Friday, May 18, 2012

The power of Facebook

Happy Facebook Friday everyone.  Who's buying into the IPO today?  I know I'm not, but I'll bet a TON of people will.  Facebook will open at $38 per share today.  Hundreds of Facebook employees will become millionaires today.  Hundreds of Facebook employees are gathered in Hacker Square in Menlo Park, CA for the opening of the Facebook IPO.  The opening bell rings and the joy is palpable.  This is creativity and ingenuity and the manifestation of the American spirit in the greatest sense of the words.  The rest of the world watches in awe as they see the young Zuckerberg ring the bell that opens the days trading and he becomes a multi-billionaire.  Are you proud or jealous?

Most of us bloggery types love Facebook (I know some of you don't, but most of us do) and understand the power of Facebook.  Facebook gives us the false sense of popularity most of us crave.  We can have hundreds and hundreds of friends.  We can have hundreds and hundreds of fans on our fan pages.  We can post YouTube videos of ourselves saying odd things about pimples on our nose or complaining that our children are being brats.  We can post pictures from our family vacations that, in the past, we couldn't have paid people to come over and view.  Yet, in the privacy of our bedroom or office we will spend HOURS perusing our 2nd grade boyfriend's family pictures from Disney World.

Facebook users can allow themselves to feel like the sages they wish they were by commenting on fb statuses of people they are often too timid to speak to face-to-face.  Most often the contrary comments are posted on the walls of individuals they will have no chance of seeing in person at any time soon.  There is a feeling of hightened confidence that whatever they post as a comment is wise and needs to be communicated to, not only the person on whose wall they are posting, but all the friends of this person.  I will name this new-found bravado as "facebook muscles."  Seriously, if all Facebook users spent as much time exercising as they do on Facebook the obesity epidemic in this country would be eradicated.

Another power the Facebook affords an individual is the false sense of control they believe they have in their lives.  They may not be able to pay their mortgage.  They may not be able to excel in their jobs.  They may not be able to educate their children.  Their lives may, literally be crumbling around them, but they will have those precious "friends" that "like" everything they post on Facebook.  This sense of false appreciation is internalized and becomes TRUTH to them.  They don't understand that it takes no more thought than it does to burp to click the Like icon.  On the other hand, if one of their "friends" points out the flaws in the ideas pontificated on the Facebook page or makes a suggestion other than "like" let the UNfriending begin.  This is an AMAZING arrogance of power that Facebook provides.  Most women will lie to their hairdresser about a haircut from another salon, rather than tell her they aren't happy with their last haircut.  I think this is a power Facebook allows women to have, moreso than men (men are so much better at severing mutually unbeneficial relationships).  We now have the power to let people know we don't like them without having to utter a word.  We now have the power to break a relationship without having to act like a grownup.  We can UNfriend.  If the "friend" was not an individual we had a real relationship with, the person will, most likely, never even notice.  However, if this "friend" is a real friend or thought they were a real friend, the UNfriending will be taken as the passive aggressive "slap in the face" it was meant to be.

The ultimate sense of power Facebook can give its user is a sense of controlling their lives lies by blocking individuals from their Facebook world.  Blocking, in Facebook, allows an individual to live their lives as if the blocked individual does not exist.  A worse delusion the blocking of an individual on Facebook can provide is the false sense of invisibility this provides.  Most intelligent people know they are not invisible.  Most intelligent people know there is no such thing as invisibility.  However, some people (people who think they only really exist if they are on the internet) believe if you can't see me on Facebook you can't see me at all.  Blocking a person on Facebook is, by far, the most childish of all the Facebook controls.

Welcome, Facebook, to the NASDAQ.  Welcome, social media, to the world of corporations and big business.  You don't build anything.  You don't sell anything.  Your genre didn't even exist 10 years ago.  Today, we cannot imagine living without you.  You've changed the world.  You've changed the way we relate to each other.  What did we ever do without you.  (oh yeah... we talked to each other)  Good luck and I can't wait to see what you do in the market today.  I'm guessing you'll close at $74.50.  :)

252.  New York style bagel shop across the street
253.  A double shot latte
254.  A cloudless sky on my last day of beach vacation
255.  Enough vacation to make me long for home
256.  Did I say sunscreen before?  I'm still thankful
257.  Vacation friends


  1. Glad to know I'm not alone in my love/hate relationship with facebook.

  2. smiles....facebook is evil....all those people wanting to know my business...high school people i have not seen in years hunting me down...smiles....i am 17 months facebook free...i need to get a chip...

  3. To me, you have nailed facebook totally.  And, I'm still glad that I don't get facebook.

  4. I'm one who doesn't do it. But I do Tweet!


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