The Anti-social Network
To Facebook Or Not To Facebook...
October 2, 2012
by William Szczepanek
To Facebook, or not to Facebook, that is the question. More than 50% of Americans use Facebook. In addition, 8.7% are fake accounts and used for other purposes. For the last few years the number of Facebook accounts have increased dramatically. Since Facebook went public the numbers have begun to dwindle. More and more users are worrying about their privacy.
Social networking has become a popular, if not a necessary entity. If you're not on Facebook, you are out of it --- an old stick-in-the-mud. If you are on Facebook, you are being watched. But let's face it, we are watched no matter where we go. It is almost impossible to walk down a city street or shop in a store without being on camera. Privacy in many respects is disappearing.
Facebook and other social networking tools have gone a long way toward informing their users of companies and products that don't cut the mustard, while providing a vehicle for free advertising through the users. This service is proving to be invaluable to its users and to corporations. Yet, many people are leaving Facebook for a number of reasons.
Some believe it takes too much time. It can be a time waster if allowed to be. It can also be difficult to manage. Some are afraid of what others, like employers, will find out about them. It's a tightrope walk for some people. Professionals often get around this by having a business page for communicating with their fans or work colleagues and a separate page for friends and family. I personally enjoy the comments and insights of professional business pages and feel honored when a professional allows me to be part of their personal or family page.
There's the Rub...
Business is 90% goals and details and about 10% emotion. Family is about 90% emotion and 10% goals and details. Anyone who tries to run a family in a strictly business-like fashion is doomed to failure. In living rooms feelings drive heated responses. Words are used like swords to carve up the participants. Some families survive when both sides can be forgiving. Family gatherings may have a different focus if you need to worry that another member may delete or modify files on your home computer. Some families cease to exist because the Self becomes the overriding concern. In many respects it's just brain chemistry. The amygdala stores emotional responses. Some people can better control this area by easily suppressing anger and hurt, others cannot, and arguments ensue.
When the slicing and dicing spreads to the internet, on Facebook or Twitter, or whatever comes next, the effects are more far reaching. Criticizing a family member, either directly or indirectly on the internet may eventually become fashionable, just like criticizing corporations and politicians is now. Subduing a bully or con artist on the internet can be viewed as a meritorious act. Now, I'm not condoning such actions, but with families now often separated by long distances, the options for communication are limited and hurt feelings are frequently expressed in text (probably the least effective means of communication).
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? --- William Shakespeare
The living room is now a global stage. You can delete your Facebook account, but you can't delete the internet. There are many ways to carve a turkey. Whether or not to have a Facebook page is largely an individual consideration. Some think it is just a fad. Others believe it is the social structure for all things human in the future.
But remember, Big Brother and now Big Sister are watching. You can run, but you cannot hide.
"The social network can be just as anti-social as everyday communication. It is what we make it that will determine our future."