One thing I like about Facebook is that I can watch the borders and boundaries between individuals get muddled whenever a topic surfaces that polarizes people into two distinct groups. The 2012 elections in the USA offer the willing spectator an opportunity to see this in real time.
On Facebook there is only the like button. Either you like something or you just out of luck because now you will have to type something which involves critical thinking and the ability to articulate what we are feeling and that is not something we do well anymore. Our attention span has been curtailed, anything more than 140 characters is such a drastic change to writing in whole sentences…. main ideas supporting ideas and or facts, conclusions who has time for all this?
Technology carries with it culture. It say a lot about our culture looking at how on Facebook we can either like something, post a comment or block the person. CNN ran a piece on this entitled: Presidential election tests Facebook friendships
Nearly one-fifth of people admit to blocking, unfriending or hiding someone on social media over political postings, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center‘s Internet & American Life Project. The biggest gripes: The offending person posted too often about politics, disagreed with others’ updates, or bothered mutual friends with partisan political postings.
This doesn’t happen in our daily lives because we rarely share deeply with others. We are content to hide behind a mask, we talk about our political views with some people, with others we don’t. With some people we tell dirty jokes with other we don’t. What’s interesting about Facebook to me is that we can have legion of followers who we have never met or interacted with in person.
I think we have been conditioned to think that we have to assert our opinions all the time. America has been victimized by American Idol type shows . Shows like that that buy participation cheapen the power and value of the human voice. Now everyone is rushing to vote or click a like button. Self-articulation is a stall now in the bazaar.
We should be reminded that our Facebook friends are not really friends although we like to pretend they are. Do you remember Burger King’s campaign to give out whopper in exchange for unfriending 10 people? More than 233,000 were sacrificed before Burger king put an end to this. If this Whopper campaign were started now again how many people would still be friends ?
I think that is enough rambling for me now
- Facebook friends status changing due to presidential election, and not for the better (al.com)
- Presidential Politics Strain Facebook Friendships (aarp.org)
- Why Political Facebook Posts Could be Costing you Friends (gadgets.gunaxin.com)
- Researchers Examine Psychological Effects of FB Unfriending (tomshardware.com)
- Presidential election tests Facebook friendships (myfox8.com)
- Thank you for not unfriending me (psychologytoday.com)