Facebook Unfriended

The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani Book CoverFrom 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)


Chris Hughes Cover Fast Company MagazineFrom 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?