The more I read, learn, and think about FaceBook, the more I see its utter domination on the world’s economies, politics, and– in my opinion, the most worrisome– on our minds and everyday lives. We are consumed by this networking website whose total members would make up the world’s third largest country. Wow, third largest country- all comprised into one massive website. A “country” that has hasty boundaries of public and private, a “country” that is having an increasing effect on the physical world by generating activism and proliferating news, a “country” that has a set format and that allows one to create another version of his or herself. I keep constantly going back in my mind between the pros and cons, but I have come to the realization that weighing the good and the bad doesn’t matter. FaceBook is here to stay, at least before people grow tired, and it’s rapidly changing how our world works.
The sentence “no one wants to be a FaceBook competitor” said at the end of this week’s On the Media really made me see its enormous power. Over the last four years that I have had an account, never would I have imagined the enormous effect that each and every “like” that I pressed was having. FaceBook truly is a haven for advertisers. Until now, I admit: I was naive. FarmVille brings “so much revenue” to FaceBook. Really? In all honesty, I never would have thought beyond how annoying the news feed notifications of that game were. Now, however, I look at everything from a completely different eye. “Liking” something will never be the same.
I can’t help but be simultaneously intrigued and frightened by this worldwide explosion. The story of the girl that was “friend-requested” by the man who had raped her and then spoke to him on the phone was absolutely shocking. She needed that to move on, to see that he, too, was young and not a monster. (Her ability to speak so clearly and maturely about it was also astounding to me). We can’t deny that FaceBook does bring people together, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. To me, a general rule is: if you don’t want to be found, don’t be on FaceBook. And if you are on FaceBook, at least from now on, be more aware of how they can control your data and use your information. I definitely will be.