The Power of Facebook, Undermined.

14 June 2011 § 3 Comments

Facebook has established itself as the premier social profiler. It eclipsed every complaint people had about myspace – it’s easier to use, far less susceptible to useless and horrid HTML code (thus creating a sense of uniformity and equality in that the information about a person is far more important than the superficial exterior, i.e. seemingly promoting the idea that the personality takes precedence over physical beauty), and the features of the site – photos, videos, games, chat, status updates, many of which virtually eliminate the need for phone calls to find out what’s up not-so-subtly imply that Facebook is the only site on the internet that many people need visit.

Facebook made it cool to have as many friends as possible again.

Facebook profits are expected to top $100 billion by October of this year. Do you know how much money that is? $100,000,000,000. In comparison, Exxon hit another record-breaking profit for the first quarter of 2011: $11 billion.

When a single entity carries this sort of power over a society, only bad things can result: things like dependence on external things to feel secure about ourselves, a lack of human connection. Someone recently told me about a friend of hers who only communicates through facebook, and through no other medium under any circumstances. No phone, no text, nothing.

Facebook has inserted itself into American culture as the new cocaine – everybody’s doing it everywhere all the time, and the very thought of stopping – of deleting one’s profile – causes bouts of anxiety! Think about it for a minute. Be honest with yourself, and tell me it’s not true.

– 48% of Facebook users aged 18-34 check their profile as soon as they wake up.
– Almost 60% of people talk more on Facebook than in real life.
– 1 on 13 people on Earth have a Facebook profile.
– More than 70% of Americans connected to the internet have a Facebook.

I don’t have TV, but I have Facebook. But hey, that doesn’t matter so much, because most young people get their news through Facebook, anyway. The word itself is a noun, verb, and is a social status in and of itself – you don’t have a Facebook? What planet are you from?

Does no one else see a problem with this?

Short example: years ago, when I was in the trenches of the metal underground, the smaller number of fans a band had meant more credibility for the band. If you’d never heard of them, I probably had, and liked them – likely less for the music, and more for their obscurity.

Luckily, I crawled out of that delusion, and I’d like to think I’ve found some middle ground – I don’t care who else listens to a band; if the music is good, I like it. However, a good rule of thumb is that people are generally dumb and lack taste in really great music, so the top-selling pop music at any given time is usually garbage. (It is important to note, thankfully, that this is not always the case – some exceptionally good music makes it to the Billboard charts, especially since the crash of the music industry.)

Here I am, part of the biggest pop phenomenon in human history, and I can feel my addiction to it in my veins. It is a burden I no longer wish to carry. I wish to communicate effectively. If I’m going to talk to people, I want awkward silences and butterflies and eye contact. I want to smile without it traveling through my fingertips. I want you to hear my sarcasm, and if I’m going to pay you compliment or insult, I need you to hear my tone and sincerity.

I’m done with you, Facebook. We’ve come a long way since I signed up that day in Asheville on that old mac, but I’m walking away now. And the ironic thing? This will post on my profile for all to read.

My note to you: If you want to contact me, I’ll be in the real world.


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§ 3 Responses to The Power of Facebook, Undermined.

  • Katy says:

    I find myself becoming less interested in Facebook than I used to be…It’s just become, well, boring. I’d much rather receive a text, a phone call, heck a knock at the front door!

  • a knock at the front door is a rare and amazing thing these days, especially when a phone call didn’t come six seconds before the knock. I get into facebook more when I’ve nothing else to do, and staring at the same screen for what seems like hours on end – wow, what a waste of time, right? Maybe facebook will die off like myspace did, but there always seems to be something to replace it…

  • Katy says:

    Indeed. People say it’s a great way to keep in contact, but I think what they actually mean is it’s a great way to stalk people without having any contact! I too, am more likely to waste hours on Facebook if I have nothing better to do, but I agree that it’s a waste of time. I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon, and as much as I berate it I’d probably be disappointed if it did…it’s just become a part of people’s daily communication and if you’re not involved then you often miss out.

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