Facebook Culture: Growing Closer or Growing Colder?


Facebook culture is growing and bringing the people of the world closer together, but could it lead to the people growing colder in their sense of what constitutes morality and in their relationships with each other? In a letter to employees, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook laid out goals for the company. These include being proactive when solving problems, being expedient in moving forward and taking risks and being bold. He hopes that such moves will prevent the world’s people from growing colder towards each other.

Zuckerberg expressed the goal for a more open and connected world through Facebook and he feels that the company has completed that goal, with its users sharing everything from cake recipes to kids lighting themselves on fire while also taking on “challenges” that endanger their lives. Perhaps there is a little bit of exhibitionism that exists in the Facebook culture, where everyone can find a way to voice their opinions or document their day to day activities.

No one will forget the role Facebook played in the Arab Spring of 2011. With Egyptian Facebook users posting regular status updates along with photos, the efforts of Egyptians in overthrowing their government were well documented through the pages of Facebook. Even though oppression returned to Egypt under military rule, no one will ever forget the role social media played in starting a national movement.

Facebook culture is a double-edged sword in this manner. It has the potential to change the world for the better, yet human nature robs the site of its power. Facebook users have the chance to use the site for clandestine encounters, affairs and Facebook messages that have been used frequently as evidence in divorce proceedings. Being connected can range from nude photos to open flirting, often with the intention of causing hurt to people in relationships and people who have ended relationships.

Facebook culture is growing people closer, but it might be growing a colder social climate as well. This primal drive to relate and personalize information has presented a new opportunity to advertisers, with economists and mathematicians working to provide solid data on the effects of Facebook culture, analyzing the number of friends, connections with people and their influence on others.

Facebook lost popularity when it changed its privacy policy. The growing need of Generation Y’s desire for privacy and Facebook’s use of their profiles to attract advertisers pulled some former users away from the site. This was, in part, thanks to the rise of websites such as Instagram and Snapchat, which appeal to the younger generation’s desire for real time footage of each others’ lives.

The initial purpose of Facebook was to provide a way for Harvard University students to connect with each other. After being banned by the Fellows of Harvard University and a series of court battles, Facebook found itself at a crossroads.

Facebook was beginning to attract members that could possibly provide misleading information. There have been reports of suicides from members harassing other members. There was also the viral spread of posts and videos that demeaned people. What is more, Facebook has been used as a platform for personal attacks and character assassinations from the relative safety of people’s computers.

Facebook has changed the way people in a society interact with each other, where friendships can be formed with people across the globe. It also promotes a lack of physical interactions, causing people to message instead of call, and the voyeur inside of people can cause them to spend an inordinate amount of time viewing their friends and families posts.

People have become addicted to the culture of Facebook. Facebook has reshaped society by creating a culture that has drawn friends and family closer; however, the lack of a primal need to be among others physically suggests that Facebook and other social media sites are helping to create a world that is growing colder by the day.

By Adrianne Hill


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