Facebook is probably the biggest social network in the world. Many people use this popular site (I'm one of them) to keep in contact with the people they care about (and sometimes, the people they don't care about). During the course of this article, I will explain why Facebook, rather than enable social behavior, has disabled it. Read on and see why Facebook is the Anti-Social Network.
Facebook: The Anti-Social Network
This is an article about Facebook, the popular social network, and how it has actually become a chief factor in anti-social behavior.
Instant Connectivity with your Contacts
One of Facebook's greatest pitches is the fact that you can stay in constant contact with your friends at all times. In this respect, Facebook serves the role of social network quite well. Whether by messages, comments in a friend's Wall, or several other ways of contact, you can always keep up on what the people that matter to you are doing in their lives. However, the problem with instant connectivity is that it cheapens the social component that it so tries to create.
Don't believe me?
Well, think about this for a moment: If you have a way of getting in touch with somebody in an instant, why would you ever use any slower methods of communication? Snail mail has largely fallen off as a form of communication in the last decade or so thanks to electronic mail (e-mail). While this is all done in the name of progress, some people will take this to the extreme. Rather than call someone on the telephone, they'll chat them up on Facebook. Instead of going out to the movies, they'll find a way to watch the same movie using the power of the Internet.
So, people trade the warmth of physical human contact with the frigidity of social network contact. Fair trade? You be the judge.
However, why do people buy into this so readily?
Using Facebook is incredibly easy. In fact, all you have to do is sign-up and you have your very own page where people can contact you at all times. The Facebook client will help you set up your page if you're not technologically inclined. As humans, and I include myself (I make no pretenses of being above anyone else in this respect), we tend to prefer the easy way of doing things. Sometimes it makes sense because it's efficient. Other times, it makes no sense for other reasons. In this case, the easy way in socializing with people is also the easy way out of hanging out, having a good time, or doing whatever you like.
It's funny because Facebook runs a parallel with online video games. People tout that online video games are full of social interactions, but that is only true on a superficial level. You only ever see the virtual characters your online allies have created to play your game of choice, and you never see the real them.
In this world we live in, the name of the game is globalization. Soon, everyone will be able to keep tabs on everyone else, if they so choose to. For some things, this is good. For some others, it is not. I believe that social networks should not be allowed to replace genuine social interactions as the social pastime of choice (and this is coming from someone decidedly anti-social).
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter so much if a few people partake in this activity, but what will happen when everyone is integrated? Do we take the final step and live in a virtual reality world for the rest of our lives?
It is something to think about.
In conclusion, Facebook is an anti-social network because, while it enables social interactions between people who may not be able to communicate with each other under normal circumstances, it also serves to separate people from the warmth factor involved in physical contact.
The next time you log into Facebook, think about the people you care about and if it would be good to get in touch with them every once in a while. For real.
Thanks for reading my first article here at Wizzley, and I hope to write about a bunch of topics as time allows! I have a bunch of articles across the internet, so check out my profile if you're curious.
Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)