Facebook:A Critical Analysis
Facebook:A Critical Analysis
Withadvancement in technology, people can now communicate easily and getto know each other. The world has increasingly been connected throughvarious social media platforms such as Facebook. Several people arecurrently using social networking as a way of communicating withfriends across the globe. Since its inception, Facebook has grown tobe the largest social media platform with the largest number of usersworldwide.
Asone of the cultural product, Facebook promotes a number of socialvalues. Friendship is a primary value that Facebook promotes. Theplatform places types of friends in different categories which servean important function. It differentiates the depth of connection onehas to the friend or how and where the friendship started. Thedifferent classes of friends are classmates, acquaintance, relativesand other kinds of relationships. Under the category of classmates,Facebook shows the level of education such as high school classmates,college or university. When one gets connected with one friend in acertain college, the individual can get suggestions from people hemight know from the same college and hence, ends up making morefriends. Facebook has made it easier to keep in touch with oldfriends and get connected to new friends. A relationship which canstart with just a single message in Facebook can grow into a moreintimate one. It has made it possible to prolong superficialconnections that would otherwise have dissipated.
Likeany other social networking sites, there are both positive andnegative repercussions of using Facebook. People usually share theirlife experiences through posts and profile updates on their Facebookaccounts. The assumption that people have is that whatever anindividual share on Facebook is real. However, this is not always thecase. There have been cases of fake accounts and portrayal ofpeople`s lives. In some cases, individuals may share photos on socialmedia showing how they are spending their days or places they havetraveled. What many do not understand is that some photos do notalways portray what`s going on with somebody`s life. When socialnetworking site users see a picture of, for instance, a husband andwife smiling, they always assume that those individuals are happy. However, it is not always the case. An example of this incident iswhen a New York doctor by the name Kiersten Cerveny was afterconsuming cocaine last year on November (Billias 1). This came as ashock to her friends since her Facebook profile was describing ahomely life with her husband and three children who seem to be happyas illustrated by the pictures (Billias 1). Facebook, therefore,shows the difference between appearance and reality of people’slives.
Thereare various forms in which a Facebook user usually experiences itsinfluence. The site has provided different means where users can passa message, from the ‘likes’ and ‘tags’ to messages andcommenting on posts. Internet users are rapidly growing around theworld. An issue which may be viewed insignificant can go viral in amatter of seconds. Social activists, for instance, have been usingFacebook to reach out to as many people around the world as possible.
Thesite is comprised of several individuals of genders and from allnations in the world. It has contributed to cultural ideas andexpectations in various ways. As a user of Facebook, one can send afriend request to anyone regardless of gender, race or social class.People can share their thoughts and experiences through the site.There exist several groups on Facebook with different affiliationswhere users can share thoughts about various issues affecting thesociety. Gender-based violence, for instance, is a subject thatsocial activists campaign through the social sites. Posts on suchgroups contribute immensely in promoting the understanding ofdifferent aspects of life and issues affecting the people. It hasbroken the cultural barrier and people can now learn from friendsfrom all walks of life.
Insupporting or revising conventional ideas, Facebook has provided aplatform through which individuals can share their thoughts. Thereare groups which are formed specifically for the purpose ofadvocating for a certain issue that affects the society as a whole.There is no restriction on what someone is supposed to share. It hasprovided a platform where people can exercise their freedom of speechwhile addressing important ideas. Through Facebook, News agencies canquickly pass information to people across the world through theFacebook page. The posts can be in the form of pictures, videos, andmessages. Such News can be influential and when they get support fromthe public, they can change convention practices or expectations in aunique way.
Indistinguishing various types of emotions and activities, Facebook hasprovided symbols which create certain meaning that is different fromtheir literal sense. There are symbols called emojis whichshow emotions and some carry a different meaning. Instead of anindividual posting a picture to show his smile, he can just click andpost a smiling emoji. Such symbols are commonly used ininformal communication and keep people feel connected and closer.There is also the common symbol known as a hashtag. Itis used to turn a particular topic or subject into a link in one’spersonal page or timeline that users can click and share information.Basically, a hashtag is used to create specific topics andthus an individual can easily find posts related their subjects ofinterests.
Facebookhas become very prominent in adolescent people as well as adult’slives. People are using Facebook to connect with friends as well aslearn about social events around the world. An increased onlineinteraction time affects the formation of personal or group identityand understanding of self through the popularity or the number offeedbacks an individual gets on the information shared through thesite. It allows users to share to share their personal opinions andideas with all connections on the social site. It also provides anoption for other users to respond to other people’s opinions. Suchideas can be shared to as many people as possible and can stay in thestay for as long as one does not delete them. These connections andthe strong need for a user to belong to a certain group shows thatthere are many possibilities for individuals to shape themselves inany way they desire. Online way of communicating has always beenassociated with anonymity, meaning that individuals can expressthemselves in their most desirable way and shape their identities inany manner.
Thesite provides various elements that contribute to the meaning of theinformation being passed. In sharing their opinions, individuals canuse visual style, audio, textual and composition styles. The visualstyle is commonly used to emphasize on issues or for simply sharingvarious life experiences with the rest of the world. As anentertainment tool, users can access and share videos, includingmusic and movies, as well as short funny clips. Information can alsobe passed through texts and in the form of a composition when it isdeemed too large.
Acloser look at the number of Social Networking Sites (SNS) will showthat the women are more than men. The disparity can be due to thefact that women are marginalized. They use SNS to air theirgrievances and discuss pertinent issues affecting their lives. In asociety dominated by men, women take it to the social media to sharetheir opinions on matters such as gender violence, womenmisrepresentation in the society and their role in transforming theworld.
Thereis no doubt that Facebook plays a significant role in the society.One of the key roles is the promotion of businesses. The site hasprovided interface specifically for business where marketers cantarget their advertisements based on the information provided byusers on the site. This helps small and big businesses to markettheir products easily and cut advertising costs. Online news sitesuse Facebook to pass information to the public. Well-established newsplatforms such as CNN, The New York Times, among others, have beenreceiving a considerable amount of traffic in their Facebook links,implying that social media contacts have an influence on theinformation read by users. The main goal of Facebook is to connectpeople and allow them to keep in touch with each other. The siterecorded a billion users as of 2009, where people share contacts andexchange information (Mercer 1).
Billias,M. “Are we ready for warts and all social media?”. (2015).http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/are-we-ready-for-warts-and-all-on-social-media/news-story/57787520103d651f2f2ed2ec482a152b.Accessed on 11 Dec. 2016
Mercer,E. “The Importance of Facebook”. (2015).http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-facebook-56887.html.Accessed on 11 Dec. 2016