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Friday, September 23, 2011

Saving Face,..

In the last few days there have been some changes on the social media site known as Facebook. The reactions to the changes have varied from outright disgust to decadent discovery. In watching the reactions I saw a few interesting traits manifest. The majority of them where in deep regards to changes, and the lack of effective communication regarding those changes. The funny part about it was it revealed the very underbelly of the culture we have developed as a people.

First let us look at what Facebook is. The Facebook is a free social network site. The fact it is free makes me look at a lot of the entitlement people carry. You do not pay for it, yet you have a set of expectations. You want what you want, because you feel that Facebook is obligated to you in some way. You use their free service, and they generate income through advertising in that service. There are numerous alternatives to the Facebook yet more people use it, because of this we seem to feel they have to reward us for not using MySpace or Google plus for example.

The biggest objection seems to be the frequent changes to the privacy settings on this social media. That I actually find humorous. What is so humorous is the very premise of this. It is a social network site, this entails it was designed to foster social interaction. So limiting the interactions to those you know and only those you know limits that social interaction. Yet we object when the information that we did not have to place on the site is shared with other people. We limit what our friends can see, and even get offended when friendship status's are changed. We refer to privacy in this public persona.

The simple fact is we can and often do make choices as to who are "friends" are on this forum. We seem a bit more lax about it then we are in real life. We have much different expectations of our digital social life then we do of our flesh and blood social life. Many people say things and express themselves in very different ways in the two worlds. The internet was designed to exchange information, and the counter culture of the hacker talks about a free exchange of information on this digital platform. Many seemed to embrace this on the surface to seem more hip and cool to the world around them.

We hold this outward acceptance when we talk about this exchange of information, and then in the next breath we reveal our own hypocrisy. We want to see everything, about everybody else. We want total control of the information we want to share with the world though. We demand security for ourselves, but snoop and look for transparency in others. So we object when that information is shared, and bitch when we can't find out what we want to know about another person.

Funny huh? Social media? It is more like a one way exchange with implied expectations of entitlement. We use it to feed our exterior persona, and rarely let a person get a glimpse at the real us. Those that do "keep it real" are typically mocked. Those that do not subscribe to the two persona's are typically outed as crazy people. Yet those same mockers are rarely as they appear online. So many people have cyber courage. They rarely say what they openly express on the internet. I find great humor in this and often mock the mockers.

So if you are so up with the level of forced social interaction on a social network, perhaps you shout rethink you desire to be social. Think about why you are really there. If it is to connect with people, then connect. If it is to discover the truth then be the truth yourself. In essence on Facebook you are entitled to the same shit you are in the real world, and if you don't like what you get leave. That's life. Last but not least, be the truth you want to see, and stop being a douche.


  1. Very good article!!! I think you're right on target. People forget every key stroke is in the big cyberworld in the sky.
    One thing people need to always remember, nothing... absolutely nothing is private on the internet.
    Like mama used to say, "If you can't say it to my face, don't say it at all".
    Privacy is a nice fantasy....

  2. I am also suprised at the number of people who are delusioned with the idea of privacy. If you want it, stay home. I am confused at people and how they choose to be different people infront of people and then behind their backs.

    I find so much peace with myself being me and knowing that I am not perfect. If someone doesnt like me for me then we are better off not playing in the same sand box. We might not know that if we are secretly hiding our true selves from one another. It's an injustice.

    I have learned so much through people being open and sharing their thoughts. What's the point of living with such rich personalities if you don't show up to the table?

    It's sad.

  3. Interesting commentary on the psyche of many people in our society today. They want what they want and nothing else matters in the least. They bitch and moan when corporations and government officials act the same way. Is this a symptom of some kind of disease people catch from the seats of vehicles which cost over $50k?