Posted by Gospel X
“This examination of people’s activities in a very new realm affirms one of the oldest truths about the value of friendship,” said Lee Rainie, head of Pew’s Internet project. “Those who are socially active have a better shot at getting the help and emotional help they need.”
They need emotional help? I don’t like the way this article was written. That implies to me that the users of Facebook are turning to the site instead of going to therapy. To be completely honest, your friends on Facebook are most likely to be emotional enablers, supporting most of your choices no matter how stupid they are. If they didn’t do that, it takes only a few clicks to unfriend someone.
The article means emotional support, which does not make it better. There’s nothing socially active about Facebook, or any social network in general – I explored that a while ago. This is all about providing your network with your best face and in return getting the best response. There’s no dislike button on Facebook for a reason, and, like I said already, those who are disagreeable are easily silenced. Facebook is all about positive feedback.
And the reason longtime users experience no fatigue or, in other words, have no desire to leave the network is because it’s difficult to go from positive feedback all the time to having nothing but your own means. I’m certain there’s a bit of withdrawal involved. Yes, I believe that social networks can cause addiction; I believe that Facebook is worth billions because of addicts.
Posted by Gospel X
Before the end of the year, I said, “Social networking is the fog we use to confuse our relationships and obscure our antisocial habits. Thoughts?” That was the entire post, so only click the link if you like the idea of my hit count increasing. I didn’t get much response. What I got was incredibly thoughtful. I just wish I had gotten more.
I’m not opposed to the existence of social networking. I was an early adopter of Facebook when it hit the University of Michigan. This had to be between my sophomore and junior years, if memory serves. Someone in the University of Michigan community on LiveJournal, a proto-social network itself, announced that The Facebook had finally hit Michigan and we could all sign up. Curiosity led to my account on the network, no matter how creepy it was at the time. Some may find the timeline feature disturbing, but there was a time when the site urged its users to post their class scheduled and share them – and there were no privacy controls.
But social networks are not in and of themselves problematic. They are essentially programs. They supply none of their own information, and they only occasionally pull information about you from other locations. Social networks are ultimately at the mercy of their users. Read the rest of this entry →