

1. Facebook is a communication technology first, despite the marketing. Facebook, and similar sites, provide a means by which we can globally and near-instantaneously share experiences by text, photo, audio, or video. This accomplishment cannot be overstated. Whether it is children and families contacting loved ones overseas or old high school friends sharing recipes, it is unheard of in the history of communication to be able to shrink space-time so significantly.

2. What about the marketing? Well, there is marketing in every single public meeting space one can find in contemporary western civilization. As far as the gleaning of information from our public conversations and participation in Facebook, the same is done at bars and clubs around the world for decades. In fact, guerilla marketing involves finding "trend makers" and otherwise "cool people" at public venues and getting them to conspicuously use and promote a brand to their friends in these venues. Marketing has been devious and pervasive for decades before Zuckerberg was born.

3. What about the silly shit on FB, like people's breakfasts and their stupid whiny breakups? Look, as long as communication technology has existed, it has been clogged with mundanity and inanity. There is nothing new to be said or done about it.

4. Due to the near-instantaneous, global sharing of thoughts, feelings, images, sounds, and video, Facebook has become, in my own opinion, one of the most democratic tools of debate ever known. Struggling over competing ideologies and the ability to "link" to reputable (or otherwise) sources for one's positions on issues is accessible to anyone anytime. From the days of the Roman forum to the televised debates we have come to know, never before has information been so available to so many all at once. Now these advancements are largely due to the internet in general, but Facebook is the most used, most populated, and most dynamic "space" there is online. It is the sheer numbers that use the tool that makes it so impressive.

5. While there may be cause for concern for the handling of certain issues by Facebook, the exponential sharing and assimilation of information through this network is astounding. Someday, FB will stumble due to such abuses and fall, as it ought, but let's not pretend that what FB brings to humanity isn't amazing and that those who participate are somehow duped, less intelligent, or less "aware" of the "real world." It is simply not true.

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Arrow 64 replies Author Time Post
Reply On the Virtues of Facebook (Original post)
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 OP
underoath Nov 2012 #1
CJCRANE Nov 2012 #2
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #51
MotherPetrie Nov 2012 #3
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #7
Blue_Tires Nov 2012 #13
BarackTheVote Nov 2012 #36
Mojorabbit Nov 2012 #41
marions ghost Nov 2012 #4
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #43
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #5
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #8
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #12
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #34
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #39
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #47
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #52
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #55
forestpath Nov 2012 #6
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #10
forestpath Nov 2012 #14
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #15
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #46
The Straight Story Nov 2012 #53
WilliamPitt Nov 2012 #9
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #11
savalez Nov 2012 #28
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #29
savalez Dec 2012 #63
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #44
savalez Dec 2012 #64
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #33
Whisp Nov 2012 #16
CJCRANE Nov 2012 #18
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #25
MadHound Nov 2012 #17
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #22
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #23
i am thee modren man Nov 2012 #19
patrice Nov 2012 #56
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #20
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #21
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #24
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #27
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #30
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #32
morningglory Nov 2012 #26
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #31
spanone Nov 2012 #35
BarackTheVote Nov 2012 #40
Butterbean Nov 2012 #37
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #38
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #48
Arugula Latte Nov 2012 #42
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #50
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #45
Lex Nov 2012 #49
patrice Nov 2012 #59
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #60
patrice Nov 2012 #54
RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #57
patrice Nov 2012 #58
drmeow Nov 2012 #61
Jim Warren Nov 2012 #62

Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:53 AM

1. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with all my friends from Germany for about 6 years now.

 

I feel even closer to them now because of it.


Don't put stupid shit on there and you will be fine.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:56 AM

2. In the future, history will be divided into pre- and post-facebook.

Think about it, throughout history we really didn't know much about the lives of ordinary people.

Future historians will be able to troll facebook to find out about the habits, routines and opinions of 21st century man (and woman).

However, they won't find out much about me because I don't post much...but they'll be able to recreate the life of my attention-seeking friend who posts every activitiy and brainfart.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:35 PM

51. I agree. Anthropological dream come true in that sense...

if we can maintain civilization and requisite technology for archiving these non-analogue remnants.

What a great point you make here.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:52 AM

3. Put me in the anti-Facebook category. I hate the way it's taken over the internet.

 

All the "help me respond to this right-wing nut on FB" threads that populated this site before the election sure did nothing to change my mind about it either.

Your ringing defense of such a hugely profitable and hugely arrogant, behemoth company that has turned so many of its users into addicts that it hardly needs such a defense at this point seems odd. Do you really think Facebook needs it?

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:28 PM

7. "turns so many of its users into addicts"

Were people "addicted" to phones, newspapers, magazines, movies, television, etc prior to facebook? Were people "addicted" to face-to-face communication? Is electronic communication very different from written? Is face-to-face communication superior in any way?

As far as "defending facebook," that wasn't my intent. I just meant to point out that it is amazing and useful technology. I think the way they are gleaning and selling information is going to hurt them in the long term.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:42 PM

13. Well, tbf facebook has been much better for me to meet women

than, say, craigslist

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:04 PM

36. Because being able to shoot down the crazy

accusations of a Republikkkan in a public forum viewable by hundreds of people is absolutely heinous.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:07 PM

41. I like facebook

I have met some amazing people through it and there is group of 20 or so like minded people that now get together at my house. I think it will be a wonderful vehicle in the future to organize politically.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:16 PM

4. What makes you think

Facebook will ever "stumble and fall"?

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:38 PM

43. The fact that ten years ago people asked that same question about Myspace?

Or Orkut (even if that's still astonishingly healthy), or Friendster, yadda yadda.

I expect it'll be around for awhile, but a bit of a dose of the Copernican Principle means I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it wasn't for one reason or another.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:19 PM

5. Don't care if other people love it and use it.

I just don't want to be shut out of the rest of the internet, shut out of employment, or thought of as "suspicious", "weird" or "non-existent" because I refuse to sign up.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:29 PM

8. Yes, I agree that is a strange trend, but certainly it is sociological and not

Facebook's "fault" or whatever word fits. I do not think the absence of an FB account is suspicious.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:37 PM

12. You don't think FB would promote the idea that non-subscribers

are social misfits, nerds, losers, luddites, weirdos, and suspicious psychos? Most of their subscriber drive is based on that. It's one giant peer-pressure campaign. Unless it's to convince small businesses that they are doomed to fail unless they have a FB presence, or prevent non-subscribers from leaving comments on non-FB sites like news websites, or prevent people from signing up for services like Spotify unless they go through the almighty FB gate.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:50 PM

34. I think most companies may try to market something of that nature.

As far as the "peer pressure" you cite, FB is a public forum with millions of users. Avoid that advertising market if you like, but most businesses, politicians, and non-profits know they "must" have a Facebook presence. I don't see how that is FB's fault though.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:07 PM

39. It's not "marketing" to lock me out of non-facebook

websites and features because I don't have a FB account. It's FB throwing its weight around to FORCE me to sign up, or go without other internet sites and services I might be interested in. They make the internet suck. That is their fault.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:29 PM

47. If a website only permits comments with a social media account,

how is that the fault of social media sites and not the responsibility of the site with the restriction?

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #47)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:38 PM

52. What other social media company has co-opted local news sites?

Or music-streaming sites? I blame any and all companies involved in reducing access to features on NON-FB sites to FB users only. They're scratching each other's backs to the detriment of people who refuse to "register" themselves publicly as a product of a company. FB is a business--their business practices are either to their credit, or their fault.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:47 PM

55. I also disagree with that business practice.

However, that is but one of many issues I have with the contemporary "free market".

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:27 PM

6. Why would you feel "compelled" to defend one of the richest companies on earth?

 

I've seen so many Facebook users get very defensive about and so contemptuous of those of us who don't use Facebook. What's it to you?

Your arguments are nothing new. I wish you'd leave the rest of us non-FB users alone.

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Response to forestpath (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:33 PM

10. I feel compelled, as I mentioned, because I study communication

and its corresponding technologies. Facebook is revolutionary in that regard and there is no disputing that fact. I started this thread to show there are rational reasons to use the product, though is it too much to ask you to notice the lack of insult and contempt my OP contained?

Your anger and contempt for the company is as silly to me as my "defense" is to you, so why are you here on this thread? You may notice my absence on the "anti" thread.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:43 PM

14. "Rational reasons"? As if it's not rational to not use Facebook. Your condescension is noted.

 

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Response to forestpath (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:51 PM

15. No, as in it is not irrational to use Facebook.

If you want to be insulted, I can accommodate, but I have taken care not to do so thus fart. Relax.

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Response to forestpath (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:42 PM

46. "leave us alone?" Were you somehow forced to read and respond to the OP? (nt)

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Response to forestpath (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:39 PM

53. I can understand the desire to 'defend' (but not the company)

You see people complaining about something (Libya comes to mind....) and you offer them a better perspective on it all.

It is not about getting other people to join, defending the company, but for those who use tools like it and twitter there is plethora of benefits depending on your state of mind, desires, experience, etc.

Those who have experiences they didn't like tend to believe it is because of the site, but it is a tool and could be how they are using it.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:31 PM

9. Rule #1: If it's private, don't put it on Facebook

Rule #2: See Rule #1.

Problem solved.

I like Facebook, too.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:36 PM

11. I have a cousin who has fallen on hard times and cannot afford a cell phone.

He got no free "Obamaphone" when he voted for the Pres, but he is able to communicate with family and friends and even get work (he is an independent roofer) by using Facebook at the library.

I hear a few legitimate concerns about FB, but most are just judgmental nonsense. It is almost religious. They just "know" FB is stupid, and its users are "zombies" and that life is just so much richer and better if we just "believe" what they say about the product. It's weird.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:20 PM

28. What about email?

I don't see how your cousin absolutely needed FB to communicate with you. There's also email, instant message, Skype, and so on. Right?

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Response to savalez (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:28 PM

29. Yes, and they are all consolidated on Facebook.

And that is where his family is. I am sorry if my words implied he "needed" Facebook. I meant that he uses Facebook.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:08 PM

63. I hear ya.

I had an account once. Got requests from old friends and quickly realized why they were not current friends (lol). But, while on, it did strike me as a good way to fulfill relationship obligations with minimal effort or personal involvement. Ultimately it was not for me so I dumped the account. However I can see how the consolidation of current friends and family can be beneficial. So, to each his own.

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Response to savalez (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:40 PM

44. Splitting hairs just a bit, don't you think? (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #44)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:27 PM

64. Good question.

Maybe a test is in order? I don't know if you have a FB account but if you cancelled it today how many of your "friends" would continue to contact you directly outside of the FB realm? How many would you contact?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:47 PM

33. Rule #1: It's not private. You might as well stay off the Internet.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:51 PM

16. very good read, thanks.

 

I have a FB account but don't use it much at all. I meant to cancel it but somehow have been hanging on for whatever reason.

So personally, FB does not really mean that much to me except I might see a funny cartoon now and then that would not be seen elsewhere.

But I am beginning to realize how important it can be for important events and having so many witnesses to these events now that before were none. I think FB is going to, or already has in some ways, challenge the main stream media and how they might now have to deal with 'news'. Real news instead of the regurgitated one or two headlines they only seem to be able to handle at a time.

So, FB is more of an annoyance for me and how I use it personally but overall it could be what breaks our lazy and shilling media's backs. All of them.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:17 PM

18. Good point. I found DU in 2002, so when facebook came along I didn't need it

to express myself online.

Facebook has created this capacity (to share news and comment) on a global scale.

I still prefer DU because of the better functionality and the relative anonymity.

However, I can understand why people appreciate the chance to air their views to their peers and acquaintances, just like I've been doing here for the last ten years.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:55 PM

25. I have participated in political arguing with a dozen people

over a hundred comments. Everyone gets a turn and can be heard without being cutoff or spoken over. There are asinine, unsupported assertions as well as carefully written arguments with evidence and links. It is sometimes remarkable and sometimes mundane, but it is a great, fun way to communicate.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:59 PM

17. So, how much is Mark paying you for this?

 

Let me go down your points one by one.

1. "globally and near-instantaneously share experiences by text, photo, audio, or video." That is true. It has also been true about email, telephone, and other communication devices for a long time, since long before Zuckerberg was a gleam in his daddy's eye. To claim that FB made a great breakthrough in this realm is laughable on the face of it.

2. What FB does goes way beyond marketing, it is invasive datamining at its most cutting edge. Not only does FB glean data from your profile and posts, it follows you around the 'net to glean that data. Yes, many other sites do the same, but FB has taken it to a new level, what with picture tagging, face recognition, and a whole host of other tools the better to track you with. You compare this with public conversations in bars and clubs, but unlike FB, in a bar or club, if somebody is leaning over to eavesdrop, I have the option of politely telling them to fuck off and mind their own business(and if that doesn't work, take even stronger options). With FB, I don't have that option. Oh, one other thing, conversations are generally considered private, no matter where they are at, unless both participants agree to make it public. Again, with FB, there isn't that option.

3. I generally agree with what you said, however two caveats. First, FB enables the dispensation of this kind of crap in a manner unheard of before. Second, allowing people to feed their narcissism by posting this kind of crap only adds to society's problems.

4. As you said, that's your opinion. What I find, and what most researchers have found in this regard, is that by enabling people to argue, debate and communicate with others from the comfort, and perhaps anonymity of their own homes has lead to more rudeness, coarseness, hostility and overall cheapening the value of the virtual public commons. Sadly, this is now bleeding over into real life as well as people take the manners, or lack thereof, that they learned on FB and elsewhere out into the real world and expect the same sort of results.

5. What does Facebook bring to humanity? Zuckerberg himself has stated that he wanted to bring the social experience of college to the internet. Oh boy, the cliques, the gossip, no, you don't have to grow up and become an adult. Worse, FB quickly degenerated into providing the social experience of middle school. Wow, what a great contribution to the world. And just because it allows people to share lots of information quickly doesn't mean a damn thing unless that information is valid and truthful, which on FB it all too often isn't. Furthermore, what were once innocent pleasures, like having your picture taken with a glass of wine in your hand, can now be used against you, like the teacher who was fired when such a picture turned up on FB.

Sorry, but I find that FB has done more harm to society than good, and that the good it has achieved can also be achieved in other ways. I don't do FB, for the reasons I've stated and others. If I want to get in contact with people, I email, phone or *gasp* write them. The information that can be found on FB can be found elsewhere just as easily. As far as the social experience goes, thanks, but I'm all grown up now and don't feel the desire for the social experience that FB provides. My fervent hope is that within the coming decade FB and other such social media dries up and goes away. We'll all be better if it does.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:54 PM

22. Mark doesn't pay. The FB content creators are all volunteers.

A billion of'em.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:44 PM

23. I'll reciprocate.

1. Facebook organized these functions and provided an interface that is used by millions. Sorry I left that out.

2. I have issues with the datamining, etc, but that is a social manifestation well beyond FB. (i.e. debit card transactions, phone GPS, etc)

3. "allowing" or "disallowing" "narcissism" seems a nonsensical thing to me. What is narcissism in your context? Is it possible to "allow" it, or does it just exist?

4. Cheapening of virtual discourse and increased rudeness seem to be concerns that can be affected by a great many factors. In any case, it is a small concern for me.

5. Again, it brings humanity closer together via near-instant communication of text, photos, audio, and video. It does not, nor pretends to, be anything more than that. Do you know of a social atmosphere that is absent of cliques, coarseness, and is populated only by "grown up adults" who are mature to your own liking? my FB experience is not at all like how you describe, lucky me, and as for getting fired because of FB photos, that has nothing to do with the technology. Obviously.

The plain refutation of your last paragraph is the millions of people who do use FB as a central hub for these communication breakthroughs. Such a consolidated interface, accessible by so many, is significant. As far as "good" or "bad" for humanity - I find such judgments premature and the assertion that we'd be "better" if it did to be hollow and unsupported opinion.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:22 PM

19. Facebook is a mirror of the mundanity of material life.

 

That is what makes its suckage so...sucky.

Bragging has become the norm in our world. I feel that this is due to those who cannot really feel their accomplishments. It's like that Zen story in the forest--if they don't brag about something, did it REALLY happen?

The ego is our enemy. Doing things in order to puff up the ego is the road to hell. But most people think it's "the way life is."

You are not your family, vacations, possessions. Facebook is a collection of all the things you are NOT. They are temporary and the clock ticks...

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Response to i am thee modren man (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:49 PM

56. That speaks more about you & your friends than it does FB. You have just ridiculed some

very real, very personal, very heart-and-mind-deep relationships that millions of people have by means of a medium known as FB.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:14 PM

20. I don't particularly like nor dislike Facebook, much as I neither like nor dislike a hammer...

I don't particularly like nor dislike Facebook, much as I neither like nor dislike a hammer or a television. It is, as most things are, an additional tool we use to best effect in ways that suit us as individuals (much like Democratic Underground).

I use Facebook, but will never offend it or defend it from its critics or its cheerleaders; however your post was certainly (to me, anyways) a most objective analysis of it en toto. It's one of many communication tools out there, and we choose to use them or not depending on our own set circumstances, and to a much greater extent (unfortunately) our biases regarding common and popular cultures.

So if someone calls me a pod-person because I use Facebook, tells me I'm supporting global inequality, or even that it's "the best thing ever", I simply imagine myself patting them on the head and saying "well, bless your little heart, aren't you so adorable..."

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:44 PM

21. Let's have a look at that.

1. Facebook is a communication technology first,

The Internet is a communication technology. Facebook is a corporation that currently manages a portion of the Internet on the server side. The rest of your breathless prose about speed and universality describes the Internet, which already fulfilled these functions long before FB. The question is whether Facebook adds anything to the Internet. FB is one server, one platform, and shapes all content according to a single template, for the sole dedicated purpose of FB Inc. profit. (All other purposes are incidental.) In the rich ecosystem of the Internet, FB is the agribusiness monoculture.

2. What about the marketing?

I suspect you've fallen for it. Your mistake on this point is to think that the pervasiveness of marketing is an argument for it being either good or bad. No actual substance to this argument.

3. What about the silly shit on FB, like people's breakfasts and their stupid whiny breakups?

Indeed, who cares. Very selective view of what's supposedly wrong with FB. What about the IPO fraud? What about the primary business model of FB as a voluntary surveillance platform with user data delivered to buyers?

You are not the user of FB. You are the product delivered to the paying customers. The paying customers are the users.

4. Due to the near-instantaneous, global sharing of thoughts, feelings, images, sounds, and video, Facebook has become, in my own opinion, one of the most democratic tools of debate ever known.

No. It's a parasite on top of the former Internet, already one of the most democratic tools of debate ever known, etc. etc. (continue identical rhapsody).

5. While there may be cause for concern for the handling of certain issues by Facebook, the exponential sharing and assimilation of information through this network is astounding.

This is the "shiny things" gambit. ("While there may be cause for concern - look! Over there! Shiny things!")

Yes, we're all very impressed by the size of FB's servers. They must be at least 1/20th of Google's. So totally not the point.

C+ for effort.

.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:52 PM

24. Ok, ok...

1. Facebook consolidates it all into a single interface, blablabla...millions of users to interact with in one place.

2. Blablabla..I am a big sucker dupe pinko who fell for it, blabla

3. Yes. I didn't design it and it is "free." I do understand their model.

4. It is a consolidated...um...millions of people are using the....nevermind.

5. Yes. I am a stupid birdbrain. Shiny. Bla.

Bla, grade, blabla.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:14 PM

27. Thank you.

I enjoyed that much more than your OP.

Consider please that, rather than you being a stupid bird-brain, you've been caught making arguments that seem intended for stupid bird-brains. Do you really believe this stuff?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:32 PM

30. From one subgenius to another: yes.

I swear to Bob. That doesn't mean I don't have concerns, of course, but matters of privacy and info-mining are social matters and the principle of capitalizing on any and every thing has led us here. I am a believer in communication technology as being a near total good. The fact that FB is also an info-harvester who sells that data to marketers is an open secret and is not illegal. Perhaps it ought to be. I would love to be a part of the resource that replaces FB.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:34 PM

32. you're adorable.

Well bless your little heart... you're adorable.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:07 PM

26. My extended family and friends used to have hilarious email threads that went on for days.

Now it's facebook, and I don't want to say something on there for the whole world to hear. I feel like I have lost something.

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Response to morningglory (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:33 PM

31. Yes, but that is your family moving the conversation to a more public venue.

It is not the venue to blame. If all your friends "switch" bars, that doesn't mean you have to.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:51 PM

35. email does the same

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Response to spanone (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:00 PM

40. The difference between Facebook & e-mail is pretty obvious though

e-mail is like a phone number, you need someone to give it to you and if you're a number off you might be talking to the wrong person; facebook is like running into someone in the hallway at work or school.

Yes, everything benefit of Facebook predates it, from e-mailing to PMing to media sharing, etc... but Facebook consolidates it into a user-friendly all-in-one interface. And it's one of the only places I've found online that is mostly non-niche,

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:04 PM

37. I quit FB, and it's been mildly inconvenient.

People really DO forget that not everyone is on FB, and those of us not on it get left out of some major loops as a result. I'm talking stuff like emergency surgeries and the like. What happened to CALLING family members when there's a medical emergency? Instead they post it on FACEBOOK? I find that highly inappropriate, but whatever.

Anyway, my husband and I call it "fakebook," because close friends that we know for a fact are having horrible marital problems post all these status updates to make it seem like their lives are perfectly harmonious and wonderful all the time. It's bizarre to watch them post all this lovey dovey hearts and flowers everything is rainbows stuff and know that what's going on behind the scenes is very much the opposite.

I'm just glad I left FB long before election season.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:05 PM

38. I spend way more time (and that is spent far more enjoyably) on DU

 

than on FaceBook. There's just way too much inanity on the latter to bother wasting much time sifting for the valuable.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:31 PM

48. Sometimes I am on Facebook, sometimes not. Just like a bar or social club.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:11 PM

42. I honestly believe Facebook was a major tool in countering Citizens United this election.

There is nothing like sunlight and ridicule to shoot down rightwing propaganda. Republican messages did not gain traction like they did in the past.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #42)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:33 PM

50. This is an excellent point. I agree.

The parsing of details and the ability to link to information permits people to choose to learn more about relevant and timely topics. It isn't even necessarily about "proving someone wrong" or "showing them the truth" it is also about how to discern and challenge one's own prejudices. Old ideas that I read about from McLuhan which apply to many types of public arenas, but it is so fast and wide ranging in FB.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:41 PM

45. I find the reactions to the site as fascinating as the site itself these days

Nothing like that completely ridiculous mass-tantrum DU had about Twitter a few years back, but still.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:33 PM

49. I remember all the crazed rants here at DU about how stupid

Twitter is when it first started out. Was pretty entertaining to watch people rant against something they knew basically nothing about.





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Response to Lex (Reply #49)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:03 PM

59. I remember those too. I like the Twitter challenge of being significant & brief. . . .

That's difficult for me.

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Response to Lex (Reply #49)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:26 PM

60. There was a 2-3 month stretch where people were convinced it was a Republican plot

To which I could only say "...what?" I mean, the usual hyperbolic Imminent Death Of The English Language Predicted cliche is one thing, even if that was also a load of crap, but people spent awhile sincerely believing that it was some intrinsically Rovian conspiracy, which still baffles me.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:45 PM

54. FB is a good place to discover the power of courage in your own voice because your name is

directly associated with what you say. You can find people who respond to YOU for real and there can be all kinds of sharing that comes out of that.

Forget government for a minute, if part of our problem as a country is the fact that not enough are standing up honestly and consistently for our own values, and putting our own faces and names on who exactly we are and what our values are, maybe FB is a place to begin to learn how to do that in a way that works for you as an individual person, with your very own DU-like forum.

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Response to patrice (Reply #54)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:50 PM

57. Yes. Thank you for this great comment.

I too built skills here and also on FB. I also like how no one can dominate a conversation or cut others off with a loud voice.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:00 PM

58. I love my more active FB friends. FB gives me a means that allows the luxury of TIME for a

relationship. We can take time to work out what we want to say and from a distance actually helps sometimes to let people think and also consult other resources my means of their computers.

FB creates kind of a safe buffer for me and those others of us who have significant fundamental differences. We can be different and still be friends, because each of us can always return to that interface between us.

Also: Some of the poorest most dis-empowered people I know LOVE FB for its rich multi-media connections to their friends and families and all of the entertainment it provides for cheap.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:14 AM

61. IMO FB is a tool to be used

with every effort to prevent FB from using me. It has changed things such that I'm not the one doing all the work keeping in touch (given how many times I've moved) and it was invaluable for tracking my friends in NY during Sandy. But I have almost no personal information there, do substantially more reading than posting, control my feed by hiding posts, log off every time I 'm done, don't play games, and try to have the most restrictive privacy settings I possibly can. If by doing so I fail to increase FB's revenues and they fail to thrive as a corporation, something else will come along to replace it.

I also don't carry on personal conversations on my cell phone in public if I can avoid it - same concept.

My biggest concern about FB is employers trying to use it to control employees in various ways - which is why I don't allow my profile to appear in Google searchers. I plan to go on the job market soon and if employers search for me I want them to find LinkedIn, not FB. What's on LinkedIn is their business. What's on FB is not - and never will be.

What I see as different about FB compared to former modes of communication is not unique to FB - and that is that the amount of personal information which can be compiled and the tools available to process and analyze that information is unprecedented and what is legally protected and what is not is largely unclear or not yet established.

FB is a tool but it also can be a weapon and I, for one, want to avoid being a victim of that (or any other social media) weapon.

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Response to RadiationTherapy (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 12:28 AM

62. Virtues?

For me FB is strictly another low cost tool that I exploit for use as a small business owner.

As far as use for sharing personal information, couldn't care a twit ter.

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