Some Thoughts on Facebook and Society

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In class we talked about how “breaking out of the system” is impossible because all of your actions out of the system are affected by the system. It was mentioned that you cannot leave society and live off the land without paying property taxes or risk living on the streets or going to jail. I believe that through the creation of social networks this is the modern creation of a social new system that we eventually will not be able to break out of. I recently deactivated my facebook and have already had to make small changes within my life to compensate for the lost social connections. For example it is more difficult for me to schedule rehearsals with my chamber group because we used to communicate over facebook. It has also somewhat negatively affected my social life because so many events are planned on facebook rather than in real life. On a larger scale, for advertising purposes companies have created their own facebook and twitter fan pages that people can “follow” or “like.”

Facebook was created in 2004 and already it has built up a “community” of roughly 850 million users and that number is still growing. Originally it was created for college students but now you can be as young as 13 and have a facebook. As the younger generation grows up with these facebooks it will eventually become mandatory to participate in some form of social networking. One of the reasons why social networking has exploded is because of the creation of the smart phone. Facebook is easier to access through the use of smart phones because it is easily portable and user friendly. Most phones are able to show you your facebook news feed as well as pool other people’s facebook information into your contact list. The smart phone is making facebook more convenient and easier to access for its users. While the smart phone is making facebook more convenient, it is also making not having a facebook less convenient. Because facebook is becoming so wide spread it may be difficult to live without one.

People’s creation of social networking is in a way creating a meaningless system that will eventually be impossible for us to break out of. We could compare the creation of social networks to the creation of capitalism through Calvinism by saying that originally the Calvinist ethos was geared towards glorifying God but eventually that aspect of glorifying God was lost and now we have a capitalist society in which people work pointlessly just to work for the money. The purpose of why we work is now gone and is now replaced with greed which goes against Calvinist beliefs. One could argue that facebook was created to make socializing with others easier but now we are spending too much time socializing in a meaningless self idolizing online world instead of spending time off the internet in the real world with real people. What  was meant to make socializing easier for people is now creating a barrier between online life and real life. Instead of spending time outside of our homes with people, we spend hours on the computer chatting or tweeting things. We spend time reading the news feed about our five hundred plus facebook friends when in relality we only have personal contact with about a handful of them. We are so busy with what is going on in our smart phones and in our lap tops that we forget to look around at what is happening in real life.

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One Response to “Some Thoughts on Facebook and Society”

  1. akolot Says:

    Social network growth is actually pretty frightening if you think about it. The amount of security and protection that Facebook users have is minimal and for several years the advertisements dominating the page collect your personal information. Despite this, Facebook tries to cater to a user’s every need, thus creating a network dominating schedules and communication, as well as more fodder for capitalist competition through ads/recommended pages/’people you may know’ etc. This kind of internet comfort leads to people growing more and more nonchalant about their online presence which is beginning to quickly take over live presence/human interaction.

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