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Who Controls Facebook?

January 15, 2008

I’ve never really got round to getting involved with Facebook. I mean, they call it social networking, but what’s social about adding up your friends and judging your popularity and worth by the numbers signed up. And a pint in the John Hewitt or a phone call is infinitely more social. But to be honest, I guess it’s more because I couldn’t be bothered.

So imagine my delight at finding a worthwhile reason for staying out in the Guardian, here, courtesy of an email from a friend. The piece is called ‘With Friends Like These…’ and is an examination of the political inclinations of the founders and owners of Facebook.

Even allowing for some overstatement, to which the Guardian is often prone, the case Tom Hodgkinson puts is worth considering. He writes,

Clearly, Facebook is another uber-capitalist experiment: can you make
money out of friendship? Can you create communities free of national
boundaries – and then sell Coca-Cola to them? Facebook is profoundly
uncreative. It makes nothing at all. It simply mediates in
relationships that were happening anyway.

I’d like to hear from Facebook users on just how it has added to relationships and your social network. What are the compelling reasons for joining in?

Hodgkinson concludes,

For my own part, I am going to retreat from the whole thing, remain as
unplugged as possible, and spend the time I save by not going on
Facebook doing something useful, such as reading books. Why would I
want to waste my time on Facebook when I still haven’t read Keats’
Endymion? And when there are seeds to be sown in my own back yard? I
don’t want to retreat from nature, I want to reconnect with it. Damn
air-conditioning! And if I want to connect with the people around me, I
will revert to an old piece of technology. It’s free, it’s easy and it
delivers a uniquely individual experience in sharing information: it’s
called talking.

Beat that Facebook users.

From → Web/Tech

One Comment
  1. virtualmethodist permalink

    I just can’t be bothered!

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