Each one of us has his own Facebook story and no two experiences are exactly the same.
What Mark Zuckerberg and company did to the world was almost chaotic but superbly amazing as well. Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (born May 14, 1984) is an American computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of four co-founders of the social networking site that is Facebook (Source: Wikipedia).
Netizens from all over were so hooked to this social networking medium and create a lot of different stories. All stories and experiences are copycat of the real world’s day-to-day occurrences that Facebook now can be considered as one kind of a ‘world’ of its own. Name it and they are all here on Facebook – politics, culture, entertainment, sports, travel, romance, crime, etc.
Now, Facebook is such a dominant word in every home that so-called netizens connect to the internet with nothing more in mind than to access this social networking medium, or at least, that was one of the primary reasons. It even threatens to upset the workplace that most business and office managers have adopted house rules on the use of computers and the internet to avoid a situation where Facebooking may significantly affect the workers’ productivity. Facebook has become so popular that the internet is simply nothing without it at all.
Facebook is where you meet all kinds of people and interact with them in many different ways. If we have to look at individual Facebook friends from the point of view of the social scientists, “that each individual is one unique personality by himself”, then you interact and adjust in direct proportion to the number of Facebook friends that you have, assuming that they are all active subscribers.
So, here goes my Facebook story:
To begin with, I was a certified Friendster addict until somebody told me to shift to Facebook for it is much better and a lot of people are now into it. I am a left brained human being as most men are. Left-brained individuals do a lot of careful analysis and steps before they react. In this particular instance, I didn’t know who I am. I had not cared to make comparisons in terms of add-ons, applications, being user-friendly, and other significant features. I just got into Facebook though occasionally I still visit Friendster and made it a point to maintain the same as most of my friends are still there until I found out that they were decreasing fast by the day. To cut the story short, most accounts had become inactive and Friendster was gone in no time at all. I think Friendster lost the competition to Facebook eventually.
Then at Facebook, I was enjoying the fun, sharing and interacting with people, and more specifically with its private messaging and chat features in addition to its newsfeed where postings of all sorts are seen and read. Before, these two were independent from each other; now, Facebook programmers had creatively integrated the two plus a new video-calling feature that is now threatening Skype, Skylink and Yahoo Messenger.
Facebook is indeed user-friendly but I shall avoid making detailed comparisons here. So far, I think, it has been the newsfeed posts that thrill a lot of people. Having the freedom to express one’s thought without fear of reprisal (meaning some sort of regulations from government institutions) feels great especially for the younger generations or that’s how I look at it. It is more of the seemingly unlimited freedom here on the internet and Facebook that I had imposed upon myself some sense of self-regulation like if I feel that ‘childish’ postings are dragging me down I can easily hide such posts and hope that the next post from him/her would be better with respect to my literary tastes, level of maturity and may be my ‘intelligence bracket’.
At first, I use to reciprocate jokes, get even with ‘childish’ postings, make nonsense comments on nonsense postings, live with the younger generations language such as .. ouch, yaaakhs, watta kind, oh shitness, gets u, oh that’s cool (even if this has nothing to do with temperature), and a lot more in our own language (Pilipino) that has no English translation. I tried to live by the language of my teen Facebook friends as in I was also using them especially when reacting to them until I just realize that that was unbecoming of me at my age aside from the fact it was about to create sort of marginal personality in me like I have to act like a teenager when reacting to teenage posts and comments if only to be able to identify with them and vice versa; otherwise, you are a lost soul. Then, be myself again when I interact with people of my ‘age bracket’. The fact that you do this most of the time is already stressful, to say the least.
Because of this, I shifted high gear in my facebooking style. I had begun to be selective as to the kind of posts and comments I must like, share and respond to. At first I did some analysis in terms of something hypothetical: are more responsible posts, given my literary tastes, level of maturity and may be my ‘intelligence bracket’, come only from people of my age bracket? It turned out that they are not really exclusive to so-called matured people. A lot of the younger generations can be as ‘responsible’ as some adults on these terms, though generally speaking, more of this type are really the matured ones – meaning the above 40s club to be more specific.
This time I had learned, not only to become ‘selective’ but I had also started culling out some – like those who had never changed at all according to my own criteria, I click not the hide button anymore but the unfriend button. Someone hinted me that it feels better this way and still others say the outcome is sort of therapeutic which incidentally conformed with what I felt right after doing that.
With respect to unfriending I have a little bias as I have carefully maintained familiar and relative friends (those related to me by blood or affinity) regardless of their postings and comments, save for those who use foul and obscene languages.
I marvel at the fact that one can almost do anything under the heat of the sun with Facebook. To name a few: a) it is here where you see ‘freedom of expression’ abused at its best; b) there seems to be plagiarism all over and this is done with impunity as there seems to be no regulation on this; (I really don’t know if there was anything about it in Facebook’s Terms and Conditions. Frankly, when I created my Facebook account, I just clicked the accept button without reading it.) c) you can bully anyone here without fear of actual reprisal as most Facebook people do not know or had not been acquainted with most of their ‘friends’. If indeed, Facebook is now a world of its own then it must not be free from the real world’s standards of morality, law and order.
How do we go about this and who is going to enforce them are open questions at this moment but for the time being, more than these questions, should be the concern to compel Facebook subscribers to be responsible and sensitive to the world’s standards of morality, law and order. I feel that this is no longer a case of ‘you-can-police-your-own-rank’ type of thing for there is so much abuse here now. Facebook programmers, though, had in mind to regulate this as it had provided for a mechanism to report unworthy posts as ‘spam’ or you can simply hide it. But it cannot be a case of ‘hide and seek’ forever as in those who will do it can anytime and when they are sought they can be spammed or hidden. More than this is the need to impose some sense of responsibility and sensitivity to the world’s standard of morality, law and order. I wonder if this is covered by the law on ‘electronic crimes’ (e-crime for short) promulgated and enforced by some countries, otherwise, a corresponding amendment can be made on the same law for this purpose, at least for a start. Tracking the offender would not be a problem especially if Facebook cooperates on this.
Until this is done, I am sorry to say that Facebook is getting to be doomed by the day. Not that it will collapse, for I think Facebook is one of the most stable economic ventures at this point in time. But where there seems to be anarchy and boundless freedom then only the carefree, irresponsible and troublesome would love it. Or people might still stick to it (Facebook) but they will be compelled to maintain a smaller circle of friends and adjust their privacy settings accordingly.