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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:46 AM

On the Virtues of Facebook [View all]

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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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
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RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #47
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forestpath Nov 2012 #6
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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
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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
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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
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RadiationTherapy Nov 2012 #57
patrice Nov 2012 #58
drmeow Nov 2012 #61
Jim Warren Nov 2012 #62