Facebook: Behind the Screens

There is no denying that society is changing, but is Facebook among the reasons or the consequences of this? It is hard to say, so let’s leave the-chicken-or-the-egg type of questions out of this. Today’s business world, to a great extent, is in the grip of technology-enabled trends such as crowd sourcing and online collaboration that are embraced by young people. When you bring a large group of people together, it may be easier to achieve insight on business-related or other problems. Conversely, it may be harder. When you have a big disorganized group of people somewhere, you have chaos.

Does Facebook Offer Everything?

It seems that Facebook has a lot to offer in every regard. It can be used as a search engine, a way to find jobs, a pleasant pastime and, of course, a substitute for social life. It has its pluses and minuses as it is with everything else. Its popularity is diminishing, slowly but surely – from an increase of 178.38 percent of visits month-on-month in August 2008 to 4.52 percent in July 2010. Profits are still skyrocketing though – 87 percent in 2008, 177 percent in 2009, and 158 percent in 2010.

Connected to the World but Alone

On one hand, we have tendencies toward globalization, a smaller world and a greater connectivity. Facebook is in perfect sync with these tendencies. On the other, you are alone behind a computer screen, as far away from the world as you can possibly be. You read things like, “Jim changed his marital status” and “Jane uploaded new photos” and think that you are really in touch with these people. In a way, the people you know on Facebook become simulacra – representations of something else – to the extent that you don’t know the difference between the original person and the copy, which uploaded new photos from God knows where. This is assuming you do not meet them often in real life.
Facebook and Your True Face

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There is no denying that Facebook is a good way to keep in touch with people. If you need to talk to someone, you can just leave them a message. Of course, they might not answer. It’s just like leaving a message after the beep and then waiting and waiting by the phone. Peoples’ profiles surely seem believable – they post comments, list their interests, and have friends they talk to. They seem to be just like they are in real life. If they were real, why all the fuss about Facebook’s lack of privacy settings? Is the profile your true face? Aren’t you showing only what you want to? It’s like the question, “Tell me something interesting about yourself”, to which you reply, “I am a great swimmer” or “I just received an MBA”. You don’t say, “I have been unemployed for two years”, “I almost drowned during a summer camp ten years ago”, or “I am a failure at everything I do”. You would only say that if you were depressed, and as we all know, nobody likes grumpy people. If you feel like a loser, your place is not outside in the sunshine. You should go home and hide. Behind your computer screen.

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