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What’s the point of Facebook – PostADay 2011 Challenge – Today is…

January 7, 2011 23 comments

brought to you by Fool on the hill.

What’s the point of Facebook

‘Social networking’ everyone replies. So what’s that exactly, seeing that so many sites which started out as something else seem to be morphing into social networks? Swapping the odd few words with people who, one way or another, have become your ‘friends’, even though you don’t know them and will never meet?

The number of ‘friends’ people can accrue appears to be important, it marks their status on Facebook, and is reciprocal; you can be my friend if I can be yours’, but it’s not genuine or real friendship, merely a way of boasting how many ‘friends’ you have, while at most, making the odd comment on their page occasionally, ‘liking’ something they posted, or a picture they put up. All shallow and meaningless. Real friends of course do keep in touch that way, but they could do so with a simple email, so one wonders why they would want their conversations public.

But what exactly is social networking? For many it appears to be taking over from real networking in the real world which is designed to keep people with similar interests/jobs/careers/hobbies in touch; the more time you spend staring at a screen, the less you have for real interaction with real friends and family. There is obviously a need or people wouldn’t have flocked to the site in millions and made the creator a multi-millionaire at age 24 [more on him later], but is it a genuinely felt need or merely following all the other sheep, and is it being satisfied by Facebook?

Lonely people may feel it is a cure for their loneliness, but is having hundreds of pretend ‘friends’ the same as having a small circle of real friends who actually care about you? Studies have found that people who have hundreds of friends on Facebook only interact on a regular basis with seven. That suggests that we really want just a few friends with whom we feel intimate and can share things in our lives, and perhaps the human animal is only capable of this level of social interaction.

This is a taster of my post on my own blog Fool on the hill.

Peter

 

© 2010-2011 Things in life I find annoying

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