Thursday 22 December 2011

Facebook mutation.

I've noticed some changes in Facebook. It has been drastically altered and tweaked but also the way many of us use it has changed. Originally, when many of us had a relatively lowly number of Facebook 'friends' i believe it used it more as a web tool to stay in touch with your immediate mates. Now it really has become a community, a social realm, and a living space. The process is catalysed by a growth in the number of friends we all have. Originally I might have denied friendship with people who I only knew as acquaintances because they technically weren't my friends, but somewhere along the lines this stopped and i would accept people i barely knew or occasionally didn't know at all. It is as if i have lost a personal level and became part of a virtual democracy where to deny someone a virtual friendship wouldn't be playing the game fairly. The more 'friends' we have, the more we feel obliged to mitigate our personal sense of friendship and instead replace it with the false utopianism of Facebook. With the utopian ideals of a virtual democracy, censorship is quite a telling attribute - by which i mean censorship of ones own thoughts, opinions, likes etc appearing as status updates or comments etc etc. I should think that it may sometimes cross your mind whether your post is appropriate or unfair or just plain rude, and with the more people watching the more we generally feel the necessity to censor the impression we make on the site. If i continue this presumption that we censor what we post on Facebook then it surely contradicts the utopian intent that we believe Facebook to be and aims to exude (obvious examples of utopianism include a connection with someone being called a 'friend, and simply the 'like' button.) As a neutral vehicle for expression it should be teeming with individuality but i feel as if we are reaching a point where it is a dumping ground for our failure to express ourselves at all. Yes the amount of information uploaded onto the site increases second by second but does this actually make Facebook a richer society? No, because its a website. Let us all remind ourselves that it's a fucking website.

I think it's fair to say that Facebook has become a huge portion of many of our lives, so much so that i get the sense that maybe we are starting to live our lives only to document it on Facebook, to advertise ourselves, give ourselves a certain gloss or sheen? If Karl Marx was to take a look at Facebook he would probably see it as an extension of his theory of 'Alienation', bound tightly to a rejection of capitalism. Part of his theory states that, in manufacture the workmen are parts of a living mechanism. In the factory we have a lifeless mechanism independent of the workman, who becomes a mere living appendage. This i feel is poignant because i feel it is as if many of us may be becoming lifeless appendages to our own Facebook page? On the other hand Marx might have really liked this whole social networking thing because it appeals to communist ideals of a classless, moneyless and stateless establishment.

Do we create a Facebook page for other peoples consumption or for ourselves to consume? If we go out for a day and dont take any photographs, don't post a location update or status update and so on, did we ever go on a day out?... or to put it another way if a tree falls down in a forest, and there's nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? But are we now the trees and is Facebook the forest? Are we now beginning to bypass the part of this philosophical thought experiment where it matters if there is any human perception? I'm getting the impression that we are all getting a bit confused about reality because of our obsession with social networking, but what's worse is that I am also getting the impression that many of us aren't realising that there might be a confusion in reality at all.

We are extremely social animals and im not sure whether virtual friendships appeal to anything more than our virtual selves. Comporting social aspects in a cyber space makes me wonder at root whether any of the information on Facebook is a social document of us or whether it is actually a document of Facebook's social effect on us.

As Ernst Fischer wrote, 'We have become so accustomed to living in a world of commodities, where nature is perhaps only a poster for a holiday resort and man only an advertisement for a new product, we exist in such a turmoil of alienated objects offered cheaply for sale, that we hardly ask ourselves any longer what it is that magically transforms objects of necessity (or fashion) into commodities, and what is the true nature of the witches' Sabbath, ablaze with neon moons and synthetic constellations, that has become our day to day reality'.


  1. I reckinz that many people use Facebook as a tool to mask and pretend to be someone they're not. In real life social situations, witticisms and verbal reactions are accessed immediately; Facebook allows for as much time as you need to sound clever, funny and a genuinely good person to be around. Not only this, but Facebook acts as a protector: too scared to say something to someone? Want to act like you've got something important or funny to say? Say it on Facebook so you can't see the true reaction and can hide behind a minimised window. That'll buy you some time to think of an ulta clever response and create this hyper-real version of what you wish you could be like.

    Of course, to some extent this is why (perhaps unconsciously) people use Facebook in the first place. It's a disgusting circle though, as what we say is forever imprinted on the internet. If you regret saying something to someone it is too late. Yes you can delete and manipulate what you've said afterwards, but from the moment you press enter the public have access. Facebook is more and more warped over time - 'See what you posted on this day in 2008!' "Ahh baa, feel like a twat for posting that, why ya remindin'!?"

    Facebook does have it's redeeming qualities and I'm sure if anyone reads this they don't need me to list them. Over all though, Facebook makes me sick. 'Stop using it then!' you demand.
    "Nah" I reply, "bored as fuck."

    Facebook is a sucubus. It takes you in with false promise of curing nights of nothingness and before you know it, it's half three in the morning and you're ranting about how it has ruined everyone's lives in the entire fucking cosmos. I'm a walking contradiction, along with the rest of you stinky sists that complain about Facebook. We're all in virtual hell together. Anyone know a way out?... Please?

    On the plus side though, it is a fantastic mechanism for being a disgusting pervert and spying on defenseless virtual victims...

  2. Censor this... "...suck my ball bags prawn breath..!"