Facial Image, Orality and Literacy-Addiction and Facebook In Line and Online- Virally
More than 500 million active users, an average of 130 friends each a total of 700 billion minutes spent per month with a daily usage of 55 minutes. Just what is it about Facebook that kept us logged like that, we allow it to control our lives and made us become willing contributors to Mark Zuckerberg's wealth?
Every single states update, photo shared and link posted you have made on your Facebook Wallis actually attributed to a 'theory on psychology. Abraham Maslow stated that humans have three basic needs, which are for love, affection and a sense of belonging. Jasmine writes: "we might not realize it, but that in sharing with our friends our activities and photographs, we are actually seeking for attention and belongingness.We want people to notice us and we feel better when do and take time to comment on our posts. The best is that it's OK to do so on Facebook because that's what Facebook is meant for..I often joke and call all these a case of narcissism!"
In answering the question "Is it true Facebook is like a drug?", Asker gave this answer: It is like any game or site that draws you in on purpose. I f they can prove that they have a huge following, they make money - plain and simple. They an do advertising and they get paid to put it on their site. The owners of all those games pay Facebook too. The more persons who play the more they owe, so they push the extra money thing so that you get 'addicted' and start charging for more points or $$. That is how they make money. We got to keep it simple and play carefully, never spend real money on these sites or it can suck you dry. It is an "Addiction". there's always a catch to everything - really."
The very act, drive and need to always see if the 'red-number-light is on tends to work like the Pavlovian condition technique. For instance, we subscribe to the e-mail notifications that notify us as soon as someone makes a comment on your post. And we'd check that comment right away. This in some way shows our addiction to Facebook too, as I have commented on the 'red' number-light, along with that craving need to know what someone has said in their comments, we do so in order to save a few seconds of "anxiety". We do really love ourselves that much? Now Facebook is going to empower one's life.
Understanding Facebook is a very difficult thing to do as it has proliferated in the manner that it has done and is doing. Since it is still a growing medium, this Hub will evolve with its morphing, converging, diverging and streaming nature and how it is affecting and effecting is users. The Hub may be about South African and the whole of the African Continent's social media, but it is also about how the African people themselves are also affected by what I will try to discuss might be an addiction, too, in their own lives-they are not immune to the effects and affects of Facebook-therefore, it is worth learning about these affects, and this is particularly directed at the Facebookers in South Africa and Africa/Diaspora as a whole, about the addictive nature of Social Media, and those who control it, and how they do it; i.e., this might not be a definite study about Facebook(FB), but it is also a start at looking at FB at its zenith as a social media entity, mammoth business ore and enclave and also, a media environment, and what this means for its users and whether as a consequence this has altered, human perceptions, communications, social relations; and if so,how, it has morphed itself into human communication, interactive, intra-active and interpersonal facilitator of relationships since its introduction.
A cursory look at what Facebook doing what is or affects and effects the South African and the African continent's social media Facebook milieu and interacting mass consuming and using clientele would be or is in order here. What will be discussed below, also affects any Facebook user all over the world, and these discourses below, also affect everybody on Facebook.. The article I am going to cite below, gives the reader some semblance as to what this Facebook Beast all about, and I think the author speaks to and for the users, at the same time informing those who do not really know what it is about, so that it sort of makes them privy to the innards of this mammoth and ever expanding and and fast-growing section or one of the entity's of the the matrix as Social Media connections and facilitators for people to connect and communicate globally.
The Following article I am about to cite here, gives us a rough idea what Facebook is about and gives us lessons which will help understanding what one is dealing with when it comes to Facebook Social Media and its business side; media theorists are also utilized to give us clear parameters as about the Subject of Facebook addiction. Other professionals from a myriad disciplines will also be quoted. As a new, growing and emerging media communication systems, facilitator and environment, with its embedded techniques and uniqueness as a medium that dictates human connection and communication and other additional features which it brings into the communication sphere and environ, it is better at times to learn and read what those who started with it and are still the communication mode within the FB Beast have to say about it.
What is important is to know how does media (both the technology and the From High School and many colleges, which traditional media education does not address that question much, and popular culture tends to glorify media for its very existence. Messages, images and text affect us as individuals, families, cultures,nations and as inhabitants of planet earth. What this Hub will attempt to tabulate is that the 'study of communication systems as complex environments-[and Facebook social media, specifically], wherein the interests in the interactions of communications media, technology, technique, and processes with human feeling, thought, value and behavior' form a confluence-it is better to unpack it and see it in its loose and different parts.
So that, the ecology and essence of the Facebook(FB), is captured succintly by Lance Strate who when he describes "Media Ecology(One can replace it when trying to define Facebook), says that "it is a way of studying the postindustrial and the postmodern, and the preliterate and prehistoric of media logic, medium theory, technological determinism, as hard and soft, technologically evolving mediology." This really means that understanding the technology, techniques, media, medium and communication is essential if we are to control and apply it for the Human Good. We need to use the latter advice and definition whenever we are dealing with Facebook and trying to understand it as a medium which has techniques of facilitating the intra and interaction through use of different gadgets of Facebook within an environment dictated and facilitated for by Facebook through its use of the Web.
In this same context, I am fully cognizant of and conversant with the ideas of Neil Post wherein he notes that the 'environments, their structure, content and people-as we should by now recognize- media environments, are after all, complex message systems which imposes on human beings ways of thinking, feeling and behaving'- in that :
- it structures what we can see and say and, therefore, do.
- It assigns roles to us and insists on our playing them.
- It specifies what we are permitted to do and what we are not.
In the case of media environments (e.g., books, radio, film, television, Internet Facebook, etc.), the specifications are more often implicit and informal, half concealed by our assumption that what we are dealing with is not only an environment but merely a machine. Whilst describing the Facebook(FB) as we have done and are still going to do (in the case of South Africa and Africa), I am interrogating or trying to find our what roles the media designs for us to play, how FB structures what we are seeing, think, doing, feeling, etc.,, why the Facebook and its media makes us feel and act as we do. This hub seeks to look at and discuss Facebook media as environments and how , in the case of Facebook, it dulls the mind, dumbs us down and habituates us to it in an addictive manner, that we end up losing control of our core being. The environment of Facebook(FB), is one specific environments that I will discuss below.
Something About The Environment of Facebook(FB)...
This Article from CNN informs us thus: "Facebook advocates are touting the company's initial public offering this week -- the biggest ever for an Internet company-- as if it will save the net, the economy and the American way. Its detractors see the final chapter in the rise and fall of a smart but solipsistic Harvard dropout, and predict the inevitable decline of Facebook's stock will spell the end to innovation in social media. Internet Bubble 2.0.
Of course, none of this is true. Such hyperbole is more about our traditional media's need for simple stories than anything happening at Facebook or on Wall Street. These are the judgments of financial analysts who don't even know what API stands for (Application Program Interface), and technology analysts who never heard of the Greenshoe option (the provision for an underwriter to oversell).
This factless speculation, combined with the risk-off jitters of the greater markets, has led to the conflation of stock value with business, and one social media company with the future of the net. If the dot.com bubble and more recent stock market crash should have taught us anything, it's that stock prices have been uncoupled from business profitability, which has in turn been uncoupled from value creation.
Facebook can still be one of the most successful and significant companies of the past 100 years without being nearly worth an IPO valuation of $100 billion. Meanwhile, traders buying stock at that valuation can still make billions more over the next hours or days, even if the stock then plummets or slowly peters out. Likewise, Facebook can shoot to a sustained stock market success even without showing a reasonable profit for many years. Finally, Facebook can become the biggest stock market and business loser since Lucent (who?) without taking the Internet or social media down with it." The last time I checked, which is very recent, the stocks of Facebook were rising admirably and sharply
The Ecology Of Apps
'So to start, let's look at the IPO in isolation. Is Facebook worth the $96 billion reportedly implied by IPO valuation? Not at the moment. Facebook's profits are down since last year, its membership growth is stagnating and the online advertising market is softening. This IPO comes at a later than ideal time, as the potential trajectory for the company no longer seems infinite.
Does that mean you shouldn't buy the stock on opening day? Of course not. The price of Facebook shares will have nothing to do with the reality on the ground (or online). Everyone wants in, demand is outstripping supply, and the hunger for shares could push the price very high in the short term. None of this has anything to do with social media, it's just gambling.
It's also possible that even the craziest speculators are still undervaluing Facebook's ultimate worth. That's where a media theorist like me can venture an opinion -- and I'd have to say no, they're not. Facebook is certainly the best of the social media apps to come along, just as Google was the best search engine. Similarly, however, the social media playpen constituted by Facebook is temporary. Just as we are moving away from Web search into a world of applications running on smartphones, we will move away from our single Web-based social media platform toward more ad-hoc social apps on our handheld devices.
It's hard for us to imagine right now, but we won't be logging into Facebook to find out what's going on; we'll work and play in an ecology of apps that tell us where people are and what they are doing.
Yes, Facebook may have a role in that next-generation social media universe, but it will need what tech industry people like to call "a second act." Apple's second act is the iPhone. Google is hoping for "augmented reality" eyeglasses and network-controlled automobiles. You can read about this in my Hub titled "Media Ecology: The Technological Society-How Real is Our Reality? Also, How Reality is Real... Everything is everything". Apple has just launched the iPhone5 and it has sold out as of editing of this article
Facebook's second act is far from clear. It wants to become the platform on which everybody else builds social media apps. But if all this activity is happening on smartphones, then Facebook is dangerously dependent on Android and iPhone for everything, a layer on top of Apple and Google's systems. Facebook's inability to generate income on the smartphone has led to some desperate moves, such as its billion-dollar acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram and off-putting products like "sponsored stories."
So far, love him or hate him, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has been consistent with his vision of building a more social Web: a peer-to-peer communications infrastructure that changes the way people connect, share ideas and sell things. The more comingled his mission becomes with the priorities of Wall Street, the less freedom he will have to challenge the status quo."
It is important that I started by citing the business side of the narrative about Facebook, which will help in making this hub relevant by the time I look further into the effects and affects of Facebook on its users and the world of media and communications in the contemporary Technological Societies we now exist and live in. We continue the story about the business side of Facebook Social Media..
To Be Or not To Be: Facebook or Wall Street
"The Facebook IPO itself, for instance, is being conducted in the most traditional fashion possible, with underwriters establishing a price and offering shares through brokerage houses. Compare this to Google, who let the public establish the share price through open bidding, mirroring the company's revolutionary, bottom-up search algorithm, and challenging underwriters with net democracy.
The most radical thing Zuckerberg has done so far is attend investor meetings in a hoodie -- as if to say, "in your face." Cute, but it hardly asserts innovation in the face of profiteering, or social networking in the face of the corporate capitalism.
This is a week when the stock markets are particularly vulnerable to a new message. The CEO of Yahoo is resigning after a controversy over resume padding, while executives at JP Morgan Chase are falling on their swords for losing so much money, so quickly, that they may change the regulatory landscape for their entire industry. People are ready to embrace a new way of playing this tired game.
By jumping headfirst into the stock market, Facebook may be joining a zero-sum shell game at just the wrong "risk off" moment. If Facebook does succeed in the stock market this week, then it will do so at the expense of Groupon, Apple and Google, whose net-fetishizing investors will likely be selling those shares in order to buy the new ones from Facebook. Worse, by joining in the speculative economy on Wall Street's terms, a company that might have changed business instead subjects itself to forces far beyond its control." So that, my take is that Facebook's dabbling with the Stock Market is merely not only kow-towing to even much more powerful business conglomerates, but taking is chances, gambling, one would say, that the FB would churn out mega profits by subjecting its business independence and potential to chart a new course, for the mega-billions parlayed and arrayed in the horizon of a new Capitalism for the taking." And Facebook has the potential to achieve and be of the status of creating a New Capitalism, as stated above
The Inner Sanctum of Facebook Social Media
Up to this point in this Hub, I will now cite a much more direct communique or post and as told by one of its users, as he speculates about the emergence of another medium which will surpass this one and what he thinks will happen or be happening; also, he gives us some points as to what he thinks are the effects and affects of Facebook, and he gives us a glimpse into the jargon used to communicate and this too has had affects and affects on the users and conditions them to shortened internet language which helps us understand the instancy of the media and medium we know as Facebook. This is a Facebook Blogger-addict giving us his spin, and in a way one sees how this affect effect of using FB(Face) gets one to become addicted:
How to Take Down Facebook -- Hint: It Ain't Twitter. (aka: An Open Letter to the Next Big Social Network)
I've held off writing this post for a long time, because I couldn't quite get my head around all the issues. It wouldn't be accurate to say there's something "wrong" with Facebook, and it's not like I don't spend a shitload of time ego-whoring around on Twitter too. Let's face it: I'm completely and utterly addicted to social networks & the Interwebs.
but: Something is Still Missing. "Something is wrong on the Internet" and it's keeping me awake at night. However, I think I finally figured out what "IT" is...
Assertion #1: Facebook doesn't get Intimacy.
Facebook is full of my "friends", but it's not a great place to hang with my BEST friends (aka "BFF).
Now before you lose your sh*t, I know many of you are saying:
a) Dave, you're full of crap -- intimacy doesn't come from a computer, or
b) Dave, you're full of crap -- Facebook has *plenty* of intimacy, or
c) Dave, you're full of crap -- the only thing that might kill Facebook is Twitter, which is the exact opposite of intimacy (true)
or last but not least:
d) Dave, hey WTF happened to all the crazy fonts and colors?
None of these are the right response. (altho I do promise my next blog post will once again be replete with wild-ass colors and funky fonts, just u wait).
Let me back up & explain a little bit.
Once upon a time back in 2005 when I first joined Facebook, it was a "small" social network of less than 10 millions users. But I was still rather late to the party (altho at 39 I was the oldest cool kid on my block). Since pre-2006 FB was only available to users with a college email address, I had to contact the alumni association at JHU to get a valid email address (ending in ".edu") to register on FB. This resulted in a very odd & lonely initial FB experience where I was ~10-15 years older than almost everyone in my college network (please no PedoBear jokes, kthxbai). Gradually I found a bunch of folks on Facebook that I knew -- mostly VCs or early employees at FB & PayPal it turns out -- and before I knew it I was hooked on poking like every other undergrad across the country. (wait: that's not what I meant... oh never mind, that's true too).
fast forward 2-3 years: Facebook cracks 100M users, then 200M, then in quick succession 300M, 400M, 500M users. And we're coming up on 600M users soon. (See Photo on Gallery to update this number and stats about Facebook today)
Holy. F**ing. Wow.
Half a BILLION users? Unbelievable. What the hell happened? Where did all these "friends" come from?!?
Well, they didn't come just from college. Facebook figured out how to open up the social graph and gather people from all walks of life -- every age, every sex, every color. FB has college kids. FB has college grads. FB has high school kids, FB has parents. FB has the white-collar workforce, the blue-collar workforce, and even stay-at-home moms. Hell, FB even has GRANDparents! FB has desktop users, and FB has mobile users. And FB has them in the US, in Europe, in South America, and in SE Asia, Africa(More in south Africa. Except for a few places like Brazil & East Asia, FB pretty much has every Internet-connected user on the planet by the short-hairs.
With an always-shiny-and-new combination of pokes, wall posts, photos, videos, apps and social games, tagging, and newsfeed distribution, Facebook has firmly fixed itself into the fundamental fabric of our friends & families. Except for Twitter & Zynga, Faceboook appears to be an unassailable, unstoppable "JUGGERNAUT" that absolutely DOMINATES our online experience -- and will likely continue to do so for the next decade... right? Well I'm not one to bet against 500M+ fanatic users and The Unsinkable Mark Zuckerberg... but there's this one little problem:
I've got too many goddamn friends on Facebook.
Yeah, that's right: I've got over 2,000 "friends" on FB, and it's fu***ng KILLING me. Now admittedly most normal folks don't have *that* many Facebook friends -- true: i'm tremendously insecure, an only child, and a pathetic people pleaser -- but regardless a lot of "normal" people have the same problem with only a few hundred friends. and i'm guessing neither they nor i want to share our most jealously-guarded deep dark secrets with *everyone* on Facebook. but they might just share it with a smaller subset.
ASSERTION #2: The stuff that's really valuable in my social graph tends to the extremes -- very public (ex: Twitter) or very private (ex: email).
Look, it's either Gaga, Shaq, and Glee (extremely public, better on Twitter than Facebook) or else it's only my closest buddies (u know, the evil VCs I collude with at Bin38 to 'f**ck' YC startups).
The stuff that's meaningful -- NOTE TO STARTUPS: MEANINGFUL=MONETIZABLE -- that stuff is either better on Twitter, or better with a much more private and select subset of my friends on Facebook.
The very public: well here it's pretty obvious Twitter has an advantage over Facebook. the asymmetric follow model and constrained, lightweight communication make it MUCH easier to engage aspirationally with celebrities & famous people on Twitter than on Facebook. Now FB does realize this and is fighting back with Like buttons and a revved Group structure, but they may be at a disadvantage if Twitter starts to catch up with them in users/usage. Currently Facebook is a more familiar experience for larger audiences, but that may change over time. while I don't think Facebook is threatened by Twitter that much, neither is Twitter at much risk of Facebook stealing away the famous people. so Twitter probably wins on celebrities and other beautiful / rich / famous people.
The very private: now, here you'd think Facebook has the upper hand -- and they do, but they're at risk of being upstaged by a more private and meaningful social network (or perhaps via some subset or abstraction layer on top of FB, if they can move quickly). This could come from Facebook modifying their existing environment to support closer subgroups, or algorithms that preference newsfeed items only to close, strong, specific connections. Or maybe it just works better with email groups and selective filtering. Or maybe it works better on an entirely different social graph that emphasizes family, close friends, and small workgroups (Yammer? LinkedIn? maybe, but i don't think so). But somewhere, there's going to be a smaller more Intimate conversation that enable a different type of sharing... lots of it.
Let me explain.
Maybe I only want to tell a few close buddies about that episode with the VERY BAD bean burrito. maybe your girlfriend only wants a FEW honest opinions from her CLOSE friends on whether that new dress makes her ass look fat. and maybe your frat brother only wants to tell a few buddies about the AWESOME house party he's throwing next weekend, when he's planning to invite the smoking hot new freshman sensation over with 3 of her equally sizzling BFFs. and finally, maybe I only want to share that airfare deal on a Final Four Vegas road-trip (and the pictures!) with my set of close friends. what happens in Vegas stays in a very tight and private social graph... you hope, anyway.
Now what's going on here? In each case above, there's a specific tight circle of connections I'd like to draw on, but they aren't always the same. Some of them pull from long-time, frequent and familiar associations. Others are based on a select, NEW set of acquaintances that meet a high bar of interest. still others are based on some shared trait or interest or activity, where I've spent time with someone before around a specific context or depth of experience... or perhaps also, a specific [social] commerce context. Like something I bought, but would only share info with a small group.
Which brings me to my 3rd and final point.
ASSERTION #3: Intimacy depends on Context, Connection, and Continuity... which determine Closeness... and ultimately, drive Commerce.
One might suggest that Intimacy is determined by:
- Shared Context (ex: basketball, school we went to, fans of Glee)
- [strength of] Connection (how much we like each other, how strong)
- Continuity (how long we've known each other, how freq/recently we connect).
For any possible social interaction, and for any potential subset of friends within your social graph, these factors determine a minimum critical level of Intimacy required to initiate and sustain the conversation around that interaction. Too little Intimacy, and the conversation stops. But with the right amount of Intimacy, the conversation literally explodes with information.
Our desire to share our experience is explicitly determined by the level of Intimacy available within (and perhaps constrained by) a social network. Ultimately, this level of available Intimacy may indeed determine the overall relevance of the social network to its participants... and perhaps, whether related commercial transactions might be relevant as well. Which is something Facebook probably DOES want to make sure it gets right.
...and THAT is why Intimacy should matter so much to Facebook. it's the ONE place where they have a huge advantage over Twitter, but also the place where they are greatly at risk of someone else coming in and stealing their cheddar.
Because Facebook has chosen to emphasize growth over monetization these past few years, they have de-prioritized close, meaningful connections over broadly relevant ones with a larger group of friends. While this will help them get to a billion users faster, and increase their share of brand spend on advertising (where Facebook is really killing it these days), it may create vulnerability to another social network player who focuses on a more tightly-defined social graph with only a few, specific and meaningful Intimate relationships.
Intimate relationships that might just monetize more powerfully with 3 close friends, than they do with 300 acquaintances.
Better be careful, Zuck. maybe there's a reason Facebook should care more about Intimacy and Privacy that has absolutely nothing to do with government regulation, and everything to do with simply making more Meaning... not to mention more Money, as well.
Culture And Communications: McLuhan's Relevancy On Facebook
What Do We Know, in this Place, We Meet Face Face (Yates)
McLuhan has been credited with predicting the Internet in his 1962 Book: "The Gutenberg Galaxy" wherein he posits these thoughts:
The next medium, whatever it is-it may be the next extension of consciousness-will include television and its content, not as its environment, and will transform television into an art form. A computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization, retrieve the individual's encyclopedic function and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a salable kind."
In the 1960s, McLuhan was already talking about "rapid irregular and multidirectional movement through a heterogenous body of documents or knowledge-thus coining the term "Surfing" so that, whatever Facebook offers is premised on the social graph and delivered through the very medium he predicted, and this has ultimately made McLuhan even more relevant"
In his book, Understanding The Media, McLuhan says, "if it works, it's obsolete. According to McLuhan, 'all media put content before the medium itself. "The content of a medium," MCLuhan writes, "is always another medium." For instance, the content of writing is speech. A reader is unaware of speech, and instead notices the "message" of the print-what it argues formally. McLuhan states: "the medium is the message," all media are inherently flawed as media are not noticed by man and they can never work. Meaning, as all media reference other media, it is impossible for them to become obsolete as they are continually becoming relevant through association with other media." So that, a mediums effect can be quantified by how it alters human. In so much so that McLuhan noted that the new technology of the time implemented a desire to know oneself wholly; this arises out of one's inability to find oneself in technology, according to McLuhan.
Facebook has changed the way humans interact with one another and themselves. One formulates identity by creating an Internet presence which reflects how he views himself and wants to be viewed by others. Instead of understanding one another through experience(face- to-face), man attempts to know other through these curated personalities. Furthermore, one's desire to find himself online comes from the inability to find oneself in technology that McLuhan discusses in Understanding the Media.
According to McLuhan's definition, Facebooks "works" as it has altered the way man views others and himself. But, is a technology like Facebook, obsolete? I would say it is not because it cannot become obsolete, as McLuhan would say that they must be as they "work" to have an effect on human interaction, and Facebook cannot be obsolete because it references other media.. He goes on further to say that "the message of all media is other media, these media cyclically become relevant through affiliation
.(Here McLuhan just surmized contemporary media and communications) Video, a new medium of McLuhan's time, implemented a desire for one to understand himself through a curated set of images. One could explore his unique perspective and history through capturing home video. Similarly, one curates sets of images which define himself through Facebook. Therefore, Facebook refers to video and photography and makes itself and all to be relevant. As all media reference other media, it is impossible for media to perpetually be obsolete. All media "work" as they are intended to.