From THE DIVINE COMMODITY by SKYE JETHANI: ..an increasing number of young people – as many as 250,000 new ones every day – use [social networking sites] to mediate nearly all of their personal interactions. But rather than encouraging healthy relationships with real people, these sites foster pseudo-relationships through shallow identities. Beyond demographic details like a person’s age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, a user’s Facebook page reveals identity primarily through their consumer preferences: favorite music, favorite books, and favorite TV shows. Combined with photos and other carefully, or carelessly, selected materials, we are invited to present a “profile” to others that amounts to a digital facade. And by “friending” someone on the site we aren’t actually committing to a relationship, but simply allowing them a closer look at our phantom consumer identity.
The appeal of social networking sites is the ability to simultaneously have hundreds of “friends” without actually risking the emotional investment of a real human relationship. As a result, relying on these sites for the bulk of one’s relationships may exacerbate the aching loneliness we feel in our souls. (Book tour begins tomorrow, April 16th)
From CHRIS HUGHES, co-founder of Facebook and co-creator of MyBarakObama.com, reported in FAST COMPANY March 2009: I don’t really know what ‘community’ means. And I never use that word…I just never think of myself as being in the business of building an online community.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a company or a campaign; you build around commonality. If it’s real people and real communities, then it’s valuable. Otherwise it’s just playing around online.
What do you use Facebook for?