Facebook is a social media network founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates. Initially the website was limited to Harvard students, but it quickly expanded. In January 2009, Compete.com ranked Facebook as the most used social network in the world. But how does Facebook affect society?
The internet and the huge technological progress revolutionized the way we communicate. People can create a meaningful connection with someone in a few minutes over the phone or by email exchange. But with Facebook, you can reach thousand of people with just the click of a button. When you press the “like” button or post something on you wall, the information appears in the news feed of your friends. People have started revolutions on Facebook, causes, charity events and advertising campaigns. Some have even reconnected with lost family members and friends. An average user has about 130 friends. Without social media networks, connecting weekly with so many people would be time-consuming. Facebook lets you keep track of all your friends every day in a more simple way, so if you want to reconnect later in a real way you already have the basis.
Globalization and isolation
Many wonder how does Facebook affect society and what are the effects. The process of globalization is influenced by the natural environment, work organizations, economics and cultural resources. Social media sites speed up the process, because people get in touch and communicate regardless of their age, gender, location and status. The divisions that separates people no longer exists, making everybody part of one global virtual village. Facebook has an utopic structure with no social division, minority groups and class system. Although it is a powerful tool that brings people together, it can also isolate them. Because of the addictive nature of social media, some find it difficult to go out into the real world and socialize in traditional ways. This way, face-to-face communication can decrease between individuals in a society.
Transparency and privacy
If you are still wondering how does Facebook affect society, think about the amount of personal information people post on their pages. It is inevitable to mix business with personal life because people tend to list co-workers as friends, therefore revealing intimate aspects of their lives. This transparency makes if difficult to show different faces in certain groups. One of Zukenberg’s objectives is to make the world more truthful. Because privacy levels are reduced considerably, people find it harder to cheat on their partner, politicians are more exposed and even the law enforcement agencies benefit from it. Facebook is a virtual crime scene because every conversation and status update are stored. Some criminals even brag about their felonies on their profile page.