Understanding Facebook Addiction/Censorship On the Social Media: Murmurs from the Facebook Environment - Facebook Today

The New Disease: Facebookaholic; The new High found in Social Networking circles and has millions of people Addicted to it and seem to be caught up in its vice-grip and can't do anything about it
The New Disease: Facebookaholic; The new High found in Social Networking circles and has millions of people Addicted to it and seem to be caught up in its vice-grip and can't do anything about it
Don’t be embarrassed if you suffer from Facebook addiction. You join a huge group of friends—literally—that admit Facebook has become their greatest addiction. Young, middle-aged, and even old folks who know the Facebook gist get suckered in. It’s ok
Don’t be embarrassed if you suffer from Facebook addiction. You join a huge group of friends—literally—that admit Facebook has become their greatest addiction. Young, middle-aged, and even old folks who know the Facebook gist get suckered in. It’s ok
Why is Facebook so addictive? [CASE STUDY]
Why is Facebook so addictive? [CASE STUDY]
Young people are not getting time to make friends in their real life as they are spending much of their time on Facebook
Young people are not getting time to make friends in their real life as they are spending much of their time on Facebook
Is Facebook an Addiction? In recent years the mental health community has become increasingly interested in the impact that modern technology has on our lives - both positive and negative. It is very likely that you know people who absolutely must ch
Is Facebook an Addiction? In recent years the mental health community has become increasingly interested in the impact that modern technology has on our lives - both positive and negative. It is very likely that you know people who absolutely must ch
Recent studies show that social media is addictive by nature. In fact, according to a 2011 study by an online security firm (Webroot), 54% of those who use social media networking sites feel some sort of addiction towards sites like Facebook, Twitter
Recent studies show that social media is addictive by nature. In fact, according to a 2011 study by an online security firm (Webroot), 54% of those who use social media networking sites feel some sort of addiction towards sites like Facebook, Twitter
Tech Firms are uneasy over the effect time online has on relationships; these tech firms advise people to step a bit away from their gadgets....
Tech Firms are uneasy over the effect time online has on relationships; these tech firms advise people to step a bit away from their gadgets....
The true costs of Facebook Addiction" Low Self-Esteem And Poor Body Image
The true costs of Facebook Addiction" Low Self-Esteem And Poor Body Image
Internet Addiction Show Up In The Brain
Internet Addiction Show Up In The Brain
Facebook provides this forum for our egos and we can't seem to get enough of it. The small effort of posting a picture can provide a large investment return in the form of comments, or even better, compliments.
Facebook provides this forum for our egos and we can't seem to get enough of it. The small effort of posting a picture can provide a large investment return in the form of comments, or even better, compliments.
Technologies that are being used by mass consumers have the ability to close the mind and not open it to function very well: One form discussed in the Hub is Facebook" Addiction"-which is effective in closing the mind
Technologies that are being used by mass consumers have the ability to close the mind and not open it to function very well: One form discussed in the Hub is Facebook" Addiction"-which is effective in closing the mind
One can see Africa is still Dark or Africa Visualized By Facebook. Facebook as being adopted in Africa dar, and also see
One can see Africa is still Dark or Africa Visualized By Facebook. Facebook as being adopted in Africa dar, and also see
The Facebook infographic below illustrates its low presence in the region relative to other parts of the world. This Map clearly shows that Africa is still not yet lit, it remains dark in the technical Age
The Facebook infographic below illustrates its low presence in the region relative to other parts of the world. This Map clearly shows that Africa is still not yet lit, it remains dark in the technical Age
List of countries in Africa on Facebook
List of countries in Africa on Facebook
The mode of communications has shifted to the mobile gizmos in the 21st century: And Africa, so far is on board...
The mode of communications has shifted to the mobile gizmos in the 21st century: And Africa, so far is on board...
New ways and means of commuicaton, using the Dish Satellites and other Green means to promote and grow Internet communication in Africa are afoot and South African leaders are calling out for such ways
New ways and means of commuicaton, using the Dish Satellites and other Green means to promote and grow Internet communication in Africa are afoot and South African leaders are calling out for such ways
Regarding Social Network strategy, South Africa, for example, has approximately 3.38 million Facebook users, or 64% of its online population
Regarding Social Network strategy, South Africa, for example, has approximately 3.38 million Facebook users, or 64% of its online population
Four in Ten (41%)of Online global respondents have used the "Internet" to look for a job or search job [recruitment] site in the last three months (South Arica 57%
Four in Ten (41%)of Online global respondents have used the "Internet" to look for a job or search job [recruitment] site in the last three months (South Arica 57%
Mobile Browsing: percentage of all Web traffic (May 2012)
Mobile Browsing: percentage of all Web traffic (May 2012)
Facebook peetration in South Africa is 9.33% compared to the country's population and 86.48% in relation to number of Internet Users. The total number of FB users in South Africa is reaching 4,583,480, and grew by 15,840 in last sic months
Facebook peetration in South Africa is 9.33% compared to the country's population and 86.48% in relation to number of Internet Users. The total number of FB users in South Africa is reaching 4,583,480, and grew by 15,840 in last sic months
User Age Distribution on Facebook in South Africa
User Age Distribution on Facebook in South Africa
Male/Female User Ratio on Facebook in South Africa
Male/Female User Ratio on Facebook in South Africa
Age Growth on Facebook in South Africa
Age Growth on Facebook in South Africa
The Bilderberg Group which controls nearly everything as is shown on this image, and some of its tentacles and reach can be seen in this high resolution picture, when clicked to see the intricate inter/inter-connecteness and and depth...
The Bilderberg Group which controls nearly everything as is shown on this image, and some of its tentacles and reach can be seen in this high resolution picture, when clicked to see the intricate inter/inter-connecteness and and depth...
South Africa's new Social Media scores show steady growth rate
South Africa's new Social Media scores show steady growth rate
Using the honeycomb framework to contrast the functionality of different social media. Social media are defined as those interactive web platforms via which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content.
Using the honeycomb framework to contrast the functionality of different social media. Social media are defined as those interactive web platforms via which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content.
Social Media Functionality: Each block of the framework allows you to unpack and examine a specific facet of social media user experience, and its implications to make sense of the social media ecology, and understand their audience and their engagem
Social Media Functionality: Each block of the framework allows you to unpack and examine a specific facet of social media user experience, and its implications to make sense of the social media ecology, and understand their audience and their engagem
Understanding the functional building blocks of social media users interested in getting serious about social media can use the honeycomb framework to monitor and understand how social media activities vary in terms of function and impact.
Understanding the functional building blocks of social media users interested in getting serious about social media can use the honeycomb framework to monitor and understand how social media activities vary in terms of function and impact.
Since Facebook addiction is a relatively recent phenomenon, there isn’t much research that indicates how to treat it. Facebook Addiction is so when LOGOUT is the Hardest Button to Click
Since Facebook addiction is a relatively recent phenomenon, there isn’t much research that indicates how to treat it. Facebook Addiction is so when LOGOUT is the Hardest Button to Click

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

'Net Democracy':

'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:

  1. Shared Context (ex: basketball, school we went to, fans of Glee)
  2. [strength of] Connection (how much we like each other, how strong)
  3. 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.

Facebook Addiction Disorder

According to Michael Fenichel, "It is not difficult to observe the ubiquity of "Internet Addiction as a phenomenon and/or accepted part of everyday life in the Digital Age. Much less mentioned is the even more pervasive "Cell Phone" addiction,"Crackberry addiction", gaming addiction", or "texting addiction". Are now at risk of seeing a vast presentation - a cultural commonality - of "Facebook Addiction Disorder"? (Or sometimes FAD just a fad?)

Some may argue that since these have become just as much a part of daily life tool in the world of the 21st Century. However, just as "newbie" infatuation with the connectedness and immediacy of e-mail and web surfing led to a societal concern about "Internet" Addiction" or pathological Internet use, the phenomenon of social networking has left the arena of personal and group networking to a very public and constant arena which allows for strong reinforcement of exhibitionist, voyeuristic an/or interaction-seeking behavior, often in combination.

Add to the instant texting component the ability to post pictures and videos, play pop-psychology and pop-culture games and quizzes ("applications"), follow the (slightly less closely than Twitter) the every move, decision, feeling, and random thought of everyone in countless networks, and also maintain a Homepage/"Wall" for all to see and visit, and this is the best possible recipe for significant (behavioral) addiction, as it fills a large and "normal" part of so many lives.

[It's as McLuhan observed above, that people are on Facebook trying to find themselves in the technology]. Whether it is more of an "addiction" than say ice cream, or "staying connected", or "talking, reading, gambling, or excessive online/TV/Cellphone activity (to the extent it interferes with other necessary and/or "healthy" behavior), is no doubt individual. but it is only a matter of time before large numbers fall prey to the lures of 24/7 social network with so many wonderful things to offer, a home among friends and shared applications (aka ames, quizzes, personality-types "tests", awards, gifts and various "silly stuff"), not to mention sharing laughs or creative feedback via photos, graphics, videos and more." As McLuhan stated above, "media reference other media in order not to be obsolete but to be relevant and work".

Fenichel further adds that: "Need evidence for the pervasiveness of Facebook? If you have a Facebook account, you already know: Real and imagined friends, and online acquaintances, school buddies from the past,ex-spouses, military leaders, even the president of the United States, all appreciate the power of "having a Facebook presence' (This turns out to be much more than the Second Life's initial promise, perhaps because of the ease of use and fading novelty.)

The amazing thing is that,like Cell Phones, nobody seems to notice the vast amount of time and energy - at work, at home, and now while on the move - people are devoting to Facebook. It has become a given. An article on computer hardware for photographers (Shutteburg, May 2009, p. 95) advices, "If you need a PC to access your e-mail and Facebook accounts when you're on the road..." to consider specific small mobile PC's. Commercial television feature closing credits inviting viewers to follow-up via Facebook or Twitter.

More and more links on the web pages invite "sharing" on Facebook or RSS feeds or Twitter. We're all connected, hooray! And for some the opportunities are pure ecstasy, both for the social networking component (which was at the heart of the idea in the first place, albeit targeted at students) and for the games and contests which can be more of a time sponge than any prior computer diversion known to man/woman, such as solitaire or randomly surfing the web."

According to Fenichel, "One of the ironies is that the very people who might otherwise be working with people professionally to treat addictions, social isolation, etc., seem to be themselves among the most active Facebookers. admittedly drawn from a limited Sample, it is nonetheless overwhelming to see how much time is devoted to things like determining crayon color one is,or who is the best at Bejeweled Blitz - and these are often mental health professionals who assumedly spend at least some time off of Facebook, and might be able to endure a day (or hour) or two without going trough withdrawal.

However,many people have so integrated Facebook as part of normal life - "I wake up in the morning and check Facebook" has taken over waking up, getting dressed, and finding/checking the cell phone - that it has become as much part of the (invisible) tapestry of normal daily life as using the telephone or checking e-mail. For better and worse. Like many Internet tools, this can be both an opportunity and challenge, and for many it is easy to strike a perfect blend.

Students - who I have recently been observed taking "breaks" from homework to take quizzes on what kind of element, lover, animal, serial killer, doctor or rock star one most resembles - have already integrated everything form Facebook to texting to iPhones, AIM, SMS, and Tivo into "normal daily life". But there is seemingly a new "newbie" experience among oldsters who seem to enjoy the same threats which were intended for college students and then co-opted by high-school students as well."

"As with all potentially "addictive" online activities, people vary in their involvement, some periodically "checking in" to stay in touch,others checking once or twice a day, as a supplement to pho an e-mail checking, and some seemingly spending quite substantial portions of time in activities which might be called creative, self-revealing, competitive, or purely social.

Different age groups focus on different important activities, of course, students often sharing woes about assignments or gossip about peers, as well as creative videos and self-affirming photos or quiz results; some adults checking in occasionally or only when notified of incoming messages (to inbox or 'Wall'), still others invariably posting multiple messages everyday relating to mundane daily life activities, quiz results, or feeling states of the moment. One may wonder: Is this happening in the presence of clients? Co-workers? While supposedly conversing online with another person? At the expense of Real Life(RL), or to be more accurate, NonOnline Life" (Fenichel)

"I have reported on some of the research and theory pertaining to "Internet Addiction", and have (silently) observed what appears to be a commercially-belssed wave of Cell Phone and device addiction (as distinct from social networking addiction).But Facebook Addiction Disorder(FAD) appears to me to have the most ingrained and self-reinforcing of all scenarios, reinforcing through immediacy, acclamation, intimacy(as noted above), shared experience, shared creativity,and the ability to be he complete total captain of the ship of one's Facebook home page.

For some the "Apps" seem to be totally compelling, for hours on end, for others Facebook is used more like e-mail, to keep in touch with a group, sometimes serious, sometimes playful, sometimes simply sharing. But the fact of how ingrained Facebook has become cultural is one which is easy to miss, because, well, everybody's doing it! Or so it seems.

The irony of who is most pathologically addicted (as opposed to homework, relationship, or work avoidant even without such a seductive companion as Facebook) is that nobody may be left to observe or treat this huge behavioral phenomenon, as everybody is too focused on "Walls" and "Apps" and "Networks" and finding Old and New Friends. When is a Friend a Friend? When is constant behavior an Addiction? Is there such a thing as too much or too little Social Networking? Who decides? Who Asks?" (Fenichel)

"Obviously, much of this is rightfully engaging, and also quite healthy. Like most activities, moderation and integration are key. Those that may seriously label and treat FAD as a behavioral addiction will clearly need to use context in determining if a behavior has become demonstrably harmful to overall social, work (f2f) interpersonal efficacy. For many people, especially those not already invested in maintaining personal Homepages, blogs, Photo-sharing collections, IM-ing networks, etc., Facebook offers the perfect menu of opportunity.

It may be similar to the proverbial "kid in the candy store" who cannot turn away from every temptation in sight, for hours of time supposedly spent on work, homework, housework, or relationship work, who may have a problem, if not "disorder". It is when one cannot leave the continuous activation/ reinforcement of a daily (or hourly or constant) activity that one may surmise it has become a problem.

For others,it's a wonderful candy store available whenever one is in the mood for sweets of hanging out with friends online or checking in - without the need to do so on a constant and urgent basis" (Fenichel) As McLuhan has observed above, "All Media Work As They Are Intended To." Understanding the media that is Facebook as laid out above, empowers its users to be more circumspect and savvy about the technology and its techniques-effects and affects.

Is Facebook An Addiction?

According to the "Techaddiction" blog:

"Certain human behaviors, habits, and obsessions have been classified as addictions by psychological and medical organizations. For example, substance-related such as alcohol Dependence and impulse-control disorders such as Pathological Gambling are recognized as official recognition of what does and does not constitute a "disorder" is something that continues to evelove.

For example, until it was removed from the DSM in 1986, homosexuality was listed as a diagnosable disorder. While some disorders are dropped from classification systems, others are modified, and occasionally, new problematic conditions are added. In recent years the mental health community has become increasingly interested in the impact that modern technology has on our lives - both positive and negative.

On the positive side, technologies such as Skype, Facetime,and Facebook allow us to stay in contact with family and friends on the other side of the planet. Video Conferencing may allow us to occasionally work from home. Having a Smartphone with GPS capabilities means that we will never get lost (or have to ask for directions) again!

Yet, whenever we are introduced to a new form of entertainment there is potential for unhealthy use, overuse, or abuse. Look no further than alcohol or gambling for examples of activities that are relatively harmless in moderation, but which can cause serious problems when one is addicted. even healthy activities such as exercise can cause significant health problems if it becomes an obsession )for example, compulsively running six hours per day on a treadmill).

Regarding the potential for some people to become "hooked" on technology, Internet addiction and video game addiction have received the most study from researchers and clinicians. However, social media sites like Facebook have also caught their attention. It is very likely that you know people who absolutely must check their Facebook account when they first wake up(as stated above), obsessively check it throughout the day, and never fail to log in just one last time before going to sleep for the night.

Perhaps they spend hours upon hours everyday updating their status, uploading pictures, commenting on Walls, Playing Facebook games, reading updates from others, and searching for new friends to add. Maybe they often neglect other important responsibilities, commitments, or people in favor of Faebook. Perhaps their real-world relationships, careers, or schoolwork suffer due to too much time on Facebook.

So, the question is: "Is Facebook An Addiction?" The simple answer? No. Facebook overuse/obsession/preoccupation is not considered to be an addiction. Facebook addiction has not been classified as a disorder by any psychological or medical organization. The inclusion of new disorders (such as a proposal for "Facebook Addiction Disorder") in diagnostic classification requires years, if not decades) of research. Although psychologists and psychiatrists are often criticized as being overly eager to pathologize human behaviors, with regard to "legitimizing" new disorders, they generally take a very slow and conservative approach - and only officially recognize new pathologies/disorders after years of clinical and empirical research.

At the very least, it is reasonable to suggest that while most people can use Facebook without becoming "addicted", there are some who have difficulty keeping their Facebook habits under control (to its credit, Facebook has imposed age restrictions for users)

  • As previously mentioned, these individuals may place more importance on gaining Facebook friends than on maintaining and developing real world friendships
  • The may experience problems in their relationships due to excessive time on Facebook and subsequent neglect on their partners
  • Their work performance may suffer as a result of Facebook preoccupation.
  • Academic performance may be given far less attention than interacting on Facebook

Is Facebook an addiction? Officially, no. Is excessive Facebook use a problem fro some people? Absolutely.

You Know You're An Addict When: (According to Elizabeth Cohen)

  • You lose sleep over Facebook
  • You spend more than an hour a day on Facebook
  • You become obsessed with old loves
  • You ignore work in favor of Facebook
  • The thought of getting off Facebook leaves you in a cold sweat

She conclude by citing one of the people who have to deal with weaning oneself off Facebook, called Pile, says: Try going a day without Facebook. If you find it causes you a of stress and anxiety, you really need to get help." In a word, there are some effects and affects that Facebook has on its users. It is at this point that many investigators into this new phenomenon diverge. Some, like the Psychological scale that has been used, have tried to utilize their ingenuity to better explain these affects and effects; there are those who oppose this approach.

Facebook Addiction - New Psychological Scale

Catharine Paddock writes: "Researchers in Norway have published a new psychological scale to measure Facebook addiction, the first of its kind worldwide. They write about their work in the April 2012 issue of the Journal Psychological Reports.They hope that researchers will find the new psychometric tool to us in investigating problem behavior linked to Facebook Use. However, an accompanying article suggests a more useful approach might be to measure 'addiction' to social networking as an activity, rather than an addiction to a specific product like Facebook. This is particularly relevant given that Facebook is now more than a social networking site (for instance users can watch videos and films, gamble and play games on the site) and social networking is not confined to Facebook

The new measure is called the BFAS, short for the "Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale" and is the work of Dr. Cecilie Andraessen at the University of Bergen (UIB), Norway, and colleagues. In their paper, Andraeseen and colleagues describe how they started out with a pool of 18 items made up of three items of the six core elements of addiction: salience, mood modification, tolerance withdrawal, conflict and relapse. In January 2011, they invited 423 students (227 Women and 196 Men) to complete the draft BFAS questionnaire, along with a battery of other standardized self-report scales of personality, sleep, sociability, attitudes towards Facebook, and addictive tendencies.

Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale

Eventually,Andraessen and colleagues finalized the BFAS to six basic criteria, with participants asked to give on of the following 5 responses to each one (1) Very Rarely, (2) (Rarely), (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Very Often

1. You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or planning to use it.

2. You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.

3. You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems

4. You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.

5. You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.

6. You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies

Andreassen and colleagues suggest that scoring "often"or "very often" on at least four of the six items may suggest the respondent is addicted to Facebook. they found that variousThey found that various personality traits related to the scale: for instance "neuroticism" and extraversion related positively, and conscientiousness related negatively. They also found that high scores on the BFAS were linked to going to bed very late and getting up very late.

Synthesis and Synergy Postulations Concerning FB Addiction

Anreassen has clear views on why people become addicted to Facebook. said that she and her team noted that tended to happen more among younger than older users. "We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face, says Andreassen.

The Norwegian team also found that people who are more organized and ambitious tend no to become addicted to Facebook, and are more likely to use social media as an integral part of work and networking activity. Andreassen says that they find that women tend to be more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, something they attribute to the social nature of Facebook.

Facebook A Detriment To Human Communication

Jake Hartwell informs us that: "Facebook is an iconic networking Web site with over 400[see Picture in photo gallery] million users. College students are one of its largest demographics. In fact a Student Monitor survey found Facebook was the most popular thing on campuses, with the exception of the iPod. with such approval who could complain. Well, I can. Facebook is fundamentally altering communication, and in case you forgot the last uproar over Facebook layouts, change is always bad.

Text is the least desirable way to communicate socially. Phone calls are much better, and seeing someone face-to-face can't even compare. Replacing these ancient arts are miniature letters sent instantaneously in the form of comments and chat messages. People's ability to correspond through rapid text immediately creates a strange scenario in which the are alone but feel like they are talking to someone.

Ong once wrote in one of his obscure articles that : "The idea is that, when authors write, the audience isn't actually there. Instead, the audience is a mental construct of the author. The same goes for textual communcations: You aren't talking to a real person on Facebook, but a mental construct based on your interpretation of his or her profile and textual communications."

Studies have tried to establish precisely how much of human communications is nonverbal. Numbers range from 40-93-they aren't very reliable-but the point is that much of communication has nothing to do with words. When you know people online, you don't actually know them. You only know the part of them expressed textually; vocal tone and inflection, body language, eye contact and the little things that make someone human are nonexistent on Facebook.

People can filter which part of their personality they want you to see. If someone posts a comment, I can spend five minute writing something ridiculously cleaver-in the real world, not so much. The tiny delay in chats and comments gives people abundant time to decide which parts of themselves to project. I'd rather know five people that little pieces of hundreds.

Facebook is also changing friendship. Friends are sacred, but social networking web sites seem to have little respect for them. Once you had a few friends with whom you shared the most private of information because you had the time for a few involved friendships. Facebook is quickly closing the gap between close friends and acquaintances by streamlining friend-making. Suddenly it's socially acceptable to tell all your Facebook friends who you're dating, how much you drank last night and everything you believe.

People have never been good at telling others who they are-and for good reason. The singular person is a unique subject, irreducible and indifinable. Yet, Facebook users attempt to remedy the difficulty behind expressing who they are with a strange practice. The most detailed sections of many profiles are favorites: bands, books,movies and TV shows. Additionally, the average user becomes a fan of four pages per month and belongs to 13 groups. Facebook users are defined as a 'conglomeration of groups and products."

As above shows, Facebook users live in a world where all actions have less impact and meaning. Chatting with someone has less impact than meeting. Friendships require less. the people themselves mean less. To top it all off, the average user spends an hour on Facebook per day, and college students spend far more. With literally thousands of distractions in one place, a simple status update turns into browsing the news feed and true place in the lives of others."

Immediacy And Familiarity Might Affect Facebook Addiction

One can look at Facebook addiction as being affected by the Immediacy and Familiarity of the technology and the facilitation thereof by the rapidly emerging gizmos that too can lend an addictive affect. Ong's gist below attempts to give form to this assertion. Ong states:

"Technology is and, historically, has been a large part of who we are, and each day we interact with new, more complex systems for services and safety. We innovate with technology and it, in turn, changes us. "Everyone who teaches writing knows the common symptoms of the problems [resulting from a person moving into the world of writing]: students make assertions which are totally unsupported by reasons, or they make a series of statements which lack connections".

"Technology exercises its most significant effects and its most real presence not in the external world but within the mind, within consciousness. The external product designed by consciousness somehow reenters consciousness, to affect the way we think, to make possible new kinds of noetic [the interactions among communication, mind, and technology] processes…." "A good deal of talk about the successive stages in history of communications media," reflects Ong, "suggests that each new stage wipes out preceding ones. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, a new stage often reinforces preceding ones at the very time it changes their significance by interacting with them" "One of the unwitting effects of the distancing effected increasingly by writing, print, electronics: today's obsession (all through society) with achieving immediacy. Obsession with achieving immediacy, bragging about it when seemingly achieved. 'Familiarity‘ a great obsession of our age (a relatively new word in English)".

The cultures of orality, textuality, secondary orality, and secondary visualism are converging in hand-held mobile devices that call on us to share ourselves with others and communicate digitally. But, ironically, as vast quantities of digital media are amassed in data centers around the word, the need for communication to and with others survives this convergence—or, rather, this new convergence reinforces the primacy of human communication.

"One of the unwitting effects of the distancing effected increasingly by writing, print, electronics: today's obsession (all through society) with achieving immediacy. The convergence of media in digital mobile devices alerts us to the possibilities of near immediate representation (especially of the self) across vast distances to audiences we both know and have no possible way of imagining"

"Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought" - Ong

There are other things at play in the whole usage and imbibing of technological techniques, gadgetry and usage that contribute to the whole discourse of how Facebook affects its users. In order to grasp the breadth and depth of this phenomena, we will defer to the gurus of Media Ecology from time to time as we have have already done with McLuhan, Lance Strate, along with Jacques Ellul. The very act that we are involved in whenever we interact on Facebook and other mediums, we use writing.

From Ong's explanation of writing, we are able to begin to understand the changes and effects and affects that this has on us-we even get a much more deeper understanding and meaning of how the changes Facebook affects and effects on, how they work in tandem with other technologies and media. The transformation from orality to writing to the writing on the Web, this has brought along with it a change in the way humans communicate, use communication, affect and are effected by media and communications mode and mind-set.

Understanding and knowing how the media and their rapidly emerging mediums change our communication nature and culture, will add towards our understanding as to how and why we become affected and effected by Facebook to the point of addiction. Since we use words to communicate with each other on the Web, Ong writes:

"A word is an event, a happening, not a thing, as letters make it appear to be. so is thought." 'This on paper' is an occurrence, an event in time. We grasp truth articulately only in events. Articulated truth has no permanence. Full truth is deeper than articulation. We find it hard to recognize this obvious truth, so deeply has the fixity of the written word taken possession of our consciousness."

We need to pay close attention to what Ong when he is saying that : "... so deeply has the fixity of the written word taken possession of our consciousness." Being fixated on the word(writing, communicating, founding a new language and so forth, this has taken a firm hold on our consciousness. This has tended to create 'need' propelled by the immediacy of the Facebook medium, to be constantly writing, reading the words on the Walls that it becomes hardened addiction, drive, need and way of perpetually extending and trying to find ourselves, oneself in the viral stream of the new and emergent social media called Facebook(a la McLuhan).

So, Ong goes on to tell us how this happens whenever we have become 'fixated on the word and how that gets hold of our consciousness:

"...it [the preliterate mind] can operate with exquisite skill in the world sounds, events, evanescences. How does it manage? Basically, in its noetic operations it uses formulaic structures and procedures that stick in the mind to complement and counteract the evanescent...[it] also keeps its thinking close to the human life world, personalizing things and issues, and storing knowledge in stories.

Categories are unstable mnemonically. Stories you can remember. Ong goes on" "preliterate thinking is to hold things together, to make and retain agglomerates, not to analyze (which means to take things apart)-although, since all though to some degree is analytic, it does analyze to a degree. It is also conservative (to hold the always evanescent wisdom of the ancestors) rather than exploratory. Everybody, or almost anybody, must repeat and repeat and repeat the truths that have come down from the ancestors. Otherwise these truths will escape, and culture will be back to square one."

Here, Ong seems to be agreeing with McLuhan that technologies will not become absolute as long as they continue to replicate and perpetuate, interconnect, merge and submerge with other new and emerging and vastly efficient and superior gadgets towards infinity - this will stop them from becoming obsolete am averring McLuhan, here. I would also like to add a rarely made point as to how we become intoxicated, bamboozled, and remain fixated to the word which embeds itself into our consciousness. Ong writes: These critiques were issued when print came around. The law at work here is: once the word is technologized, there is no really effective way to criticize its condition without the aid of the technology you are criticizing" This is a succinct way to capture Latour's interlocking principles of delegation and prescription. We delegate labor to a technology, but it then prescribes new tasks back to us. We become deskilled and must re-skill to keep up. This cycle continually repeats itself as emergent media manifest at viral speeds continue to be churned-out rapidly-and to difficult to keep up with, one needs to always learn the new gadget, how it operates and what it can do and enable one- much more better than the new one owned just a month ago!

So, What is Media Ecology? It's a framework to start understanding how text messaging affects love, how computer keyboards restructure the brain patterns, and how my photo editor undoes my philsophy of life. It asks how we think about authority, what the rules of the arguments will be, and if there is a difference between the beginning and the end of a song. Perception, knowledge, fundamental social structures, and quite definitely, God, are all in the mix. Media Ecology is the key to understanding the times.

Media Ecology is the study of communication technologies as cultural environments. If that does make your heart race, then don't worry, : there's still hope. In the infancy of the digital information age, it's hard to imagine a field of study that is more important; or that can be better explain why the new edition of the iPhone is messing our minds. So, Media Ecologists ask question like: "Does Technology grow in the culture or culture grow in technology?" They answer "Yes". In this case, we recall McLuhan saying: "The Medium Is The Message: The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of the Global Village. This is when we hear Ong say:

"The world that God created understandably troubles us today. ... some are inclined to blame our present woes on technology. Yet there are paradoxes here. Technology is artificial, but for a human being there is nothing more natural than to be artificial."

The Orality and Illiteracy of Facebook

Russel South wood writes:

Facebook has become the single biggest non-mail client product in Africa. Over the last seven months user numbers have doubled in many countries where it was barely visible, now have significant number of users. It is the number one or number two site in every African country. Christian Hernandez, Head of international Business Development, Facebook told Russell Southwood, this is really the beginning of what the platform is setting out to do.

Facebook has three objectives for the platform and these cover its development. Currently Facebook has 500 million active monthly users(see picture in photo gallery), of which half use it from a mobile phone. Its research show that the latter group of users are twice engaged in terms of use as the PC users. Businessman Hernandez quips: "We know mobile is an important tool to drive engagement and in developing countries we start with mobile.

In many parts of Africa, user numbers have doubled in the last seven months. Egypt is currently Africa's leading country by number of Facebook users with about 6.8 million users and an 8.5% penetration rate.. The country is followed closely by South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria which have 3.7 million, 3.3 million and 3.0 million user-base respectively. NIgeria's Facebook adoption rate is an interesting case though as despite its relatively high user base relative to other African Countries, its Facebook penetration rate is quite low at 1.97%. Facebook is the country's most visited site

Some Brief States: Facebook user growth in selected countries:

Ghana: 85 percent increase to 1,146,560 users

Kenya: 50 percent increase to 1,298,560 users

South Africa: 51 percent increase to 4,822,820 users

Nigeria: 154 percent increase to 4,369,740 users

Egypt: 130 percent increase to 9,391,580 users

Facebook has 165% User Growth Rate in Africa, But...

18 month user growth rate in selected countries

  • Nigeria 154% increase to 4,369,740 FB users
  • Ghana 85% increase to 1,146,560 FB users
  • Kenya 50% increase to 1,298,560 users

.Facebook adoption across Africa

  • 37+ million Facebook users as of December 2011
  • 165% median Facebook user growth since July 2010 (114% mean)

.Penetration rates across Africa

  • 2.4% median Facebook penetration rate (3.6% mean)
  • 36 nations have fewer than 1-in-20 people on Facebook
  • 12 nations have fewer than 1-in-100 people on Facebook

.Another way to look at this is that with Nigeria's growth at 150,000 new Facebook users ever month, it would take 4 years to reach everyone in Nigeria, if the 154% growth rate remains the same. But it will probably slow dramatically as Africa projects:

Facebook adoption in Africa, although rapidly increasing within most nations at the moment, is starting to slow in more developmentally-advanced countries. Even if Facebook user growth rates settle at 25% annually, it could be ten years until Kenya boasts 30% of the population on Facebook. In 17 months, Kenya’s Facebook user rate has gone from 2% to 3%. South Africa’s is near 10% after increasing from 7%. This growth rate of 50% over 17 months for Kenya and South Africa – which we deem “mature” – suggests the challenges large nations face providing affordable Internet and connecting rural areas. Plus, even when Internet access is available, not everyone wants to use Facebook. (Inveneo)

What to make of this all? Facebook is a growing presence in Africa and it is an online juggernaut. But African countries have a long way to go before all their people can get online and enjoy the FB experience. This will be seen much more clearer when I begin to breakdown the FB Stats Infrastructure of South Africa in this Hub.

Usage of Facebook by Country and number of people

Egypt - 6.58 million
South Africa - 3.8 million
Morocco - 3.2 million
Nigeria - 2.9 million
Tunisia - 2.35 million
Algeria - 1.39 million
Kenya - 1.03 million
Ghana - 906,540
Senegal - 447,840
Cameroon - 355,860
Uganda - 280,600
Tanzania - 259,120
Mauritius - 254,680
Angola - 184,660
Madagascar - 151,100
Ethiopia - 146,020
Namibia - 127,260
Zambia - 117,520
Botswana - 112,180
Mozambique - 105,820


Digital Africa Will Become a Spoken Tradition

When we speak of Primary Orality, we are talking about people totally unfamiliar with writing", according to Ong, Ong further states that, "Recently, however applied linguistics and sociolinguistics have been comparing more and more the dynamics of primary oral verbalization and those of written verbalization, and these provide an analysis of changes in mental and social structures incident to the use of writing.",So that, the basic orality of language is permanent.

"Writing, commitment of the word to space, enlarges the potentiality of language almost beyond measure, restructures thought, and in the process converts certain few dialects into grapholects. A grapholect is a transdialectal language formed by deep commitment to writing. ... But, in al the wonderful worlds that writing opens, the spoken word still resides and lives. Language study in all but recent decades has focused on written texts rather than on orality for a readily assignable reason: the relationship of study itself to writng. All thought including that in primary oral cultures, is to some degree analytic: it breaks its material into various components. But abstractly sequential, classificatory, explanatory examination of phenomena or of stated truths is impossible without writing and reading.

Human beings in primary oral cultures, those untouched by writing in any form, learn a great deal and possess and practice great wisdom, but they do not study. They learn by apprenticeship - hunting with experienced hunters, for example - by discipleship, which is kind of apprenticeship, by listening, by repeating what they hear, by mastering proverbs and ways of combining and recombining them, by assimilating other formulary materials, by participation in a kind of corporate retrospection - not by study in the strict sense. So in effect, we should learn and pay attention to the fact that speech and consciousness are inseparable; that ways of knowing are forever linked and hooked-up to orality and this helps us perpetuate our culture and existence, as humans. We learn from Ong that:

"When study in the strict sense of extended sequential analysis becomes possible with the interiorization of writing, one of the first things that literates often study is language itself, from the very early stages of consciousness, long before writing came into existence. Proverbs from all over the world are rich with observations about this overwhelmingly human phenomenon of speech in its native oral form, about powers, its beauties, its dangers. The same fascination with oral speech continues unabated for centuries after writing comes into use. ... Thus, writing from the beginning did not reduce orality but enhanced it, making it possible to organize the 'principles' or constituents of oratory into a scientific 'art'. a sequentially ordered body of explanation that showed how and why oratory achieved and could made to achieve various specific effects."

African Primary Orality on Facebook

As we haver learnt from Ong above, Primary and secondary orality share both similarities and differences. Primary orality refers to tough and speech that is untouched by sriting. Print knowledge does not exist within that practice primary orality. Secondary orality is orality that is reliant on literature and the existence of writing. An example of secondary orality would be a bad new reporter reading off the daily news; without the written report, the anchor would be unable to give the news.

So that companies like Ushahidi utilze , a non-profit tech company founded by Okolloh and Rotich, following the controversial election results in Knya, and they founded and developed free and open source softwrae for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.. In Swahili, Ushahidi means "witness a fitting name because it allowed users to report violence though text messages, e-mails and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. These messages are then applied to OpenStreet Map, which is an editable map of the world. It has been used to map violence in other African countries such as Congo and South Africa. It is a great crowdsourcing example, instead of relying on a staff of hands on reporters or journalists, they were able to provide a place for people to to to freely share information that affects everyone in that particular region.

This is why Facebook will and is resonating so much with Africans, because it enables their oral skills to be much more magnified and developed into an newly way of usage. Although this is still being hampered by their use of their colonially acquired languages, Africans, whenever they use their mother tongues on Facebook(which is still a paltry number thus far, they discover their languages and themselves and exclusivity that this chapter still has to be written about in the future.What makes this network successful it its ability to allow the locals use their languages and report events and news as they are happening from anywhere. Technologies that are able to capture the essence of Africa primary oral culture ad enables them to be the means of communication, is driving Africa into the viral sphere at an alarming speed.

For now, Digital Africa will become a spoken tradition. African cultures are among the most oral in the world. Storytelling under the tree is still commonplace. speaking is is still preferred to to writing and Africa happens to have timed its digital age to coincide with new voice activated technologies. The generation gap from those who use the pen and those whose kinetic memory is dominated by their thumbs,and those who are used to the sweeping movements of the touchscreen, will give away to the return of voice-Africa's voice.

It is my contention that Apartheid in South Arica has morphed into Technological Bullying apartheid that makes social media a farce and unworkable for Africans of South Africa. I will utilize statistics to make my point that the nature of social media which is Apartheidized is a follow-through of grand Old Apartheid and its demise in the social arena, to being resuscitated within the social media and Internet Data Sphere that is of concern here.

The emergence and convergence of Social media as they spawned themselves through the new technological gizmos, has given rise to and purpose for its users to recreate and establish old, but new social relations that are playing themselves out, in this case, the social media known as Facebook thoroughly. Facebook remains the dominant social networking platform with a massive 82% using the service The digital Media & Marketing Association has released their statistics which shed light on South Africa's iInternet User demographics on July 2011, and the data revealed that 63% of Internet Users in South Africa are White, 25% African, 7% Colored and 5% Indian. Other such stats such as 62% of local Internet users are male, compared to 38% female and that only 7% of South African Internet users are below the age of 25. The Internet in South Africa is inequitably distributed throughout the different races as will be shown through the statistics below.

Facebook is Changing Fast in Africa

Social networking is changing the format of persona networks dramatically. Many people are now making friends and meeting potential partners online. The impact of social networking is also expanding personal networks with the average user claiming to have around 158 friends they regularly interact with.

The Information below has been published by SouthAfrica.info:

South Africa is a nation of diversity, with more than 50-million people and a wide variety of cultures, languages and religious beliefs.

According to the mid-2011 estimates from Statistics South Africa, the country's population stands at 50.5-million, up from the census 2001 count of 44.8-million.

Africans are in the majority, making up 79.5% of the population, while white people and colored people each make up 9.0% and the Indian/Asian population 2.5%.

AT A GLANCE

According to the annual mid-year estimates from Statistics South Africa, in July 2011 the country's population was 50 586 757, of which 26 071 721 (52%) were female and 24 515 036 (48%) were male.

Africans are in the majority at 40.2-million, making up 79.5% of the total population. The white population and the colored population are both estimated at 4.5-million (9.0%) and the Indian/Asian population at 1.3-million (2.5%).

There have been two official censuses since South Africa's first democratic election in 1994, the first in 1996 and the second in 2001, with a third scheduled for October 2011. The population increased from 40.6-million in 1996 to 44.8-million in 2001 – a growth of 10%. From 2001 to 2011, the population has grown by an additional 12.7%.

BY POPULATION

Gauging, South Africa's economic powerhouse, is the most populous of the country's provinces, although it is by far the smallest geographically. Some 11.32-million people live in the province, or 22.3% of the total.

It is followed by KwaZulu-Natal, with 10.81-million people (21.4%), the Eastern Cape with 6.82-million (13.5%), Limpopo with 5.55-million (10.9%), the Western Cape with 5.28-million (10.4%), Mpumalanga with 3.65-million (7.2%), North West with 3.25- million (6.4%) and the Free State with 2.75-million (5.4%).

Although the Northern Cape is the largest province, at almost a third of South Africa's land area, it is an arid region with the smallest population – only 1.09-million people, or 2.1% of the total.

POPULATION BY PROVINCE 2011

Province: Population -- % of total

Eastern Cape: 6 829 958 -- 13.50%

Free State: 2 759 644 -- 5.46%

Gauteng: 11 328 203 -- 22.39%

KwaZulu-Natal: 10 819 130 -- 21.39%

Limpopo: 5 554 657 -- 10.98%

Mpumalanga: 3 657 181 -- 7.23%

Northern Cape: 1 096 731-- 2.17%

North West: 3 253 390 -- 6.43%

Western Cape: 5 287 863 -- 10.45%

TOTAL: 50 586 757 -- 100%

Source:Statistics South Africa

Comparing 2001 census data and the 2011 population estimates, the provincial share of the total population has fallen in the Eastern Cape (from 14.4% to 13.5%), the Free State (6.6% to 5.4%), Limpopo (11.8% to 10.9%) and North West (8.2% to 6.4%).

Between 2001 and 2011, Gauteng has gone from being the second-most to the most populous province in South Africa, rising from 19.7% of the total to 22.39%. KwaZulu- Natal has gone from the most to the second-most populous province, although its share of the total has risen from 21% to 21.39%.

POPULATION GROUPS

The African population is made up of nine broad groupings:

  • The Nguni, comprising the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi people.
  • The Sotho-Tswana, who include the Southern, Northern and Western Sotho (Tswana people).
  • The Tsonga.
  • The Venda.

White South Africans include:

  • The Afrikaners, descendants of Dutch, German and French Huguenot who came to the country from the 17th century onwards.
  • English-speakers, descendants of settlers from the British Isles who came to the country from the late 18th century onwards.
  • Immigrants and descendents of immigrants from the rest of Europe, including Greeks, Portuguese, Eastern European Jews, Hungarians and Germans.

"Coloured" South Africans (the label is contentious) are a people of mixed lineage descended from slaves brought to the country from east and central Africa, the indigenous Khoisan who lived in the Cape at the time, indigenous Africans and whites. The majority speak Afrikaans.

Khoisan is a term used to describe two separate groups, physically similar in being light-skinned and small in stature. The Khoi, who were called Hottentots by the Europeans, were pastoralists and were effectively annihilated; the San, called Bushmen by the Europeans, were hunter-gatherers. A small San population still lives in South Africa.

The majority of South Africa's Asian population is Indian in origin, many of them descended from indentured workers brought to work on the sugar plantations of what was then Natal in the 19th century. They are largely English-speaking, although many also retain the languages of their origins. There is also a significant group of Chinese South Africans.

LANGUAGES

South Africa is a multilingual country. Its new democratic constitution, which came into effect on 4 February 1997, recognises 11 official languages, to which it guarantees equal status. These are:

  • Afrikaans
  • English
  • isiNdebele
  • isiXhosa
  • isiZulu
  • Sesotho sa Leboa
  • Sesotho
  • Setswana
  • siSwati
  • Tshivenda
  • Xitsonga

Besides the official languages, scores of others – African, European, Asian and more – are spoken in South Africa, as the country lies at the crossroads of southern Africa.

According to the 2001 census, isiZulu is the most common home language is, spoken by nearly a quarter of the population. It is followed by isiXhosa at 17.6%, Afrikaans at 13.3%, Sepedi at 9.4%, and English and Setswana each at 8.2%.

Sesotho is the mother tongue of 7.9% of South Africans, while the remaining four official languages are spoken at home by less than 5% of the population each.

SOUTH AFRICAN LANGUAGES

Language: Number of speakers -- % of total

Afrikaans: 5 983 420 -- 13.35%

English: 3 673 206 -- 8.2%

IsiNdebele: 711 825 -- 1.59%

IsiXhosa: 7 907 149 -- 17.64%

IsiZulu: 10 677 315 - 23.82%

Sesotho sa Lebowa: 4 208 974 -- 9.39%

Sesotho: 3 555 192 -- 7.93%

Setswana: 3 677 010 -- 8.2%

SiSwati: 1 194 433 -- 2.66%

Tshivenda: 1 021 761 -- 2.28%

Xitsonga: 1 992 201 -- 4.44%

Other: 217 291 -- 0.48%

TOTAL: 44 819 777 -- 100%

* Spoken as a home language
Source Census 2001

According to the 2001 census the overwhelming majority of South Africans, or 79.8%, are Christian. The independent African Zion Christian churches predominate, being the faith of 15.3% of the total population, and 19.2% of all Christians.

Most South Africans are multilingual, able to speak more than one language. English- and Afrikaans-speaking people tend not to have much ability in indigenous languages, but are fairly fluent in each other's language. A large number of South Africans speak English, which is ubiquitous in official and commercial public life. The country's other lingua franca is isiZulu.

Roughly 15% of the population have no religion, and 1.4% are undetermined about their faith. Islam is the religion of 1.5% of South Africans, Hinduism that of 1.2%, African traditional belief 0.3%, Judaism 0.2% and other beliefs 0.6%.


South African Internet Demographics: Specs; Stats and Demography

Johannesburg: - 29%

Cape Town: - 17%

Pretoria - 14%

Durban: - 6.6%

Other Gauteng: - 5.5%

Other Western Cape: - 4.8%

Gender -- Male: -55%; Female: - 45%

Population Group

White: - 63%

AFRICAN: - 25%

Coloured: - 7%

Indian: - 5%

Marital Status: Married - 58%; Single - 32% - Divorced - 7%

The total monthly personal income for all household members combined, before tax?

Up to R499 - 1.1%

From R500 – R799 - 1.2%

From R800 – R1099 - 1.5%

From R1100 – R1599 - 1.8%

From R1600 – R2999 - 2.0%

From R3000 – R5999 - 4.5%

From R6000 – R8999 - 5.1%

From R9000 – R11999 - 5.7%

From R12000 – R15999 - 7.7%

From R16000 – R19999 - 6.9%

From R20000 – R24999 - 8.1%

From R25000 – R29999 - 7.0%

From R30000 – R39999 - 9.2%

From R40000 – R49999 - 7.3%

From R50000 – R69999 - 7.1%

R70000 + - 7.3%

Prefer not to say - 16.3%

Age GroupUnder 15 - 0.2%

16 – 19 - 1.7%

20 – 24 - 11%

25 – 34 - 31%

35 – 44 - 25%

45 – 49 - 9.5%

50 – 54 - 7.8%

55 – 64 - 9.9%

65+ - 3.

South Africa's Internet User Demographic Stats Revealed

The Digital Media & Marketing Association has released their latest statistics which sheds light on South Africa’s internet user demographics, the data reveals that 63% of internet users in South Africa are white, 25% Black, 7% Coloured and 5% Indian. Other stats such as 62% of local Internet users are male compared to 38% female and that only 7% of South African internet users are below the age of 25.

The following table gives a snapshot of South Africa’s overall demographics compared to the demographics of Internet users in the country.

Demographic Internet SA Population Internet vs Population

Gender:

Male:

Internet - 62.26%

South African Population - 49.00%

Internet vs Population - 127%

Female:

Internet - 37.74%

South African Population - 51.00%

Internet vs Population - 74%

Population Group

Black

Internet - 26.66%

South African Population - 79.40%

Internet vs Population - 34%

Colored

Internet - 6.60%

South African Population - 8.70%

Internet vs Population - 76%

Indian

Internet - 4.97%

South African Population - 2.70%

Internet vs Population - 184%

White

internet - 61.76%

South African Population - 9.20%

Internet vs Population - 671%

Province

Gauteng

Internet - 50.69%

South African Population - 22.40%

Internet vs Population - 226%

Western Cape

Internet - 21.35%

South African Population - 10.40%

Internet vs Population - 205%

Kwazulu-Natal

Internet - 10.67%

South African Population - 21.30%

Internet vs Population - 50%

Free State

Internet - 2.61%

South African Population - 5.70%

Internet vs Population - 46%

Eastern Cape

Internet - 5.07%

South African Population - 13.50%

Internet vs Population - 38%

Mpumalanga

Internet - 3.27%

South African Population - 7.20%

Internet vs Population - 45%

Northern Cape

Internet - 0.88%

South African Population - 2.20%

Internet vs Population - 40%

North West

Internet - 2.54%

South African Population - 6.40%

Internet vs Population - 40%

Limpopo

Internet - 2.93%

South African Population - 10.90%

Internet vs Population - 27%

With all the details lined up above, one should note that the behavior of South Africans on the Facebook is not very much different from the case studies given above [Prior to talking about Africa]. The only thing about having access and usage of Facebook can be gleaned from the stats above as to how unequal it is, that is, access and ways and means of acquiring such can be seen within the statistics above, that in more ways than one, Apartheid has morphed into the Facebook amongst its users in south Africa based on race, class and access. These are made patently clear by the statistics which I have cited above, including distribution of Facebook by race and clan; behavior and affects and effects of using and having access to Facebook as described by the people who use it and research it below.

Because the majority of people in south Africa, Facebook might become affected by the orality of Africans in south Africa(once Africans realize this power they have).We have to take note that there are numerous differences between primary orality and secondary orality, the main being that one includes writing while the other has no knowledge of writing or literature. Another difference is that members of primary orality were outward, extroverted people because they had no reason to turn inward.

Their thoughts can be recorded; therefore speaking is not imperative in society[But Ong has maintained that for primary oral cultures to survive, they had to keep on repeating their stories over and over]. for those in secondary cultures, they can instead write articles or novels, that can have he same effect as listening to someone speak. Secondary orality allows for society to be furthered more so than primary orality{in technological way0for Ong has noted that writing is a technology], as events can be recorded as they are happening, rather than relying on passing the story down through speaking(although this still happens a great deal in Africa], and this process causes words to be embellished.

Today primary oral culture in the strict sense hardly exists, since every culture knows of writing and has some experience of its effects. Still, to varying degrees many cultures and subcultures, even in high-technology ambiance, preserve much of the mind-set of primary orality. The usage of this binary factors when Africans deal with the messaging on the Walls of Facebook, jives very well with the African primary orality. The technology can easily be adapted to Africans main form of their own communication, but at the same time, what effects this technology brings along with it, that too affects Africans just in the same way as it affects other Facebookers all over the globe.

You Are Not Facebook's Customer...

The Negative Effects Of Facebook

Facebook as we all know is asocial networking website launched in February 2004. Its aim was that users can add people as friends, send them messages and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. And it was restricted to anyone above the age of thirteen. Initially, membership was restricted to students of Harvard College only by the founder Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates and fellow computer science students, Eduardo Savenn, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. That was because Facebook was just an idea which he was just catching fun with and playing around with.


People in virtual communities use words on screens to exchange pleasantries and argue, engage in intellectual discourse, conduct commerce, exchange knowledge, share emotional support, make plans, brainstorm, gossip, feud, fall in love, find friends and lose them, play games, flirt, create a little high art and a lot of idle talk. People in virtual communities, like Facebook, for instance, do just about everything people do in real life, but we leave our bodies behind. You can't kiss anybody and nobody can punch you in the nose, but a lot can happen within those boundaries. To the billions, who have been drawn to it, the vitality of Facebook, and computer-linked cultures, even addictive (Rheingold)

However on September 26, 2006, Facebook was open to everyone of age 13 and older who has a valid e-mail address. This has given Facebook a membership of over 500 million active users worldwide and a net worth valuation of about $3.7 billion and $5 billion. Since the advent of facebook, people’s lives have never remained the same again. Facebook as a social networking site has had different effects on people; both negative and positive as a coin also have two sides.

Over the years since the coming of Facebook, one of, if not most of, the attending unhealthy effects I have noticed is its aid of scammers and spammers alike to manipulate features on Facebook by creating false events and fake contacts for deceitful purposes. It has become an avenue for people to perpetrate their evil intention on others. Recently a man was found injured along a major road in the United States. After so much investigation, it was discovered that it was because of a simple ‘finally I got the contract’ status update on Facebook which made some rouges attack him. There are so many other cases of scams relating to Facebook all over the world.

Also, another alarming negative effect of Facebook is that it has been found that Facebook has become a platform for porn-like exhibitions. Female Facebookers and male users too now use obscene pictures and photo tags tags. Facebook, due to this fact, has now turned into an exotic center where innocent young minds are being corrupted and negatively influenced.

More recently, it has been discovered that Facebook is a good avenue for advertisement and publicity because of the way it is built. For instance, if I update my status as ‘New mini-laptops available at Omlek Computer Limited’, it will appear on the newsfeed of everybody connected to me as through I have advertised. But on the contrary, it is now a means of exploiting other people’s ideas because scams have been made through that means and nobody seems to trust any form of those adverts anymore, instead they use it to steal other people’s ideas.

The ire and angst accompanying Facebook's most recent tweaks to its interface are truly astounding. The complaints rival the irritation of AOL's dial-up users back in the mid-'90s, who were getting too many busy signals when they tried to get online. The big difference, of course, is that AOL's users were paying customers. In the case of Facebook, which we don't even pay to use, we aren't the customers at all.

Let's start with the changes themselves. Until now, the main thing that showed up on users' pages was a big list of "updates" from all the friends and companies and groups to which they were connected. It was a giant chronological list that made no distinction between an article (like this one) that may have been recommended by a hundred friends and the news that one person just changed his relationship status or had a funny dream.

Facebook has now prioritized that flow of stories into a news feed that puts "top stories" on top, and the more chronological list of everything down below. Top stories are selected by an algorithm of some sort that "knows" what will be important to the user based on past behavior and numbers of connections to those recommending the story, and so on.

Meanwhile, as if to make up for this violation of the what-just-happened-is-the-only-thing-that-matters ethos of the social net, Facebook added a live, Twitter-like stream of everything everyone else is doing or saying. It runs down the right side of the screen, almost like CNN TV's awfully distracting and wisely retired "news crawl."

On an Internet where everyone and everything are becoming "friended" to one another, such a division of the relevant "solid" bits from the topic stream of data points makes sense. After all, updates from your closest friends and favorite bloggers should take priority over those from some relative stranger you "friended" because he said he was in your fifth grade class and you didn't want to insult him. If everyone ends up connected to everyone, Facebook will have to make some distinctions or the service will be useless.

But users are bothered by all this. On the simplest level, they don't like change, particularly when it results in making their free time more complex and stressful. Facebook was always a lazy person's friend and time waster. Turning into a dashboard designed to increase productivity and relevancy turns it more into, well, work.

Of course, if they stopped and thought about it, they would realize that Facebook is work. We are not Facebook's customers at all. The boardroom discussions at Facebook are not about how to help little Johnny make more and better friendships online; they are about how Facebook can monetize Johnny's "social graph" -- the accumulated data about how Johnny makes friends, shares links and makes consumer decisions. Facebook's real customers are the companies who actually pay them for this data, and for access to our eyeballs in the form of advertisements. The hours Facebook users put into their profiles and lists and updates is the labor that Facebook then sells to the market researchers and advertisers it serves.

Deep down, most users sense this, which is why every time Facebook makes a change they are awakened from the net trance for long enough to be reminded of what is really going on. They see that their "news feeds" are going to be prioritized by an algorithm they will never understand. They begin to suspect that Facebook is about to become more useful to the companies who want to keep "important" stories from getting lost in the churn -- and less useful for the humans.

Ultimately, they don't trust Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and are suspicious of his every move. By contrast, Apple founder Steve Jobs took away his customers' hard drives, Flash movies, keyboards and Firewire ports -- and yet consumers put up with the inconvenience and discomfort every step of the way because they believed that Steve knew best, and trusted that he was taking them somewhere better.

Apple users pay handsomely for the privilege of putting themselves in the company's hands. Facebook does not enjoy this same level of trust with its nonpaying subscribers. That's because on Facebook we're not the customers. We are the product. We do not know how to program our computers, nor do we care. We spend much more time and energy trying to figure out how to use them to program one another instead.

In Line and On-Line

Imagine a world in which you are connected to everyone, without having to reveal yourself to anyone. Think of the opportunity to participate in or watch the on-line discussion of sexual fantasy without having to reveal your identy. Reflect over the amazing ability to link up with organizations, individuals, libraries, causes, data bases, governments, museums, etc., all over the world without leaving your keyboard and screen.

Universal access and convergence suddenly become commonplace. In a review of the 10th annual International Conference and exposition on Multimedia and CD-ROM-to be a latter-day Walter Benjamin who could stroll cyberspace at will, with no bounds, and flanuer in Paris. to be able to move about 'at random' in a 'hypertext universe where one could invent connections and spark new synthesis (Anson).

This is the modus operandi and existence of Facebook social media users and this also is a new way of how humans beings have had their communication with one another changed and conditioned-made into a new and different reality than say 10 years ago. Life on-line provides each of us with the opportunity to become "Media Flaneurs," adventurers who never leave the room/Walls in the case of Facebook), but interact with those with whom we do not share community.

We may stroll the channels, telephone lines, stations, chat rooms and web sites selecting moments in other people's lives in which they can perform and exit. We "channel surf" or "netsurf" from program to program, site to site, from situation to situation, from momentary connections, strangely encapsulated in a protected warm safe place while taking excursions into electronic space and splurge. It is the serendipitous gambol without commitment that excites,titillates and brings satisfaction along with anonymity and protection. Face-to-face or body-to-body requires different energy and obligations without guarantee of experiencing the pleasure of eavesdropping.

Below are some case studies that are related to the thrust of this Hub:


Facebookaholic: Stories From The Social Media Stream

Facebook addiction: Log Out

Case Study Number 1

I turned on my laptop. Even before the desktop loaded, I clicked on the browser icon, I couldn't wait till i could click on the Facebook.com short cut on the user tab, it turned on with my password saved; I hit enter fast, like a chat ninja.

- There was I.

In front of a huge number of notifications, which slowly i opened one by one. I liked a few random pics even if I thought it were stupid, then a few status messages which I dint even read fully, then a few app request without wondering "Why would some one even like an app request?" and then drop a few comments hopefully, hopeless. Then like my own comments even if it had just a little essence of humor, then randomly read a few other comments, and like the rest. Then comes the crucial decision making part when I need to choose a pic of mine and change my DP again. Update a status. Like it. I would even like the like button if it were feasible. Read a few messages often spam, then reply with equally meaningful content. Then go to my profile page and poke back the huge list awaiting to be clicked. Then slowly sit back and scroll down through the updates and follow the usual facebook of custom of likes. And then a cold sweat drips when I think about logging out.

Finally I logout. And shut my laptop.

Walk out to my bed to realize that the reason I had turned my laptop on to see my "timetable" for tomorrows class !!

The fact that worries me more is that when I turned on the laptop again i thought it was more important to share it on my status message, but what i typed was top big for it THAT'S WHY I BLOGGED and I still haven't checked the time table YET !

I in the witness of the almighty and the fear of thy self, declare and admit that I am a Facebook addict!

- Case Study Number 2

1. when one wakes up,whenever has a free period, gets home from school, after dinner, in-between homework, before going to bed, checks their Facebook
2. when 300 friends seems too few
3. when 50% of your friends you haven't seen in a year, and another 25% you've never met ever
4. when you are a member of over 30 groups and constantly check to see if anyone has made a new one
5. when you look at the clock and see that you have spent 4 hours looking at peoples facebook profiles
6. when you check the clock again, and you've spent another 2 hours after that "just finishing up"
7. when you talk to someone who doesn't like Facebook, you are shocked, appalled and immediately begin to try to convert them
8. when you see someone you haven't seen in a long time, but decide just to check their Facebook to find out anything going on with them
9. when you finish your homework at 10, but don't go to bed till 2
10. when you are a member of a club called "Facebook addicts," "Facebookaholics," "Face bookers anonymous," or some variation
person 1: are you ok? you look like your about to fall asleep, you have blisters on your fingers and your eyes are all bloodshot.
person 2: yeah... i just didn't get a lot of sleep last night.
person 1: a lot of homework?
person 2: nahhh, just me being a Facebookaholic

- Case Study Number 3

Never being able to leave facebook.. On it day and night.. Staying up late. Even when you know things haven't changed and it stays the same. When you decide to play a game for hours that your eyes start getting swollen and red and bags under them.. When a friend asks you to go to a movie but you decline because you have to see the next update on your friends status.

- Case Study Number 4

Facebook Affair

Like a real Affair, a Facebook Affair is when someone is cheating on their boyfriend/husband or girlfriend/wife with someone on Facebook. The relationship never really becomes physical and the two people might never actually meet. The Facebook Affair ranges from them sexting each other and having very sexual conversations like they are a couple, to flirting and giving each other "cute" nicknames like "honey" and "boo".

This can go on for months or be a one night thing. The two people may actually know each other or be complete strangers, but either way when the person they are actually in a relationship finds out there will be hell to pay.Jack: Hey, did you hear Bill got fired? Mike: What? Why? Jack: He was having a Facebook Affair with his boss's wife. She left her profile open and he saw their messages. Mike: Damn, but she is a milf sooooo...Jen: I feel terrible. Kelly: What happened? Jen: Mike and I had a fight lastnight and I got drunk and had a Facebook Affair with an Italian Underwear Model. Kelly: Damn, but Marks a douche sooooo...

Case Study Number 5

Shocking: Facebook users feel loneliness in real life

London, Aug 15: Have you ever thought of signing-out from Facebook to make friends in real life? If no, it's the time to kick yourself out from social networking sites to meet the reality. According to a new study, young people are not getting time to make friends in their real life as they are spending much of their time on Facebook.


A new survey study found that most of the teenagers are facing loneliness in their life though most of them have huge followers in social sites. The study revealed that despite of having an average of some 243 'Facebook' friends, teenagers are spending so much time on the Internet that 60 per cent have little time to go out with friends in real life.

According to report in Daily Mail, the study surveyed people aged from 18 to 80 and found that more than a third of people spend more time cheating online than going out with friends.

Interestingly, about 50 percent of the respondents are aware of lack of friends in their real life and wants to join or start a local friendship club.

More than 75 percent of the people participated in the survey admitted that they "feel lonely" and need more face-to-face friends to make life really worth living. Nearly 60 percent found making friends online is simpler with new technologies.

"Eighteen year-olds are as lonely as 80-year-olds and they want a friendship service because they can no longer make friends in the traditional ways," said Valery McConnell, the editor of 'Yours' magazine, which commissioned the survey.

Case Study Number 6

Today's society is fuelled by the Internet. The ramifications of relying on technology may be vast, and the reliance on a particular website may prove costly in varying aspects. Facebook is an incredibly lucrative business endeavour that has made its founder scads of money. Emanating from modest visions, Facebook has become a part of modern society, running the spectrum from young to old users.

Social Media websites are abundant, with the runaway leader being Facebook. Facebook is one of the most common search terms, and it currently houses more than half a billion people The Facebook phenomenon spawned a major motion picture, and endless debates between Facebook devotees, and those that refuse to buckle to the enormous peer pressure and become an active member.

Facebook can be argued to be a viable website, necessary in today’s society. The benefits of Facebook may be numerous, but there are many negative associations with Facebook that primarily stem from the improper usage of a Facebook account.

False Sense of Popularity

With its simplicity in terms of finding and requesting friends, many people have Facebook accounts that are overflowing with friends. Mere acquaintances are being lumped into the category of friend, and the number of friends that you have on your Facebook account is seen almost as a badge of honour. This may skew your view of how you are perceived.

By the same token, a person who only has a few close friends in their account may be subjected to mock ridicule at school. Facebook status is readily becoming an indicator of many trends. With Facebook you need to be cautious. It can build you up in one moment, and then leave you reeling the next.

The wrong message may be received in this regard. While they have many friends on Facebook, the individual may have a difficult time befriending people face to face. They may lack the requisite confidence and self-esteem needed to sustain friendships.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying is part of the epidemic linked to social media websites. While Facebook alone is not the root of cyber bullying, it does give it an extremely powerful platform from which to victimize the vulnerable.

cyber bullying, as information is there forever. Cyber bullying is one of the most negative effects of Facebook.

Facebook can help to rapidly spread damaging photos, videos, and comments. A person can be victimized anonymously by someone from their ‘friend’ list. This traumatizes the individual, since you are suddenly thrust into a battle with an unknown assailant. Cyberspace helps perpetuate the problems of

Confidence

A person with a large network of friends on Facebook may feel a boost in their confidence levels. While having confidence is a great thing, if your confidence is derived from Facebook, you may find yourself suddenly devoid of confidence. Parents have to watch their children's levels of

self-esteem on a regular basis, and ensure that they are well-rounded individuals. A reliance on Facebook for friendship is detrimental to your ability to communicate with others eye to eye.

Waste of Time

Time is precious. Many people will claim that they just do not have enough time in a day to work, attend classes, take the kids to their extracurricular activities, and tend to the daily chores associated with the responsibilities of being an adult. Many of these people will be slaves to the Facebook world, constantly logging in from their laptop, desktop, smart-phone, or tablet. They sift through insignificant material, such as status updates, new group and friend requests or suggestions of potential people you may know, wasting valuable time.

The time spent on Facebook varies between individuals, but one commonality is that it occupies a lot of time. It can lead to a fundamental lack of sleep, as Facebook is a twenty four hour a day concern. Many people have friends that are from different time zones, and therefore their information is updated at obscure hours.

Job Hunting

In today’s society, resumés are being replaced by social media searches. Potential employers are seeking out applicants in the world of places such as Facebook, giving them insight into the time of person that you are, based upon your profile, status updates, posted photos, and comments on your wall. Many people post anything and everything, without prudently thinking it through first. Incriminating items on your Facebook account may leave you without an interview for a position you assumed you were perfectly skilled to receive. This is another negative effect of Facebook.

Addiction

Facebook can lead to addiction in some people. The sheer amount of time spent perusing Facebook, the endless hours spent playing games and writing comments and the need to login while at work or while stopped at a red light indicates that an addiction has formed.

Predators

Facebook allows predators to gain access to your likes and dislikes, the knowledge of where you go to school, work, hang out at night, and so forth. Predators can wreak havoc onFacebook, so tread carefully when you are dancing through Cyberspace.them by predators.Facebook allows predators to gain access to your likes and dislikes, the knowledge of where you go to school, work, hang out at night, and so forth. Predators can wreak havoc onFacebook, so tread carefully when you are dancing through Cyberspace.them by predators. Facebook allows predators to gain access to your likes and dislikes, the knowledge of where you go to school, work, hang out at night, and so forth. Predators can wreak havoc onFacebook, so tread carefully when you are dancing through Cyberspace.

Facebook enables people to post their true identities, which can be utilized against them by predators. Facebook allows predators to gain access to your likes and dislikes, the knowledge of where you go to school, work, hang out at night, and so forth. Predators can wreak havoc on Facebook, so tread carefully when you are dancing through Cyberspace

Many Facebook users spend countless hours trying to find old flames, either in hopes of rekindling a romance, or for the sake of curiosity. This poses a problem for the user, as the world of Facebook is relatively tight-knit, and these searches and friend requests have a nasty way of finding their way to someone who may not be appreciative. Online romances and affairs are just as morally corrupt as physical affairs.

Invasion of Privacy

No matter how stringent you are with your security settings, there is not a method of controlling what other people post about you, or share things originating from you. People give out valuable information, such as acknowledging their attendance at a Stag and Doe or wedding on the weekend, giving unscrupulous Facebook users a time frame for robbing your house, or simply ransacking your identity.

The privacy issue also extends to people being able to find you that you do not want to find you. Even if you do not confirm them as a friend, they can manoeuvre around until they latch on to a friend of yours, or find out enough information from your account as it is. The invasion of personal privacy is an extremely negative effect of Facebook.

Communication Erosion

Facebook enables people to stay in touch at all times. Many people substitute this for actually getting together and enjoying each other’s company and some shared laughter. People are friends with lots of people on Facebook, yet sit alone in front of the computer to catch up. This is the paradox of Facebook, another negative effect.

Security Breach

Computer hackers are able to send you into a tailspin with their abilities to infiltrate your account and coerce you into voluntarily giving away too much information. The security issues is addressed often by Facebook, but problems will always exist.

Facebook has many negative effects associated with it, in spite of the wonderful appeal it seems to have on the masses.

One way to look at your Facebook popularity would be to see how many of your ‘843’ friends show up to help you move or paint when you are in need. Facebook will run its course, and something else will come along to take its place. Hopefully people will still remember how to communicate and make new friends once Facebook has departed. (Bobby Cole)

The Effects and Affects of The Internet On Your Brain

Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle, and that, says author Nicholas Carr, is what you're doing every time you use the Internet.

Carr is the author of the Atlantic article is Google Making Us Stupid? which he has expanded into a book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.

Carr believes that the Internet is a medium based on interruption — and it's changing the way people read and process information. We've come to associate the acquisition of wisdom with deep reading and solitary concentration, and he says there's not much of that to be found online.

Chronic Distraction

Carr started research for The Shallows after he noticed a change in his own ability to concentrate.

"I'd sit down with a book, or a long article," he tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "and after a couple of pages my brain wanted to do what it does when I'm online: check e-mail, click on links, do some Googling, hop from page to page."

This chronic state of distraction "follows us" Carr argues, long after we shut down our computers.

"Neuroscientists and psychologists have discovered that, even as adults, our brains are very plastic," Carr explains. "They're very malleable, they adapt at the cellular level to whatever we happen to be doing. And so the more time we spend surfing, and skimming, and scanning ... the more adept we become at that mode of thinking."

Would You Process This Information Better On Paper?

The book cites many studies that indicate that online reading yields lower comprehension than reading from a printed page. Then again, reading online is a relatively recent phenomenon, and a generation of readers who grow up consuming everything on the screen may simply be more adept at online reading than people who were forced to switch from print.

Still, Carr argues that even if people get better at hopping from page to page, they will still be losing their abilities to employ a "slower, more contemplative mode of thought." He says research shows that as people get better at multitasking, they "become less creative in their thinking."

The idea that the brain is a kind of zero sum game — that the ability to read incoming text messages is somehow diminishing our ability to read Moby Dick — is not altogether self-evident. Why can't the mind simply become better at a whole variety of intellectual tasks?

Carr says it really has to do with practice. The reality — especially for young people — is that online time is "crowding out" the time that might otherwise be spent in prolonged, focused concentration.

"We're seeing this medium, the medium of the Web, in effect replace the time that we used to spend in different modes of thinking," Carr says.

The Natural State Of Things?

Carr admits he's something of a fatalist when it comes to technology. He views the advent of the Internet as "not just technological progress but a form of human regress."

Human ancestors had to stay alert and shift their attention all the time; cavemen who got too wrapped up in their cave paintings just didn't survive. Carr acknowledges that prolonged, solitary thought is not the natural human state, but rather "an aberration in the great sweep of intellectual history that really just emerged with [the] technology of the printed page."

The Internet, Carr laments, simply returns us to our "natural state of distractedness."

Pundits have been trying to bury the book for a long time. In the early years of the nineteenth century, the burgeoning popularity of newspapers — well over a hundred were being published in London alone — led many observers to assume that books were on the verge of obsolescence. How could they compete with the immediacy of the daily broadsheet? "Before this century shall end, journalism will be the whole press — the whole human thought," declared the French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine in 1831.

"Thought will spread across the world with the rapidity of light, instantly conceived, instantly written, instantly understood. It will blanket the earth from one pole to the other — sudden, instantaneous, burning with the fervor of the soul from which it burst forth. This will be the reign of the human word in all its plenitude. Thought will not have time to ripen, to accumulate into the form of a book — the book will arrive too late. The only book possible from today is a newspaper."

Lamartine was mistaken. At the century's end, books were still around, living happily beside newspapers. But a new threat to their existence had already emerged: Thomas Edison's phonograph. It seemed obvious, at least to the intelligentsia, that people would soon be listening to literature rather than reading it. In an 1889 essay in the Atlantic Monthly, Philip Hubert predicted that "many books and stories may not see the light of print at all; they will go into the hands of their readers, or hearers rather, as phonograms."

The phonograph, which at the time could record sounds as well as play them, also "promises to far outstrip the typewriter" as a tool for composing prose, he wrote. That same year, the futurist Edward Bellamy suggested, in a Harper's article, that people would come to read "with the eyes shut." They would carry around a tiny audio player, called an "indispensable," which would contain all their books, newspapers, and magazines. Mothers, wrote Bellamy, would no longer have "to make themselves hoarse telling the children stories on rainy days to keep them out of mischief." The kids would all have their own indispensables.

Five years later, Scribner's Magazine delivered the seeming coup de grace to the codex, publishing an article titled "The End of Books" by Octave Uzanne, an eminent French author and publisher. "What is my view of the destiny of books, my dear friends?" he wrote. "I do not believe (and the progress of electricity and modern mechanism forbids me to believe) that Gutenberg's invention can do otherwise than sooner or later fall into desuetude as a means of current interpretation of our mental products."

Printing, a "somewhat antiquated process" that for centuries "has reigned despotically over the mind of man," would be replaced by "phonography," and libraries would be turned into "phonographotecks." We would see a return of "the art of utterance," as narrators took the place of writers. "The ladies," Uzanne concluded, "will no longer say in speaking of a successful author, ‘What a charming writer!' All shuddering with emotion, they will sigh, 'Ah, how this "Teller's" voice thrills you, charms you, moves you.'"

The book survived the phonograph as it had the newspaper. Listening didn't replace reading. Edison's invention came to be used mainly for playing music rather than declaiming poetry and prose. During the twentieth century, book reading would withstand a fresh onslaught of seemingly mortal threats: moviegoing, radio listening, TV viewing. Today, books remain as commonplace as ever, and there's every reason to believe that printed works will continue to be produced and read, in some sizable quantity, for years to come.

While physical books may be on the road to obsolescence, the road will almost certainly be a long and winding one. Yet the continued existence of the codex, though it may provide some cheer to bibliophiles, doesn't change the fact that books and book reading, at least as we've defined those things in the past, are in their cultural twilight. As a society, we devote ever less time to reading printed words, and even when we do read them, we do so in the busy shadow of the Internet.

"Already," the literary critic George Steiner wrote in 1997, "the silences, the arts of concentration and memorization, the luxuries of time on which ‘high reading' depended are largely disposed." But "these erosions," he continued, "are nearly insignificant compared with the brave new world of the electronic." Fifty years ago, it would have been possible to make the case that we were still in the age of print. Today, it is not.

Some thinkers welcome the eclipse of the book and the literary mind it fostered. In a recent address to a group of teachers, Mark Federman, an education researcher at the University of Toronto, argued that literacy, as we've traditionally understood it, "is now nothing but a quaint notion, an aesthetic form that is as irrelevant to the real questions and issues of pedagogy today as is recited poetry — clearly not devoid of value, but equally no longer the structuring force of society."

The time has come, he said, for teachers and students alike to abandon the "linear, hierarchical" world of the book and enter the Web's "world of ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive proximity" — a world in which "the greatest skill" involves "discovering emergent meaning among contexts that are continually in flux."

Clay Shirky, a digital-media scholar at New York University, suggested in a 2008 blog post that we shouldn't waste our time mourning the death of deep reading — it was overrated all along. "No one reads War and Peace," he wrote, singling out Tolstoy's epic as the quintessence of high literary achievement. "It's too long, and not so interesting." People have "increasingly decided that Tolstoy's sacred work isn't actually worth the time it takes to read it."

The same goes for Proust's In Search of Lost Time and other novels that until recently were considered, in Shirky's cutting phrase, "Very Important in some vague way." Indeed, we've "been emptily praising" writers like Tolstoy and Proust "all these years." Our old literary habits "were just a side-effect of living in an environment of impoverished access." Now that the Net has granted us abundant "access," Shirky concluded, we can at last lay those tired habits aside.

Such proclamations seem a little too staged to take seriously. They come off as the latest manifestation of the outré posturing that has always characterized the anti-intellectual wing of academia. But, then again, there may be a more charitable explanation. Federman, Shirky, and others like them may be early exemplars of the post-literary mind, intellectuals for whom the screen rather than the page has always been the primary conduit of information. As Alberto

Manguel has written, "There is an unbridgeable chasm between the book that tradition has declared a classic and the book (the same book) that we have made ours through instinct, emotion and understanding: suffered through it, rejoiced in it, translated it into our experience and (notwithstanding the layers of readings with which a book comes into our hands) essentially become its first readers." If you lack the time, the interest, or the facility to inhabit a literary work — to make it your own in the way Manguel describes — then of course you'd consider Tolstoy's masterpiece to be "too long, and not so interesting."

Although it may be tempting to ignore those who suggest the value of the literary mind has always been exaggerated, that would be a mistake. Their arguments are another important sign of the fundamental shift taking place in society's attitude toward intellectual achievement. Their words also make it a lot easier for people to justify that shift — to convince themselves that surfing the Web is a suitable, even superior, substitute for deep reading and other forms of calm and attentive thought. In arguing that books are archaic and dispensable, Federman and Shirky provide the intellectual cover that allows thoughtful people to slip comfortably into the permanent state of distractedness that defines the online life.

Our desire for fast-moving, kaleidoscopic diversions didn't originate with the invention of the World Wide Web. It has been present and growing for many decades, as the pace of our work and home lives has quickened and as broadcast media like radio and television have presented us with a welter of programs, messages, and advertisements.

The Internet, though it marks a radical departure from traditional media in many ways, also represents a continuation of the intellectual and social trends that emerged from people's embrace of the electric media of the twentieth century and that have been shaping our lives and thoughts ever since. The distractions in our lives have been proliferating for a long time, but never has there been a medium that, like the Net, has been programmed to so widely scatter our attention and to do it so insistently.

David Levy, in Scrolling Forward, describes a meeting he attended at Xerox's famed Palo Alto Research Center in the mid-1970s, a time when the high-tech lab's engineers and programmers were devising many of the features we now take for granted in our personal computers. A group of prominent computer scientists had been invited to PARC to see a demonstration of a new operating system that made "multitasking" easy.

Unlike traditional operating systems, which could display only one job at a time, the new system divided a screen into many "windows," each of which could run a different program or display a different document. To illustrate the flexibility of the system, the Xerox presenter clicked from a window in which he had been composing software code to another window that displayed a newly arrived e-mail message.

He quickly read and replied to the message, then hopped back to the programming window and continued coding. Some in the audience applauded the new system. They saw that it would enable people to use their computers much more efficiently. Others recoiled from it. "Why in the world would you want to be interrupted — and distracted — by e-mail while programming?" one of the attending scientists angrily demanded.

The question seems quaint today. The windows interface has become the interface for all PCs and for most other computing devices as well. On the Net, there are windows within windows within windows, not to mention long ranks of tabs primed to trigger the opening of even more windows.

Multitasking has become so routine that most of us would find it intolerable if we had to go back to computers that could run only one program or open only one file at a time. And yet, even though the question may have been rendered moot, it remains as vital today as it was thirty-five years ago. It points, as Levy says, to "a conflict between two different ways of working and two different understandings of how technology should be used to support that work.

" Whereas the Xerox researcher "was eager to juggle multiple threads of work simultaneously," the skeptical questioner viewed his own work "as an exercise in solitary, singleminded concentration." In the choices we have made, consciously or not, about how we use our computers, we have rejected the intellectual tradition of solitary, single-minded concentration, the ethic that the book bestowed on us. We have cast our lot with the juggler.

Excerpted from The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.

The Media Ecologists PerspectivesIf the Internet is messing with our minds, Media Ecologist give us a much more concise and clearer explanation as to what is happening to Man in his and his relationship with Technology and other media . I will use Lance Strate's article whose heading is "What Is Media Ecology" in order for us to put the article into into proper perspective. Lance Strate wrote in:

What Is Media Ecology

"The world that God created understandably troubles us today... Some are inclined to blame our present woes on technology. Yet there are paradoxes here. Technology is artificial, but for a human being there is nothing more natural than to be artificial. Walter Ong (Faith and Contexts, Vol 1, 1:7.)

Media ecology is the study of communication technologies as cultural environments. If that doesn’t make your heart race (like me), then don’t worry: there’s still hope. In the infancy of the digital information age, it’s hard to imagine a field of study that’s more important ; or that can better explain why the new edition of the iPhone is messing with our minds.

Come on, we all know its messing with our minds.

Steve Jobs aside, there are some names to know. We’ll start with three.

The first is Neil Postman The New York University professor was the first to create a doctoral program in “media ecology”– at New York University in 1970. The term had biology class in mind: think of that round glass petri dish you used to grow bacteria. The “medium” was the substance placed in the dish to grow the “culture.” In this case, it’d be like eye-dropping mini iPhones (iDropping – ha) into a dish of popular culture, and seeing what grows.

But here’s where things get complicated. You could easily think of this in reverse. In this case, let’s make the mini-iPhones the “medium” sauce, and eye-drop in little bits of culture to see what happens. Yeah, that gets crazy. One question of media ecology is “Does technology grow in the culture or culture grow in the technology?” Answer? Yes.

But we were discussing names. And the most well known scholar in the room is certainly Marshall McLuhan whose aphorisms and cultural commentary in the 1960s repeated their way into popular culture enough for Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to record two of them “The medium is the message,” and the one that is remembered by its last two words, “The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of the global village.”

Because these phrases were as likely to appear at cocktail parties as scholarly journals, journalist Tom Wolfe in 1965 asked if McLuhan might be “the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein, and Pavlov” McLuhan interpreter Paul Levinson, after noting that Pavlov is misplaced on Wolfe’s list, insists that McLuhan is not.

Here are some key McLuhan thoughts:

A medium is any extension of a natural human faculty, either mental or physical. The vehicle (more precisely, the wheel) is an extension of legs and feet. An axe can extend an arm. Both the axe or the wheel are technological mediums. But so are the more mental extensions such as the alphabet and subsequent print, which extend human thought, or forms we now associate with the term, such as radio, and TV, which McLuhan would say are extensions of our central nervous system.

The content of a medium is always another medium. Huh? Here’s what we mean: it’s like those rubbermaid boxes or russian dolls, each one fitting into each other. The telegraph encodes the medium of the printed word, which contains the alphabet, which contains human speech, which contains human thought. Why is this important? The impact of messages are obscured. We think it’s the “content” that matters. But content is inseparable from container. The making the container—the medium—the message.

New media do not replace prior media but modify or obscure them. The printing press does not replace handwriting, but alters the way it is used. The question is not whether books on the iPad or Kindle will replace printed, bound books, but how it will change our perception of them. This is fundamental (and often missed).

Not all media are the same. Some media contain a high level of data–let’s call it “high definition.” McLuhan would call it “hot.” Movies are a good example–swirling imersrive experiences in sound and light and story. By contrast, other media are low definition—or cool—and therefore require the physical senses to engage more heavily to fill in missing data, such as the telephone or cartoons. Th

The effect of adding a new technology (medium or extension to human function) is numbness. Really. McLuhan would say that our senses get thrown off by new technologies: we don’t accurately feel its effects until later. That is, minus the prophets and artists. We can talk about them sometime.

One big point to take from these? We’re like fish-in-water when it comes to culture and technology. It’s hard to see when we’re swimming in it.

One more name:Walter: Ong. He’s got the quote at the top, and as a popular Jesuit priest-professor in St. Louis, got famous for an 1982 work entitled Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. Let’s lay aside that Ong is pretty much my hero, and just focus on what he thought was important to understand: the history of communications technologies.

And we’re not talking the move from the Apple IIe to the aluminum Macbook Pro. Technology starts with things like speech and language. Grunting and pointing is different than a fully formed grammar and vocabulary right? And when writing hits the scene (bonus word: chirography=hand writing), it changes everything. Ong said it “restructured human consciousness.” Plato and Socrates famously complain about this new writing thing that is going to destroy the memory of students because they can just look it up. Ah, the first complaints by teachers about how technology is ruining young lives.

Using Ong (and some after him) we can track big stages in communications history.

  1. Orality (talking only)
  2. Early Writing (pictorial writing then eventually phoentic alphabets; “craft literacy”;parchment)
  3. Later Writing (scrolls then early bound books i.e. codices)
  4. Early Print (Gutenberg and friends)
  5. Later Print (the mass market begins)
  6. Electric (Telegraph, telephone)
  7. Electronic (TV and radio)
  8. Digital (internet, cell phones)

That’s the cheap version of the chart, but it starts us out.

There are a ton of other names to mention. In terms of other names after Postman, McLuhan, and Ong, we might include: James Carey, Harold Innis, Elizabeth Eisenstein, Jacques Ellul, Christine Nystrom, Camille Paglia, Eric Havelock, and Susanne K Langer. Interpreters for the current generation might include Lance Strate, Paul Levinson, Casey Man Kong Lum and Paul Soukup. Among others.

So what is media ecology? It’s a framework to start understanding how text messaging affects love, how computer keyboards restructure brain patterns, and how my photo editor undoes my philosophy of life. It asks how we think about authority, what the rules of arguments will be, and if there is a difference between the beginning and end of a song. Perception, knowledge, fundamental social structures, and quite definitely God, are all in the mix. It is tis perspective that I am utilizing in my writing this article and then some.

What is media ecology? It’s the key to understanding the times, my friend. Facebook are some of 'these' times that need to be understood, fully and seriously...

Africa In FB Mix And Mode

Africa, like the rest of the world, has a nee to connect and share content and experience what the world has to offer is on the increase. social media is taking Africa by storm with mobile phone subscriptions, Internet and social media usage figures are on the climb. MXit and Facebook are leading the way with their high user numbers and Twitter is catching up with the most significant social networking recorded in the first hals of 2011.

African, in the latest series of key trends, growth has been inspired by elevated mobile penetration. Some exciting figures show that there are presently about 120 million Internet users, and 32-million Facebook users in Africa. this is quite high when compared to only 18% of Internet users in Asia are on Facebook. Africa is also enjoying the highest mobile subscription growth rates in the world.

Africa Streaming On the The Mobile Gizmo

Like everyone else, I took up late in joining the Face Social Network. I started in January, and by the end on May I was already banned from the social network. Facebook accused me of making and soliciting "friends" from their network and argued that I did not know these people. Yet, in real life, you make friends even with people you do not know or met throughout the hustle and bustle of life. The added one other charge that I was "spamming"? Duh!

What really is social networking? There are also the Facebookaholics who create "Walls" within the Facebook realm and claim them as their own FB social medium and media fiefdom; yet, as I see and understand, Facebook, although it be a meeting place of all, it is also a media disseminating viral ogre. Censorship is bruised egos of the media/messaging/information self appointed controlling mindless megalomaniacs posing as administrators and gatekeepers of what s to be posted or not. If a "friend" posts what they deem not according to their stated goals' and interests, they "block" or report one as a "spammer", which then gives the minions and spooks who actually facilitate the viral to send one pink warnings, admonishing and finally to totally blocking that account.

I went into participating on the Facebook so that I can make my own impressions of it. It's swirling virally nature has made it into an infinite extensions of man and information- of any sort. In a word, Facebook defocusses information and data and spreads it in all direction of man's perception, intellect and oral communications endeavors. Here is how Howard Rheingold's description on the Online experience:

"People in virtual communities use words on screens to exchange pleasantries and argue, engage in intellectual discourse, conduct commerce, exchange knowledge, share emotional support, make plans, brainstorm, gossip, feud, fall in love, find friends and lose them, play games, flirt, create a little high art and a lot of idle talk. People in virtual communities do just about everything people do in real life, but we leave our bodies behind. You can't kiss anybody and nobody can punch you in the nose, but a lot can happen within those boundaries. to millions who have been drawn into it, the richness and vitality of computer/Web-linked cultures is attractive, even addictive."

By participating in Facebook for five month, extensively and Intensely, I came to realize the futility of it all. Everything is everything on Facebboks. The ease of communication is thwarted by most of the petty and very much below average concerns, diatribes and dialogues-a lot of racism to fill one's lifetime- and many other shenanigans that half a billion people communicating with instant results foists and fosters a communication system that is for the now and later never existed. It satisfies the psychedelic need and addicts one to that instance of communication that, it is not a thing that stays, but needs more the next micro second, so that, in the final analysis people's life find cohabitation in a medium that is viral and in a state of constant and instant flux.

It is in this environment and background that I entered the Facebook, and zeroed-into South africa, and made as many friends as I could. I posted all sorts of information and all kinds of musical genres; I posted historical quotes, websites, original wriitings on my wall in various other Walls. I was 'befriended by all sorts of "Occupy Somethings" and all sorts of other outfits milling allover the Web and Facebook, all the way to Twitter and Google plus, the whole bit. Once or twice I locked horns with all types of characters and arguments. I begun laying off the explosive topics and was met with some rigid rejection by both African and White Facebook cadre who felt that the posts that I made were in-line with their agenda, thinking and information base?!...

That, I could not fathom, but nonetheless, I weaned myself slowly from the viral morass and begun to cobble up a few ideas about what I have seen, some of the information is mine, and some of it from people who have had some kind of experiences on Facebook in order to try and locate the origins of the addictive nature of Facebook and other social media-but in this case, specifically, the addictive nature of Facebook and how come it gets that way.

As has already been posited out above, the activities one find in such mediums and the intense interactive and convergent and divergent nature of the the communication systems of facilitating for "instancy", expectancy of that instancy rises with every feedback one gets from the "friends" one has on Facebook and the new ones they will converse with and develop viral relationships which have no commitment such as human interactive relationships- that of eye to to eye, body to body.

It is now man using electricity, machine and its Webs to become a person who is enjoying oneself and is in constant touch or talk or communication with others who form a friendship unlike friendship found amongst ones peers and real-life friends.. The power of privacy, anonymity and use of language viral bytes and communicating and reading and learning all sorts of information bits and Gigs, that in the end, man and machine become one, and the world opens up, thus, in the process, man subverts his past life-style with his friends and family- becoming an an ultimate Facebookaholic- body and soul-and mindset too.

Here's A warning From The Manufactures: Technological Addiction

Silicon Valley say Step away From The Device

According to Matt Richtell. "Stuart Crabb, a director in the executive offices of Facebook, naturally likes to extol the extraordinary benefits of computer and smartphones. But, like a growing number of technology leaders, he offers a warning: log off once in a while, and put them down. In a place where technology is seen as an all-powerful answer, it is increasingly being seen as too powerful 'even addictive'.

The concern, voiced in conferences and in recent interviews with many top executives of technology companies, is that the lure of constant stimulation - the pervasive demands of 'Pings,' 'Rings,' 'Updates - is creating a profound physical craving that can hurt productivity and personal interactions. "If you put a frog in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, it'll boil to death - it a nice analogy," Sad Mr Crab, Who oversees learning and development at Facebook. "People need to notice the effect that time online has on your performance and relationships."

The insight may not sound revelatory to anyone who has joked about "Crackberry" lifestyle or followed the work of researchers who are exploring whether interactive technology has addictive properties. But hearing it from leaders at many of silicon Valley's most influential companies, who profit from people spending more time online, can sound like auto executives selling muscle cars while warning about the dangers of fast acceleration.

"Were done with this honeymoon phase and now we're in this phase that says 'Wow, what have we done"" said Soren Gordhamer, who organizes Wisdom 2.0, an annual conference he started in 2010 about the pursuit of balance in the digital age. "It doesn't mean what we've done is bad. there's no blame. But there is a turning of the page.

At the Wisdom 2.0 conference in February, founders form Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Zynga and PayPal, and executive managers from companies like Google, Microsoft, Cisco and others listened and participated in conversations with experts in Yoga and midnfulness. In at least one session, they debated whether technology firms had a responsibility to consider their collective power to lure consumers to game or activities that waste time or distract them.

The actual science of whether such games and apps are addictive is embyonic. But the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, widely viewed as the viewed as the authority on metal illnesses, plans next year to include "Internet Use Disorder" in its appendix, an indication researchers believe something is going on but that that requires further study to be deemed an official condition

Some people disagree there is a problem, even if the agree that the online activities tap into deep neurological mechanisms. Eric Schiemeyer, a cofounder of Zynga, an online game company and , maker of huge hits like FarmVille, has said he has helped addict millions of people to dopamine, a neurochemical that ha been shown to be released by pleasurable activities, including video game playing, but also is understood to play a major role in the cycle of addiction.

But what he said he believed was that pole already craved dopamine and that Silicon Valley was no more responsible for creating irresistible technologies that, say fast-foo restaurants were responsible for making food with such wide appeal. "The'd say: Do we have any responsibility for the fact that people are getting fat?' Most people would say 'no'" said Mr. Schiermeyer. He added" "Given that we're human, we already want dopamine."

Along those lines, Scot Kriens, chairman of Juniper Networks, one of the biggest Internet infrastructure companies, said the powerful lure of devices mostly reflected primitive human longings to connect and interact(This really sounds McLuhanesque!), but that those desires needed to be managed so that they did not overwhelm people' lives.

As soon as we can, we sometimes Need to "Log Out."

Douglass Rushkoff says a loss of control over how his "likes" are used has led him to drop Facebook
Douglass Rushkoff says a loss of control over how his "likes" are used has led him to drop Facebook

Why I'm Quitting Facebook

This is precisely what Douglas Rushkoff did, that instead of "Logging Off" He shut his Facebook account. This is How and why he did it as he narrates in this following article"

"I used to be able to justify using Facebook as a cost of doing business. As a writer and sometime activist who needs to promote my books and articles and occasionally rally people to one cause or another, I found Facebook fast and convenient. Though I never really used it to socialize, I figured it was OK to let other people do that, and I benefited from their behavior.

I can no longer justify this arrangement.

Today, I am surrendering my Facebook account, because my participation on the site is simply too inconsistent with the values I espouse in my work. In my upcoming book "Present Shock," I chronicle some of what happens when we can no longer manage our many online presences. I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.

Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we're not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others. To enable this dysfunctional situation -- I call it "digiphrenia" -- would be at the very least hypocritical. But to participate on Facebook as an author, in a way specifically intended to draw out the "likes" and resulting vulnerability of others, is untenable.

Facebook has never been merely a social platform. Rather, it exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does.

Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time -- our "social graphs" -- into money for others.

We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been miningto predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote. We have been handing over to them vast quantities of information about ourselves and our friends, loved ones and acquaintances. With this information, Facebook and the "big data" research firms purchasing their data predict still more things about us -- from our future product purchases or sexual orientation to our likelihood for civil disobedience or even terrorism.

The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook's paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we -- and the young, particularly -- spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.

The efforts of a few thousand employees at Facebook's Menlo Park campus pale in comparison to those of the hundreds of millions of users meticulously tweaking their pages. Corporations used to have to do research to assemble our consumer profiles; now we do it for them.

The information collected about you by Facebook through my Facebook page isn't even shared with me. Thanks to my page, Facebook knows the demographics of my readership, their e-mails, what else they like, who else they know and, perhaps most significant, who they trust. And Facebook is taking pains not to share any of this, going so far as to limit the ability of third-party applications to utilize any of this data.

Given that this was the foundation for Facebook's business plan from the start, perhaps more recent developments in the company's ever-evolving user agreement shouldn't have been so disheartening.

Still, we bridle at the notion that any of our updates might be converted into "sponsored stories" by whatever business or brand we may have mentioned. That innocent mention of cup of coffee at Starbucks, in the Facebook universe, quickly becomes an attributed endorsement of their brand. Remember, the only way to connect with something or someone is to "like" them. This means if you want to find out what a politician or company you don't like is up to, you still have to endorse them publicly.

More recently, users -- particularly those with larger sets of friends, followers and likes -- learned that their updates were no longer reaching all of the people who had signed up to get them. Now, we are supposed to pay to "promote" our posts to our friends and, if we pay even more, to their friends.

Yes, Facebook is entitled to be paid for promoting us and our interests -- but this wasn't the deal going in, particularly not for companies who paid Facebook for extra followers in the first place. Neither should users who "friend" my page automatically become the passive conduits for any of my messages to all their friends just because I paid for it.

That brings me to Facebook's most recent shift, and the one that pushed me over the edge.

Through a new variation of the Sponsored Stories feature called Related Posts, users who "like" something can be unwittingly associated with pretty much anything an advertiser pays for. Like e-mail spam with a spoofed identity, the Related Post shows up in a newsfeed right under the user's name and picture. If you "Like" me you can be shown implicitly recommending me or something I like -- something you've never heard of -- to others without your consent.

For now, as long as I don't like anything myself, I have some measure of control over what those who follow me receive in my name or, worse, are made to appear to be endorsing, themselves. But I feel that control slipping away, and cannot remain part of a system where liking me or my work can be used against you.

The promotional leverage that Facebook affords me is not worth the price. Besides, how can I ask you to like me, when I myself must refuse to like you or anything else?

I have always appreciated that agreeing to become publicly linked to me and my work online involves trust. It is a trust I value, but -- as it is dependent on the good graces of Facebook -- it is a trust I can live up to only by unfriending this particularly anti-social social network.

Maybe in doing so I'll help people remember that Facebook is not the Internet. It's just one website, and it comes with a price.

Is Facebook Alienating man from society?

Facebook, of course, puts the pursuit of happiness front and center in our digital life. Its capacity to redefine our very concepts of identity and personal fulfillment is much more worrisome than the data-mining and privacy practices. no it don't it
Facebook, of course, puts the pursuit of happiness front and center in our digital life. Its capacity to redefine our very concepts of identity and personal fulfillment is much more worrisome than the data-mining and privacy practices. no it don't it | Source

Is Facebook Making Us More Lonely?

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.

YVETTE VICKERS, A FORMER Playboy playmate and B-movie star, best known for her role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, would have been 83 last August, but nobody knows exactly how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report, she lay dead for the better part of a year before a neighbor and fellow actress, a woman named Susan Savage, noticed cobwebs and yellowing letters in her mailbox, reached through a broken window to unlock the door, and pushed her way through the piles of junk mail and mounds of clothing that barricaded the house. Upstairs, she found Vickers’s body, mummified, near a heater that was still running. Her computer was on too, its glow permeating the empty space.

The Los Angeles Times posted a story headlined “Mummified Body of Former Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers Found in Her Benedict Canyon Home,” which quickly went viral. Within two weeks, by Technorati’s count, Vickers’s lonesome death was already the subject of 16,057 Facebook posts and 881 tweets. She had long been a horror-movie icon, a symbol of Hollywood’s capacity to exploit our most basic fears in the silliest ways; now she was an icon of a new and different kind of horror: our growing fear of loneliness. Certainly she received much more attention in death than she did in the final years of her life. With no children, no religious group, and no immediate social circle of any kind, she had begun, as an elderly woman, to look elsewhere for companionship. Savage later told Los Angeles magazine that she had searched Vickers’s phone bills for clues about the life that led to such an end. In the months before her grotesque death, Vickers had made calls not to friends or family but to distant fans who had found her through fan conventions and Internet sites.

Vickers’s web of connections had grown broader but shallower, as has happened for many of us. We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible. Over the past three decades, technology has delivered to us a world in which we need not be out of contact for a fraction of a moment. In 2010, at a cost of $300 million, 800 miles of fiber-optic cable was laid between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange to shave three milliseconds off trading times. Yet within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation. We have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. In a world consumed by ever more novel modes of socializing, we have less and less actual society. We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are. We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.

At the forefront of all this unexpectedly lonely interactivity is Facebook, with 845 million users and $3.7 billion in revenue last year. The company hopes to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering later this spring, which will make it by far the largest Internet IPO in history. Some recent estimates put the company’s potential value at $100 billion, which would make it larger than the global coffee industry—one addiction preparing to surpass the other. Facebook’s scale and reach are hard to comprehend: last summer, Facebook became, by some counts, the first Web site to receive 1 trillion page views in a month. In the last three months of 2011, users generated an average of 2.7 billion “likes” and comments every day. On whatever scale you care to judge Facebook—as a company, as a culture, as a country—it is vast beyond imagination.

Despite its immense popularity, or more likely because of it, Facebook has, from the beginning, been under something of a cloud of suspicion. The depiction of Mark Zuckerberg, in The Social Network, as a bastard with symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, was nonsense. But it felt true. It felt true to Facebook, if not to Zuckerberg. The film’s most indelible scene, the one that may well have earned it an Oscar, was the final, silent shot of an anomic Zuckerberg sending out a friend request to his ex-girlfriend, then waiting and clicking and waiting and clicking—a moment of superconnected loneliness preserved in amber. We have all been in that scene: transfixed by the glare of a screen, hungering for response.

When you sign up for Google+ and set up your Friends circle, the program specifies that you should include only “your real friends, the ones you feel comfortable sharing private details with.” That one little phrase, Your real friends—so quaint, so charmingly mothering—perfectly encapsulates the anxieties that social media have produced: the fears that Facebook is interfering with our real friendships, distancing us from each other, making us lonelier; and that social networking might be spreading the very isolation it seemed designed to conquer.

FACEBOOK ARRIVED IN THE MIDDLE of a dramatic increase in the quantity and intensity of human loneliness, a rise that initially made the site’s promise of greater connection seem deeply attractive. Americans are more solitary than ever before. In 1950, less than 10 percent of American households contained only one person. By 2010, nearly 27 percent of households had just one person. Solitary living does not guarantee a life of unhappiness, of course. In his recent book about the trend toward living alone, Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, writes: “Reams of published research show that it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interaction, that best predicts loneliness.” True. But before we begin the fantasies of happily eccentric singledom, of divorcées dropping by their knitting circles after work for glasses of Drew Barrymore pinot grigio, or recent college graduates with perfectly articulated, Steampunk-themed, 300-square-foot apartments organizing croquet matches with their book clubs, we should recognize that it is not just isolation that is rising sharply. It’s loneliness, too. And loneliness makes us miserable.

We know intuitively that loneliness and being alone are not the same thing. Solitude can be lovely. Crowded parties can be agony. We also know, thanks to a growing body of research on the topic, that loneliness is not a matter of external conditions; it is a psychological state. A 2005 analysis of data from a longitudinal study of Dutch twins showed that the tendency toward loneliness has roughly the same genetic component as other psychological problems such as neuroticism or anxiety.

Still, loneliness is slippery, a difficult state to define or diagnose. The best tool yet developed for measuring the condition is the UCLA Loneliness Scale, a series of 20 questions that all begin with this formulation: “How often do you feel …?” As in: “How often do you feel that you are ‘in tune’ with the people around you?” And: “How often do you feel that you lack companionship?” Measuring the condition in these terms, various studies have shown loneliness rising drastically over a very short period of recent history. A 2010 AARP survey found that 35 percent of adults older than 45 were chronically lonely, as opposed to 20 percent of a similar group only a decade earlier. According to a major study by a leading scholar of the subject, roughly 20 percent of Americans—about 60 million people—are unhappy with their lives because of loneliness. Across the Western world, physicians and nurses have begun to speak openly of an epidemic of loneliness.

The new studies on loneliness are beginning to yield some surprising preliminary findings about its mechanisms. Almost every factor that one might assume affects loneliness does so only some of the time, and only under certain circumstances. People who are married are less lonely than single people, one journal article suggests, but only if their spouses are confidants. If one’s spouse is not a confidant, marriage may not decrease loneliness. A belief in God might help, or it might not, as a 1990 German study comparing levels of religious feeling and levels of loneliness discovered. Active believers who saw God as abstract and helpful rather than as a wrathful, immediate presence were less lonely. “The mere belief in God,” the researchers concluded, “was relatively independent of loneliness.”

But it is clear that social interaction matters. Loneliness and being alone are not the same thing, but both are on the rise. We meet fewer people. We gather less. And when we gather, our bonds are less meaningful and less easy. The decrease in confidants—that is, in quality social connections—has been dramatic over the past 25 years. In one survey, the mean size of networks of personal confidants decreased from 2.94 people in 1985 to 2.08 in 2004. Similarly, in 1985, only 10 percent of Americans said they had no one with whom to discuss important matters, and 15 percent said they had only one such good friend. By 2004, 25 percent had nobody to talk to, and 20 percent had only one confidant.

In the face of this social disintegration, we have essentially hired an army of replacement confidants, an entire class of professional carers. As Ronald Dworkin pointed out in a 2010 paper for the Hoover Institution, in the late ’40s, the United States was home to 2,500 clinical psychologists, 30,000 social workers, and fewer than 500 marriage and family therapists. As of 2010, the country had 77,000 clinical psychologists, 192,000 clinical social workers, 400,000 nonclinical social workers, 50,000 marriage and family therapists, 105,000 mental-health counselors, 220,000 substance-abuse counselors, 17,000 nurse psychotherapists, and 30,000 life coaches. The majority of patients in therapy do not warrant a psychiatric diagnosis. This raft of psychic servants is helping us through what used to be called regular problems. We have outsourced the work of everyday caring.

We need professional carers more and more, because the threat of societal breakdown, once principally a matter of nostalgic lament, has morphed into an issue of public health. Being lonely is extremely bad for your health. If you’re lonely, you’re more likely to be put in a geriatric home at an earlier age than a similar person who isn’t lonely. You’re less likely to exercise. You’re more likely to be obese. You’re less likely to survive a serious operation and more likely to have hormonal imbalances. You are at greater risk of inflammation. Your memory may be worse. You are more likely to be depressed, to sleep badly, and to suffer dementia and general cognitive decline. Loneliness may not have killed Yvette Vickers, but it has been linked to a greater probability of having the kind of heart condition that did kill her.

And yet, despite its deleterious effect on health, loneliness is one of the first things ordinary Americans spend their money achieving. With money, you flee the cramped city to a house in the suburbs or, if you can afford it, a McMansion in the exurbs, inevitably spending more time in your car. Loneliness is at the American core, a by-product of a long-standing national appetite for independence: The Pilgrims who left Europe willingly abandoned the bonds and strictures of a society that could not accept their right to be different. They did not seek out loneliness, but they accepted it as the price of their autonomy. The cowboys who set off to explore a seemingly endless frontier likewise traded away personal ties in favor of pride and self-respect. The ultimate American icon is the astronaut: Who is more heroic, or more alone? The price of self-determination and self-reliance has often been loneliness. But Americans have always been willing to pay that price.

Today, the one common feature in American secular culture is its celebration of the self that breaks away from the constrictions of the family and the state, and, in its greatest expressions, from all limits entirely. The great American poem is Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” The great American essay is Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.” The great American novel is Melville’s Moby-Dick, the tale of a man on a quest so lonely that it is incomprehensible to those around him. American culture, high and low, is about self-expression and personal authenticity. Franklin Delano Roosevelt called individualism “the great watchword of American life.”

Self-invention is only half of the American story, however. The drive for isolation has always been in tension with the impulse to cluster in communities that cling and suffocate. The Pilgrims, while fomenting spiritual rebellion, also enforced ferocious cohesion. The Salem witch trials, in hindsight, read like attempts to impose solidarity—as do the McCarthy hearings. The history of the United States is like the famous parable of the porcupines in the cold, from Schopenhauer’s Studies in Pessimism—the ones who huddle together for warmth and shuffle away in pain, always separating and congregating.

We are now in the middle of a long period of shuffling away. In his 2000 bookBowling Alone, Robert D. Putnam attributed the dramatic post-war decline of social capital—the strength and value of interpersonal networks—to numerous interconnected trends in American life: suburban sprawl, television’s dominance over culture, the self-absorption of the Baby Boomers, the disintegration of the traditional family. The trends he observed continued through the prosperity of the aughts, and have only become more pronounced with time: the rate of union membership declined in 2011, again; screen time rose; the Masons and the Elks continued their slide into irrelevance. We are lonely because we want to be lonely. We have made ourselves lonely.

The question of the future is this: Is Facebook part of the separating or part of the congregating; is it a huddling-together for warmth or a shuffling-away in pain?

WELL BEFORE FACEBOOK, digital technology was enabling our tendency for isolation, to an unprecedented degree. Back in the 1990s, scholars started calling the contradiction between an increased opportunity to connect and a lack of human contact the “Internet paradox.” A prominent 1998 article on the phenomenon by a team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon showed that increased Internet usage was already coinciding with increased loneliness. Critics of the study pointed out that the two groups that participated in the study—high-school journalism students who were heading to university and socially active members of community-development boards—were statistically likely to become lonelier over time. Which brings us to a more fundamental question: Does the Internet make people lonely, or are lonely people more attracted to the Internet?

The question has intensified in the Facebook era. A recent study out of Australia (where close to half the population is active on Facebook), titled “Who Uses Facebook?,” found a complex and sometimes confounding relationship between loneliness and social networking. Facebook users had slightly lower levels of “social loneliness”—the sense of not feeling bonded with friends—but “significantly higher levels of family loneliness”—the sense of not feeling bonded with family. It may be that Facebook encourages more contact with people outside of our household, at the expense of our family relationships—or it may be that people who have unhappy family relationships in the first place seek companionship through other means, including Facebook. The researchers also found that lonely people are inclined to spend more time on Facebook: “One of the most noteworthy findings,” they wrote, “was the tendency for neurotic and lonely individuals to spend greater amounts of time on Facebook per day than non-lonely individuals.” And they found that neurotics are more likely to prefer to use the wall, while extroverts tend to use chat features in addition to the wall.

Moira Burke, until recently a graduate student at the Human-Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon, used to run a longitudinal study of 1,200 Facebook users. That study, which is ongoing, is one of the first to step outside the realm of self-selected college students and examine the effects of Facebook on a broader population, over time. She concludes that the effect of Facebook depends on what you bring to it. Just as your mother said: you get out only what you put in. If you use Facebook to communicate directly with other individuals—by using the “like” button, commenting on friends’ posts, and so on—it can increase your social capital. Personalized messages, or what Burke calls “composed communication,” are more satisfying than “one-click communication”—the lazy click of a like. “People who received composed communication became less lonely, while people who received one-click communication experienced no change in loneliness,” Burke tells me. So, you should inform your friend in writing how charming her son looks with Harry Potter cake smeared all over his face, and how interesting her sepia-toned photograph of that tree-framed bit of skyline is, and how cool it is that she’s at whatever concert she happens to be at. That’s what we all want to hear. Even better than sending a private Facebook message is the semi-public conversation, the kind of back-and-forth in which you half ignore the other people who may be listening in. “People whose friends write to them semi-publicly on Facebook experience decreases in loneliness,” Burke says.

On the other hand, non-personalized use of Facebook—scanning your friends’ status updates and updating the world on your own activities via your wall, or what Burke calls “passive consumption” and “broadcasting”—correlates to feelings of disconnectedness. It’s a lonely business, wandering the labyrinths of our friends’ and pseudo-friends’ projected identities, trying to figure out what part of ourselves we ought to project, who will listen, and what they will hear. According to Burke, passive consumption of Facebook also correlates to a marginal increase in depression. “If two women each talk to their friends the same amount of time, but one of them spends more time reading about friends on Facebook as well, the one reading tends to grow slightly more depressed,” Burke says. Her conclusion suggests that my sometimes unhappy reactions to Facebook may be more universal than I had realized. When I scroll through page after page of my friends’ descriptions of how accidentally eloquent their kids are, and how their husbands are endearingly bumbling, and how they’re all about to eat a home-cooked meal prepared with fresh local organic produce bought at the farmers’ market and then go for a jog and maybe check in at the office because they’re so busy getting ready to hop on a plane for a week of luxury dogsledding in Lapland, I do grow slightly more miserable. A lot of other people doing the same thing feel a little bit worse, too.

Still, Burke’s research does not support the assertion that Facebook creates loneliness. The people who experience loneliness on Facebook are lonely away from Facebook, too, she points out; on Facebook, as everywhere else, correlation is not causation. The popular kids are popular, and the lonely skulkers skulk alone. Perhaps it says something about me that I think Facebook is primarily a platform for lonely skulking. I mention to Burke the widely reported study, conducted by a Stanford graduate student, that showed how believing that others have strong social networks can lead to feelings of depression. What does Facebook communicate, if not the impression of social bounty? Everybody else looks so happy on Facebook, with so many friends, that our own social networks feel emptier than ever in comparison. Doesn’t thatmake people feel lonely? “If people are reading about lives that are much better than theirs, two things can happen,” Burke tells me. “They can feel worse about themselves, or they can feel motivated.”

Burke will start working at Facebook as a data scientist this year.

JOHN CACIOPPO, THE director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, is the world’s leading expert on loneliness. In his landmark book, Loneliness, released in 2008, he revealed just how profoundly the epidemic of loneliness is affecting the basic functions of human physiology. He found higher levels of epinephrine, the stress hormone, in the morning urine of lonely people. Loneliness burrows deep: “When we drew blood from our older adults and analyzed their white cells,” he writes, “we found that loneliness somehow penetrated the deepest recesses of the cell to alter the way genes were being expressed.” Loneliness affects not only the brain, then, but the basic process of DNA transcription. When you are lonely, your whole body is lonely.

To Cacioppo, Internet communication allows only ersatz intimacy. “Forming connections with pets or online friends or even God is a noble attempt by an obligatorily gregarious creature to satisfy a compelling need,” he writes. “But surrogates can never make up completely for the absence of the real thing.” The “real thing” being actual people, in the flesh. When I speak to Cacioppo, he is refreshingly clear on what he sees as Facebook’s effect on society. Yes, he allows, some research has suggested that the greater the number of Facebook friends a person has, the less lonely she is. But he argues that the impression this creates can be misleading. “For the most part,” he says, “people are bringing their old friends, and feelings of loneliness or connectedness, to Facebook.” The idea that a Web site could deliver a more friendly, interconnected world is bogus. The depth of one’s social network outside Facebook is what determines the depth of one’s social network within Facebook, not the other way around. Using social media doesn’t create new social networks; it just transfers established networks from one platform to another. For the most part, Facebook doesn’t destroy friendships—but it doesn’t create them, either.

In one experiment, Cacioppo looked for a connection between the loneliness of subjects and the relative frequency of their interactions via Facebook, chat rooms, online games, dating sites, and face-to-face contact. The results were unequivocal. “The greater the proportion of face-to-face interactions, the less lonely you are,” he says. “The greater the proportion of online interactions, the lonelier you are.” Surely, I suggest to Cacioppo, this means that Facebook and the like inevitably make people lonelier. He disagrees. Facebook is merely a tool, he says, and like any tool, its effectiveness will depend on its user. “If you use Facebook to increase face-to-face contact,” he says, “it increases social capital.” So if social media let you organize a game of football among your friends, that’s healthy. If you turn to social media instead of playing football, however, that’s unhealthy.

“Facebook can be terrific, if we use it properly,” Cacioppo continues. “It’s like a car. You can drive it to pick up your friends. Or you can drive alone.” But hasn’t the car increased loneliness? If cars created the suburbs, surely they also created isolation. “That’s because of how we use cars,” Cacioppo replies. “How we use these technologies can lead to more integration, rather than more isolation.”

The problem, then, is that we invite loneliness, even though it makes us miserable. The history of our use of technology is a history of isolation desired and achieved. When the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company opened its A&P stores, giving Americans self-service access to groceries, customers stopped having relationships with their grocers. When the telephone arrived, people stopped knocking on their neighbors’ doors. Social media bring this process to a much wider set of relationships. Researchers at the HP Social Computing Lab who studied the nature of people’s connections on Twitter came to a depressing, if not surprising, conclusion: “Most of the links declared within Twitter were meaningless from an interaction point of view.” I have to wonder: What other point of view is meaningful?

LONELINESS IS CERTAINLY not something that Facebook or Twitter or any of the lesser forms of social media is doing to us. We are doing it to ourselves. Casting technology as some vague, impersonal spirit of history forcing our actions is a weak excuse. We make decisions about how we use our machines, not the other way around. Every time I shop at my local grocery store, I am faced with a choice. I can buy my groceries from a human being or from a machine. I always, without exception, choose the machine. It’s faster and more efficient, I tell myself, but the truth is that I prefer not having to wait with the other customers who are lined up alongside the conveyor belt: the hipster mom who disapproves of my high-carbon-footprint pineapple; the lady who tenses to the point of tears while she waits to see if the gods of the credit-card machine will accept or decline; the old man whose clumsy feebleness requires a patience that I don’t possess. Much better to bypass the whole circus and just ring up the groceries myself.

Our omnipresent new technologies lure us toward increasingly superficial connections at exactly the same moment that they make avoiding the mess of human interaction easy. The beauty of Facebook, the source of its power, is that it enables us to be social while sparing us the embarrassing reality of society—the accidental revelations we make at parties, the awkward pauses, the farting and the spilled drinks and the general gaucherie of face-to-face contact. Instead, we have the lovely smoothness of a seemingly social machine. Everything’s so simple: status updates, pictures, your wall.

But the price of this smooth sociability is a constant compulsion to assert one’s own happiness, one’s own fulfillment. Not only must we contend with the social bounty of others; we must foster the appearance of our own social bounty. Being happy all the time, pretending to be happy, actually attempting to be happy—it’s exhausting. Last year a team of researchers led by Iris Mauss at the University of Denver published a study looking into “the paradoxical effects of valuing happiness.” Most goals in life show a direct correlation between valuation and achievement. Studies have found, for example, that students who value good grades tend to have higher grades than those who don’t value them. Happiness is an exception. The study came to a disturbing conclusion:

"Valuing happiness is not necessarily linked to greater happiness. In fact, under certain conditions, the opposite is true. Under conditions of low (but not high) life stress, the more people valued happiness, the lower were their hedonic balance, psychological well-being, and life satisfaction, and the higher their depression symptoms."

The more you try to be happy, the less happy you are. Sophocles made roughly the same point.

Facebook, of course, puts the pursuit of happiness front and center in our digital life. Its capacity to redefine our very concepts of identity and personal fulfillment is much more worrisome than the data-mining and privacy practices that have aroused anxieties about the company. Two of the most compelling critics of Facebook—neither of them a Luddite—concentrate on exactly this point. Jaron Lanier, the author of You Are Not a Gadget, was one of the inventors of virtual-reality technology. His view of where social media are taking us reads like dystopian science fiction: “I fear that we are beginning to design ourselves to suit digital models of us, and I worry about a leaching of empathy and humanity in that process.” Lanier argues that Facebook imprisons us in the business of self-presenting, and this, to his mind, is the site’s crucial and fatally unacceptable downside.

Sherry Turkle, a professor of computer culture at MIT who in 1995 published the digital-positive analysis Life on the Screen, is much more skeptical about the effects of online society in her 2011 book, Alone Together: “These days, insecure in our relationships and anxious about intimacy, we look to technology for ways to be in relationships and protect ourselves from them at the same time.” The problem with digital intimacy is that it is ultimately incomplete: “The ties we form through the Internet are not, in the end, the ties that bind. But they are the ties that preoccupy,” she writes. “We don’t want to intrude on each other, so instead we constantly intrude on each other, but not in ‘real time.’”

Lanier and Turkle are right, at least in their diagnoses. Self-presentation on Facebook is continuous, intensely mediated, and possessed of a phony nonchalance that eliminates even the potential for spontaneity. (“Look how casually I threw up these three photos from the party at which I took 300 photos!”) Curating the exhibition of the self has become a 24/7 occupation. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the Australian study “Who Uses Facebook?” found a significant correlation between Facebook use and narcissism: “Facebook users have higher levels of total narcissism, exhibitionism, and leadership than Facebook nonusers,” the study’s authors wrote. “In fact, it could be argued that Facebook specifically gratifies the narcissistic individual’s need to engage in self-promoting and superficial behavior.”

Rising narcissism isn’t so much a trend as the trend behind all other trends. In preparation for the 2013 edition of its diagnostic manual, the psychiatric profession is currently struggling to update its definition of narcissistic personality disorder. Still, generally speaking, practitioners agree that narcissism manifests in patterns of fantastic grandiosity, craving for attention, and lack of empathy. In a 2008 survey, 35,000 American respondents were asked if they had ever had certain symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. Among people older than 65, 3 percent reported symptoms. Among people in their 20s, the proportion was nearly 10 percent. Across all age groups, one in 16 Americans has experienced some symptoms of NPD. And loneliness and narcissism are intimately connected: a longitudinal study of Swedish women demonstrated a strong link between levels of narcissism in youth and levels of loneliness in old age. The connection is fundamental. Narcissism is the flip side of loneliness, and either condition is a fighting retreat from the messy reality of other people.

A considerable part of Facebook’s appeal stems from its miraculous fusion of distance with intimacy, or the illusion of distance with the illusion of intimacy. Our online communities become engines of self-image, and self-image becomes the engine of community. The real danger with Facebook is not that it allows us to isolate ourselves, but that by mixing our appetite for isolation with our vanity, it threatens to alter the very nature of solitude. The new isolation is not of the kind that Americans once idealized, the lonesomeness of the proudly nonconformist, independent-minded, solitary stoic, or that of the astronaut who blasts into new worlds. Facebook’s isolation is a grind. What’s truly staggering about Facebook usage is not its volume—750 million photographs uploaded over a single weekend—but the constancy of the performance it demands. More than half its users—and one of every 13 people on Earth is a Facebook user—log on every day. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, nearly half check Facebook minutes after waking up, and 28 percent do so before getting out of bed. The relentlessness is what is so new, so potentially transformative. Facebook never takes a break. We never take a break. Human beings have always created elaborate acts of self-presentation. But not all the time, not every morning, before we even pour a cup of coffee. Yvette Vickers’s computer was on when she died.

Nostalgia for the good old days of disconnection would not just be pointless, it would be hypocritical and ungrateful. But the very magic of the new machines, the efficiency and elegance with which they serve us, obscures what isn’t being served: everything that matters. What Facebook has revealed about human nature—and this is not a minor revelation—is that a connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant and total connection is no salvation, no ticket to a happier, better world or a more liberated version of humanity. Solitude used to be good for self-reflection and self-reinvention. But now we are left thinking about who we are all the time, without ever really thinking about who we are. Facebook denies us a pleasure whose profundity we had underestimated: the chance to forget about ourselves for a while, the chance to disconnect.

Are Gadgets and Technological facilitating of Social Networks a Threat?

Facebook has become rea. Facebook Places harnesses the GPS function of the latest smartphones to enable users to track each other down.dily and easily accessible, and is already part of our lives
Facebook has become rea. Facebook Places harnesses the GPS function of the latest smartphones to enable users to track each other down.dily and easily accessible, and is already part of our lives | Source

Having read the post above abut how Facebook is making us lonely, we now we look at an article that was written by Sarah Jacobson titled:

10 Ways Facebook will Rule Our Lives

After all the attention, clamor, and expectations Facebook is now a publicly traded company worth $104 Billion

. With shares trading at a hundred times earnings, Facebook is under a lot of pressure to increase the profit that it brings in. In other words, now the fun begins.

How will Facebook try to change our lives as it attempts to live up to investor expectations? Of course we'll see more ads, but that's just a small part of Facebook's plan. If it wants to maintain its inflated price-to-earnings ratio, Facebook will have to settle for nothing less than Internet domination.

In the next few years we may see the company extend its reach further and further into our personal lives in an attempt to "rule the world" -- or, at least, our private lives -- and make money off the process.

1. Facebook Rules Relationships

Facebook already plays a huge role in our personal and professional relationships, and this role will only continue to grow. People have an extremely hard time leaving Facebook because, well, all of their friends are on Facebook -- how else will they connect with those friends, share with them, and know what's going on in their lives? And these relationships aren't just an extension of the relationships we have in real life -- more relationships are being created on, and staying exclusively on, Facebook.

Facebook is also beginning to play a larger role in our professional relationships. How many of us "friend" co-workers or use the service to network professionally? Facebook, with 900 million users, could give LinkedIn (with 161 members a run for its money when it comes to professional networking and as a career building tool.

We choose what we want to be according to the people who we will communicate with - our audience.
We choose what we want to be according to the people who we will communicate with - our audience. | Source

Facebook Rules Web-based "Real Names"

Before there was Facebook, there was MySpace (and Friendster, and High5, and some other networks, but let's focus on MySpace). On MySpace, people didn't have to write down their full names -- they didn't have to be "Sarah Jacobsson Purewal," they could be "Sarah," or "Bob," or even "~++pRiNcEsS++~." But then Facebook came along and demanded that people use their real names and dates of birth, and people, well…did.

In other words, Facebook has managed to destroy the trend of people hiding behind goofy usernames on the Internet. The social network has over 900 million monthly active users, the majority of whom are using their real names.

Facebook Pharma
Facebook Pharma | Source

Facebook and Health

Facebook recently introduced an Organ donation initiative, which lets people share their status as an organ donor on their Facebook Timeline. At the moment, all it does is let people share their status. But according to Donate Life America,which is working with Facebook, 6000 enrolled to donate their organs the day the initiative launched -- compared to 400 signups it would see on a normal day.

Never mind organ donation; it's not too farfetched to see Facebook leveraging its massive network when it comes to matching up bone marrow or kidney donors with recipients.

Facebook has also forayed into health-related fields in the past -- in December, for example, the social network teamed up with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to offer online support for potentially suicidal users. In this initiative, family and friends of suicidal Facebook users can "report" public suicidal comments to Facebook, and the person who made the comment will be offered suicide prevention support.

In other words, Facebook is already pushing its way into people's most private parts of their lives -- their health -- and, it appears, succeeding.

SAN FRANCISCO: Internet video ads, long a sideshow in the online advertising market, are gaining in importance to marketers and Web publishers as they look to capitalize on consumers' changing viewing habits and tap a $70 billion television market. T
SAN FRANCISCO: Internet video ads, long a sideshow in the online advertising market, are gaining in importance to marketers and Web publishers as they look to capitalize on consumers' changing viewing habits and tap a $70 billion television market. T | Source

Social MediaGoing For Video Ands In A Big Way

t's a given that Facebook already rules our lives in terms of advertising -- even if Facebook ads may not be as effective as Google ads. This is because we constantly see Facebook ads, if not necessarily the paid ones.

Let me explain. Facebook last year introduced the concept of "frictionless sharing," or the ability to passively share your activity online with your Facebook friends. Though frictionless sharing hasn't proven to be a huge moneymaker for Facebook or for the third-party apps that use it, it is a constant fixture in our Facebook News Feeds. Facebook may have yet to fully leverage its advertising potential, but it's mastered the friends-based advertising that pervades News Feeds.

Facebook also constantly bombards its users with super-targeted ads that feature their friends. The idea behind this is that people will take recommendations from their friends, and so if their friends are featured in an ad about something, they're more likely to click. Again -- this hasn't been a proven moneymaker, but it does impact people. Though I may not be any more likely to drink Pepsi if I see an ad for Pepsi featuring one of my friends, I will associate that friend with Pepsi -- something I normally wouldn't have done unless said friend was such an avid consumer of Pepsi that it was a running joke.

A few months ago when Facebook tweaked its privacy policy, the service asserted it has a right to use all of the information it collect on users to sell ads on other sites to target people (more on privacy below). Meanwhile, Facebook has increased the number of ads people see and where they see them.

Web's Biggest Memories Vault

Facebook boasts that its users upload an average of 300 million photos per day, and its servers contain more than 100 billion photos. And that's not counting third-party applications that also hold photos, such as the recently-acquired instagram.

Combine Facebook's massive photo database with its new Timeline feature -- the profile redesign that lists life events such as births, graduations, and weddings -- and Facebook has pretty much become the world's biggest online scrapbook. Today Facebook is a living breathing genealogy of our family and friends, but could become where people turn to find links to distant relatives.

Facebook is Contemporary Zeitgeist; Rules our Privacy; and, it is made  scapegoat of our voyeuring in it
Facebook is Contemporary Zeitgeist; Rules our Privacy; and, it is made scapegoat of our voyeuring in it | Source

How Facebook Controls Our Lives

Facebook Rules Our "Private" Data

Facebook controls our privacy. I know what you're thinking -- we control our privacy, to a certain extent…don't we? Well, yes, but many of us have given almost complete control of that privacy over to Facebook.

Sure, I can adjust my Facebook settings so that only my friends can see what I write on my Facebook wall, or only my family can see my date of birth, hometown, and phone number. But I did put all of those things on Facebook to begin with -- and my "privacy" hinges on Facebook's "promise" that it will protect that privacy. Had I not put any of those revealing details about my life on Facebook, I would retain control over my privacy.

So what does that mean? It doesn't mean that Facebook is suddenly going to expose your private data to the public -- because that would be stupid. What it means is that Facebook, when it does expose your data (and it will -- it's a social networking site, and social networking, by definition, can only exist if people share things -- willingly or not), will do so in a controlled manner, and likely for profit. For example, whenever you "Like" something on the web, you give Facebook explicit permission to expose your data to that company, or product, or brand, and it's only a matter of time before Facebook figures out how to utilize such exposure to its maximum advantage.

7. Darth Facebook: The Internet's Biggest Scapegoat

The darker side of Facebook and social networking: alienation. In the book "Alone Together," author and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Sherry Turkle notes that "friending" people on Facebook has replaced "friending" people in real life. Turkle argues that technology causes people to disengage from real people and prioritize convenience over real human emotions.

In other words, thanks to Facebook and other technologies (such as texting, e-mail, Skype, and role-playing games), people no longer feel the need to communicate in a more typical human fashion -- talking to each other, either on the phone or in real life. Turkle interviewed hundreds of children and adults about technology and discovered that many adolescents disliked using the phone because such conversations were revealing and "prying." One adolescent said that "When you talk on the phone, you don't really think about what you're saying as much as in a text. On the telephone, too much might show."

8. Facebook Rules Zeitgeist

According to Facebook's Website, more than 80 percent of its 900 million-plus active users reside outside of the United States and Canada. While other companies can boast of a similar global reach, no other company has a similar global network -- because Facebook's users aren't just aware of Facebook, they're also aware of each other.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, couldn't have put it better: "We have over 900 million monthly active users worldwide, giving people the opportunity to spark global conversations about ideas, social movements, products or services. In the United States everyday on Facebook is like the season finale of American Idol, the most popular show on television, times two."

There are many ways Facebook could utilize this global network to its advantage. It could create the world's largest online phone book -- suddenly the idea of a Facebook phone doesn't seem so crazy after all. It could create an online auction site, similar to eBay -- but more connected, and with more "trust," because people could get to know each other better before making purchases. It could also foster political revolutions and social change.

Facebook to Rule Mobile?

Facebook has been criticized for not having a clear mobile strategy. Despite the fact that 488 million of Facebook's 901 million monthly active users access the social networking service from a smartphone or tablet, the company has so far been unable to leverage its mobile reach by adding ads to its apps.

That said, it's possible that Facebook's mobile takeover has already begun -- it's just not as direct as we expected it to be. Popular social games, such as Zynga's "With Friends" franchise or OMGPOP's Draw Something use Facebook almost exclusively to connect users, while other non-social games such as Angry Birds still allow users to tap into to Facebook to share their scores with their friends.

Facebook's big mobile move might be years away, but when it does it will have the largest preinstalled user base to tap into when it does.

It Affects How We Start and Run Businesses

Every year, millions of Americans will start their own business. And Facebook will undoubtedly play a large role in many of these businesses. Not only will Facebook affect small business owners' marketing and social networking strategies (it's essentially free advertising), but it will also be where much of their customer base resides.

It's not unlikely that Facebook will try to use this power to its advantage. After all, think of how valuable a hand-delivered batch of customers who fit a targeted demographic exactly -- right down to the movies they like and the sodas they drink -- will be to a burgeoning business. What business wouldn't pay for such an advantage?

That said, businesses that want to create a dialogue with their customers use Facebook. Granted some companies, such as GM, which decided recently that Facebook isn't so great for advertising, still value having a social relationship with their customers. GM has 380,000 "Friends" on Facebook I'm sure it won't un-friend just because they aren't clicking on its ads.

Facebook, Ruler of All

These are ten ways Facebook might try to rule our lives using its vast social networking power. But that doesn't mean that it will, or that if it tries, it will succeed. Back in the day when Microsoft was a dominant player, people predicted that the company would have a pervasive element in every aspect of our lives -- and look where Microsoft is now. It's not dead, but it's certainly not everywhere.

Plus, if you're worried about how Facebook might rule the world, you may want to take a look at Google -- and just how much data of yours that search engine actually has.

Rushkoff says Faceebook was Okay For A While, But Now It Is Going Too Far

Douglas Rushkoff says a loss of control over how his "likes" are used has led him to drop Facebook
Douglas Rushkoff says a loss of control over how his "likes" are used has led him to drop Facebook | Source

Douglass Rushkoff Talks about Why He Was Quiting Facebook

I used to be able to justify using Facebook as a cost of doing business. As a writer and sometime activist who needs to promote my books and articles and occasionally rally people to one cause or another, I found Facebook fast and convenient. Though I never really used it to socialize, I figured it was OK to let other people do that, and I benefited from their behavior.

I can no longer justify this arrangement.

Today, I am surrendering my Facebook account, because my participation on the site is simply too inconsistent with the values I espouse in my work. In my upcoming book "Present Shock," I chronicle some of what happens when we can no longer manage our many online presences. I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.

Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we're not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others. To enable this dysfunctional situation -- I call it "digiphrenia" -- would be at the very least hypocritical. But to participate on Facebook as an author, in a way specifically intended to draw out the "likes" and resulting vulnerability of others, is untenable.

Facebook has never been merely a social platform. Rather, it exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does.

Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time -- our "social graphs" -- into money for others.

We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been miningto predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote. We have been handing over to them vast quantities of information about ourselves and our friends, loved ones and acquaintances. With this information, Facebook and the "big data" research firms purchasing their data predict still more things about us -- from our future product purchases or sexual orientation to our likelihood for civil disobedience or even terrorism.

The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook's paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we -- and the young, particularly -- spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.

The efforts of a few thousand employees at Facebook's Menlo Park campus pale in comparison to those of the hundreds of millions of users meticulously tweaking their pages. Corporations used to have to do research to assemble our consumer profiles; now we do it for them.

The information collected about you by Facebook through my Facebook page isn't even shared with me. Thanks to my page, Facebook knows the demographics of my readership, their e-mails, what else they like, who else they know and, perhaps most significant, who they trust. And Facebook is taking pains not to share any of this, going so far as to limit the ability of third-party applications to utilize any of this data.

Given that this was the foundation for Facebook's business plan from the start, perhaps more recent developments in the company's ever-evolving user agreement shouldn't have been so disheartening.

Still, we bridle at the notion that any of our updates might be converted into "sponsored stories" by whatever business or brand we may have mentioned. That innocent mention of cup of coffee at Starbucks, in the Facebook universe, quickly becomes an attributed endorsement of their brand. Remember, the only way to connect with something or someone is to "like" them. This means if you want to find out what a politician or company you don't like is up to, you still have to endorse them publicly.


Mark Zuckerberg gives away $33 millionFacebook CEO's new projectMeet Facebook's top woman

More recently, users -- particularly those with larger sets of friends, followers and likes -- learned that their updates were no longer reaching all of the people who had signed up to get them. Now, we are supposed to pay to "promote" our posts to our friends and, if we pay even more, to their friends.

Yes, Facebook is entitled to be paid for promoting us and our interests -- but this wasn't the deal going in, particularly not for companies who paid Facebook for extra followers in the first place. Neither should users who "friend" my page automatically become the passive conduits for any of my messages to all their friends just because I paid for it.

That brings me to Facebook's most recent shift, and the one that pushed me over the edge.

Through a new variation of the Sponsored Stories feature called Related Posts, users who "like" something can be unwittingly associated with pretty much anything an advertiser pays for. Like e-mail spam with a spoofed identity, the Related Post shows up in a newsfeed right under the user's name and picture. If you 'like me'you can be shown implicitly recommending me or something I like -- something you've never heard of -- to others without your consent.

For now, as long as I don't like anything myself, I have some measure of control over what those who follow me receive in my name or, worse, are made to appear to be endorsing, themselves. But I feel that control slipping away, and cannot remain part of a system where liking me or my work can be used against you.

The promotional leverage that Facebook affords me is not worth the price. Besides, how can I ask you to like me, when I myself must refuse to like you or anything else?

I have always appreciated that agreeing to become publicly linked to me and my work online involves trust. It is a trust I value, but -- as it is dependent on the good graces of Facebook -- it is a trust I can live up to only by unfriending this particularly anti-social social network.

Maybe in doing so I'll help people remember that Facebook is not the Internet. It's just one website, and it comes with a price.

Rushkoff says the social networking site used to be useful, but has lost his trust with a feature that misrepresents his "like" without his consent.

Ann Egros provides her insight in this following manner:

While I agree with many of the author’s arguments against Facebook, it is still a precious tool for people like me who are expatriates and have fiends all over the world.

However it is important to realize what is going on behind the Facebook scene that is not really pretty.

I have selected from this article the problems I think are true and some are clearly unacceptable:

1-Facebook has never been merely a social platform. Rather, it exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does.

2-We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been mining to predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote.

3-The true end users of Facebook are the marketers and we the users are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.

4-More recently, users — particularly those with larger sets of friends, followers and likes — learned that their updates were no longer reaching all of the people who had signed up to get them. Now, we are supposed to pay to “promote” our posts to our friends and, if we pay even more, to their friends.

Facebook is not the Internet. It's just one website, and it comes with a price. To be honest I did not quit my FB account yet but I have reduced significantly the time spent on it and I cancelled all my FB notifications by email. I have also reduced the number of people who can see my information by using specific groups.

Quitting Facebook

Some Tips on How to Handle one's dissatisfaction with Facebook
Some Tips on How to Handle one's dissatisfaction with Facebook | Source

Why I Quit Facebook - The Most Unsocial Network

Chad In Life Advice wrote:

On February 4th, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and company unleashed Facebook on the world. It was arguably the world’s first true social networking website, and as you might have heard… it went on to become a pretty big deal. Myself and millions upon millions of other users rushed in to get accounts of our very own, so after all these years, why am I and so many other people finally giving Facebook the axe?

For me it started about a year ago when news over privacy concerns surrounding Facebook became more prominent. That wasn’t the sole reason, and though I couldn’t exactly articulate the cause of my growing unease, it continued until I finally deleted my Facebook account one week ago. In the end it was a book called Antifragile that finally pushed me over the edge. But I’m not here to dwell on that… no, instead I’m going to explain exactly why I dislike Facebook so much, and why I think deleting your Facebook account would be an extremely positive life decision.

How do I Hate thee Facebook? Let me Count the Ways

When one hears the term social network, I think it’s fair to assume that they expect plenty of say, socializing. Long conversations with old friends, planning grandiose (or small scale) outings with friends both old and new… deep, insightful (or at least personal), well thought out messages and comments about photos…. good memories shared, and plenty of new ones created too. At least, that’s what I expected. But after having been a member of the site for many years, you know what? I didn’t see any of that. Instead, I found Facebook to be one of the least social forms of socializing I could possibly do.

Do you remember what it was like before the advent of Likes? I certainly do, and I miss it dearly. It was that magical time when a person could share something they found interesting, and people would actually comment on it with their opinions and thoughts and everything! You know, like… having a conversation. That seems to be a novel concept in the modern world of Facebook, with people simply deferring to the far easier, minimally taxing Like button. With just a single click, you too can express that youLike your friends status update about drinking a cup of coffee in the morning. Which brings me to my next and final point…

For some completely inexplicable reason, people started treating Facebook as a way to express every moment of their existence no matter how inconsequential. Just had a burger at Five Guys? Better check in! Heading to a club? Better write a status update! These events are so life changing that who wouldn’t want to hear about them? I honestly don’t understand it, and this is probably the number one reason I decided to finally delete my Facebook account: the sheer volume of useless crap. If you’re one of the people I’ll no longer be receiving your daily horoscope from, then I’m so very sorry. I hope you can find the strength to live without me.

Deleting Facebook – Then What?

Perhaps you’re thinking about deleting Facebook, or maybe you’re even ready to take the plunge. Either way, there’s a simple way to delete your Facebook account once and for all. Take a deep breath, and when you’re ready, 'head over to this website' and begin the process. In short order you’ll be free of Facebook, and you can begin your new life, free of Facebook’s death grip.

What will you do with all that extra time? That, my friend, is up to you. The world is your oyster, but I can tell you one thing, there are a whole lot of people out there… maybe you can even talk to some of them in person.

Rushkoff Dishes on Why He Quit Facebook

Facebook Today: Updated Research Of The Facebook Social Media Network


Since Facebook is a relatively new medium, and it is evolving, very fast and incorporates some changes into its system, so must the research be kept as contemporary as possible, at this juncture, I will introduce the latest research on Facebook since its inception. What I am saying is that I am going to post information and data that has been updated by researchers, and it is important to give it some space in this Hub-which will help us Understand Facebook much better today. We learn from The Journal Of Computer-Mediated Communication:

"Research on Facebook users is often based on small convenience samples and on usage data collected through survey self-reports. The current research contributes to Facebook user research, as it is based on a large, nationally representative, probability-based, U.S. sample with Internet usage data collected from meters. Results revealed that 50% of sample members are recent Facebook users. However, within this group, there is wide variation in amount of usage between heavy, medium, and light users. Finally, based on a multivariate analysis, Facebook users are significantly more likely to be women, teens, whites, and adults with at least a high school diploma. These demographic patterns apply to heavy, medium, and light Facebook users.

In the past few years, Facebook has become the largest and arguably most influential social network site (SNS). The increase in Facebook membership has been followed by an increase in Facebook user research. Based on our literature review, since 2008, more than 100 research studies focusing on Facebook have been conducted (in the form of journal articles, book chapters, reports, and conference papers).

A very good source of Facebook user research, and SNS user research in general, are the published reports from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Pew's research presents the percentage of online users who use SNS and the demographics of those SNS users. As of 2011, they find that 65% of online adults use SNS, up from 61% the previous year (Madden & Zickuhr, 2011). Their research also shows that online adults who use social network sites are younger and more likely to be female. On the other hand, differences in the prevalence of SNS usage were not found according to race and ethnicity, education, household income, or metropolitan location. However, these findings are general; they apply to all SNS users and don't address users of particular social network sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

Additional research from Pew (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, & Zickuhr, 2010) as well as from Hargittai (2007) has focused on Facebook and the types of people that use Facebook. Among a sample of college students, Hargittai finds that younger students, those having parents with a college degree, and those with Internet access at a friend's or family member's house are more likely to be Facebook users. On the other hand, Hispanic students and students living at home are less likely to be Facebook users. Pew's research shows that Facebook users are more likely to be female, white, and to have some college experience.

In addition to addressing numbers of users and demographic characteristics of users, Facebook user research has also addressed a variety of substantive topics including social capital (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007; 2011; Valenzuela, Park, & Lee, 2009), student engagement (Junco, 2012), university donations (Farrow & Yuan, 2011), political participation (Vitak, Zube, Smock, Carr, Ellison, & Lampe,2011), and cultural preferences (Lewis, Kaufman, Gonzalez, Wimmer, & Christakis, 2008). This is in addition to the large amount of Facebook research focusing on identity presentation and privacy concerns, as noted by Ellison et al., (2007) and Ross, Orr, Sisic, Arseneault, Simmering, & Orr (2009).

However, the majority of recent studies on Facebook users are based on small convenience samples, often comprised of undergraduate students. Results from these studies were intended to be generalizable to undergraduate subpopulations, not to the general population of U.S. Facebook users. Of course, undergraduate students are not representative of all Facebook users and Facebook usage rates are extremely high (at least 85%) among undergraduate students (Steinfield, Ellison, & Lampe, 2008; Junco, 2012).

Due to the second point, most of the recent Facebook studies (often by design), do not include nonusers. The studies that do include non-Facebook users, however, are limited by very small groups of nonusers (boyd & Hargittai, 2010; Hargittai, 2007; Valenzuela et al., 2009). Given the high Facebook penetration rate among undergraduate students, a very small group of nonusers is a likely consequence when using a small sample of undergraduates.

Although the majority of recent studies on Facebook users are based on small samples, there have been notable exceptions. Worthy of mention are the Pew Internet studies. These studies are based on random digit dialing telephone surveys with nationally representative samples of adults and teens, and consequently, include a wide range of ages and sizable numbers of Facebook users and nonusers.

A second limitation to the current research on Facebook users is that usage is based on self-reports. Self-reports of Internet usage tend to be general, imprecise, and impressionistic. Respondents are limited to relatively short recall periods and are often limited to reporting typical usage patterns.

It is worth noting there have been innovative studies, whereby Facebook user data were collected through an automated spider – a program that crawls the web (Jernigan & Mistree, 2009) or were directly downloaded from the site with the permission of Facebook and the participating college (Lewis et al., 2008). In the latter study, the researchers used number of days since last Facebook profile update as a rough measure of account activity. However, neither of these approaches, involving automated data capture, was able to provide precise estimates of the amount of Facebook usage.

Methodology

The current research is based on a large, nationally representative, probability-based panel. Internet usage data are based on behavioral data, collected from meters, rather than from survey self-reports. The Facebook users in the sample represent a wide range of ages and are not restricted to college or university populations. In addition to a large group of Facebook users, the sample also includes a large group of non-Facebook users. Our analysis is based on 18,875 teens and adults from a large, ongoing audience measurement panel. Utilizing this powerful data source, we address the following research questions:

RQ1: How much do Facebook users actually use Facebook?

RQ2: What demographic characteristics are associated with Facebook usage?

Data and Sample

The data used in this research are based on a large, U.S. household audience measurement panel. The panel is national in scope and households are recruited through area probability sampling. The panel is actually a cross-platform panel, in which television and Internet usage data are collected for the same individuals. Each eligible household is invited to join this cross-platform panel by having meters installed on televisions and computers. 100% of panel households have meters installed on televisions. The television meters record all television tuning (i.e., what is watched) by panelists at home (both “live” and playback viewing) and the time spent viewing.

Among television households with a computer in the home, approximately 65% of households also agree to have meters installed on at least one computer in the household. The computer meter is a small piece of proprietary software that is installed on desktop and laptop computers in the household (both PCs and Macs). The meter runs silently in the background and collects data on websites visited and time spent on each website and allows for the reporting of number of days used, number of sessions, and number of page views, as well as who in the household is using the computer. This cross-platform panel is ongoing, consisting of approximately 9,500 households (representing about 25,000 people and 10,500 computers). For the analysis presented here, data were collected for 18,875 members of the cross-platform panel, age 13+ (which is age-appropriate given Facebook's age restrictions). Data on demographic characteristics and household characteristics were collected during in-home interviews at the beginning of panel participation and updated every 6 months of the 2-year panel tenure. 1*(Boyd 2010)

As mentioned above, approximately 35% of eligible computer households refused to have meters installed on computers.*2 This definitely raises the possibility of noncooperation bias. As is standard practice, a set of weights is applied to the cross-platform panel data. Specifically, cross-platform households are weighted to be representative of the universe of TV households with an Internet-enabled computer. Weights are based on internal universe estimates of television and computer households. The weights project the panel data to the universe of households and correct for cooperation imbalance.

In Table 1, we present weighted figures on the demographic composition of teens and adults enrolled in the full household television panel and those enrolled in the cross-platform panel (a subset of the former). Asterisks denote statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics between panels (based on z tests for proportions). Unfortunately, the researchers' data do not include a flag to identify a third group of those in eligible computer households that refused to have meters installed on computers.

Analytical Approach

Our analysis focuses on Facebook usage during a 28-day period in March 2011. “Facebook usage” is defined by actual behavioral data, collected by meters, not self-reports. In this research, we define Facebook users as persons who have accessed Facebook online at home at least once during the 4-week observation period. In order to answer the research questions presented above, we first conduct a descriptive analysis of Facebook usage. As part of this analysis, we conduct a segmentation, in which we segment Facebook users into three groups of equal size – heavy users, medium users, light users – using statistics-based cutoffs, based on percentiles of Facebook usage, to delineate groups. Following the segmentation and descriptive analysis, we then estimate a multinomial logistic regression model to identify the covariates of the Facebook user segments.

Results

Facebook Usage

First, we conduct a descriptive analysis of Facebook usage to address the following question:

RQ1: How much do Facebook users actually use Facebook?

In Table 2, we see that 49.9% of the sample consists of recent Facebook users – much lower than what is reported in studies sampling undergraduate students. This figure is equivalent to a universe reach of 49.9% and corresponds to an active reach of 72.0%.

These users visited Facebook an average of 9.7 days (SD = 8.8) during the 4-week period and spent an average of 22.0 minutes per day (SD = 28.3) on the Facebook site.

During the 28-day period being observed, Facebook users used the site for an average of 5.4 hours (SD = 10.8).

Heavy Users16.6%90.2%19.4 (6.4)44.3 (35.9)14.7 (14.9)

Medium Users16.6%8.9%7.6 (5.5)16.8 (16.2)1.5 (0.8)

Light Users16.6%0.9%2.1 (1.9)4.8 (4.8)0.1 (0.1)

Non-Facebook Users50.1%––––

Within this general group of Facebook users, we segmented users into three groups of equal size, based on their usage amount over the time period. Among Facebook users, we see there is wide variation in usage between heavy, medium, and light users. Heavy users account for 90.2% of all Facebook usage during the period, while Medium users account for 8.9% of usage, and light users account for 0.9% of usage.

Thus, one-third of Facebook users account for the vast majority of Facebook usage.

Specifically, heavy users access Facebook an average of 19.4 out of the 28 days (SD = 6.4) and use it an average of 44.3 minutes per day (SD = 35.9).

During the entire period, heavy users spent an average of 14.7 hours on Facebook (SD = 14.9).

In contrast, light users visit Facebook, on average, 2.1 days out of the 28 (SD = 1.9), and use Facebook an average of 4.8 minutes per day (SD = 4.8).

During the same period, light users used the site for an average of 8.5 minutes or 0.1 hours (SD = 0.1).

Comparison With Other Major SNS

Published reports from Pew (Lenhart, et al., 2010), comScore (Lipsman, 2011), and Nielsen (2011) show that Facebook is the most popular and heavily-used SNS. Nielsen and comScore both report an active reach of about 70%.

In our examination of other major SNS, we found the numbers and percentages of users pale in comparison to the 49.9% figure for Facebook (MySpace: 7.3%, Twitter: 7.2%, LinkedIn: 4.4%).

In addition, in preliminary analyses, we found that the consideration of these other major SNS in addition to Facebook did very little to alter the usage statistics presented in Table 2. In short, Facebook users dominate the SNS usage data.

Predictors of Facebook User Segments

Next, we focus on demographic patterns, again based on actual behavioral data.

RQ2. What demographic characteristics are associated with Facebook usage?

In order to address this question, we estimate a multinomial logistic regression model to predict membership in one of the three Facebook user segments.

The reference category in the analysis is non-Facebook users (50.1% of the sample).

Panelist characteristics included in the model are relatively straight-forward and self-explanatory.

Demographic characteristics include gender, age, race of householder, and Hispanic origin of householder. Socioeconomic characteristics include educational attainment (for panelists age 18+), household income, and homeownership (a crude measure of household assets). Geographic characteristics include region and metropolitan area size and location.

The metro area measure is based on Nielsen's classification of counties into groups based on U.S. Census Bureau household counts and metropolitan location.*5 Table 3 shows how these characteristics are coded in the regression analysis.

Categories in brackets represent the reference category for each of the independent variables included in the model.

An examination of the correlation matrix revealed no issues with high levels of multicollinearity among the independent variables.



Adults of all ages are significantly less likely to be Facebook users than teens. This is especially true among heavy Facebook users. The likelihood of heavy Facebook usage is much lower and goes down dramatically with increased age.

Those in Black and other non-White households are significantly less likely than those in white households to be Facebook users, across all user segments. Significant differences do not emerge between those in Hispanic and non-Hispanic households, except that those in the former are about 15% more likely to be medium Facebook users.

Those with at least a high school diploma are much more likely to be Facebook users. Controlling for age and other factors, the likelihood of Facebook usage and heavy Facebook usage generally increase with educational attainment. These findings are also consistent with the descriptive findings reported by Pew (Lenhart et al., 2010).

In terms of household income, we see that those in the highest income category are significantly less likely to be light, medium, and heavy Facebook users. In terms of homeownership, we see that homeowners are also less likely to be Facebook users (although significant differences do not emerge among light Facebook users).

Finally, we see relatively few differences according to geography. However, those in the South are less likely to be heavy Facebook users and those residing in C counties are about 20% more likely to be medium and heavy Facebook users than those in the largest metro areas.

Facebook users represent a large and diverse group, with Facebook usage cutting across all demographic groups. However, based on our regression analysis of actual usage, we find that Facebook appeals more to females, teens, Whites, and adults with at least a high school diploma.

Interestingly, these patterns do not simply mirror household Internet usage patterns. For example, data from the Current Population Survey show that household Internet usage rates do not vary by gender, are highest among adults age 35–44, and increase with household income (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). In addition, Facebook user patterns differ from those of other major SNS. Pew's comparative research (Lenhart et al., 2010) shows that MySpace users are more likely to be younger, non-white, have a high school degree or less, and household income under $50,000. On the other hand, LinkedIn users are more likely to be male, older, White, to have some college experience, and household income of at least $50,000.

Limitations

The current research contributes to Facebook user research, as it is based on a large, nationally representative, probability-based, U.S. sample with Internet usage data collected from meters, not from retrospective self-reports. Although this research offers methodological improvements, it also contains limitations. First, as discussed earlier, approximately 35% of eligible computer households declined to have meters installed on computers. This has the potential for non-cooperation bias. Weighting procedures are used to project the panel data to the universe of computer households and to help offset the effect of non-cooperation.

Second, this research study focuses on Facebook activity taking place online, on a computer, at home. Facebook activity taking place online but outside the home is not included in this analysis of Facebook usage. Neither is Facebook activity taking place on mobile devices (whether through a mobile app or a mobile browser). These are limitations and our usage figures surely underestimate the total amount of Facebook activity occurring. A recent Nielsen report states that SNS apps are used by 60% of smartphone owners, and not surprisingly, the Facebook app is the most popular app among SNS apps (Nielsen, 2011).

Third, the analysis is based on Facebook usage patterns over one particular 4-week period in March 2011. Usage patterns during this particular time period are not necessarily representative of usage patterns across the entire year or during other parts of the year.

Conclusion

In this paper, we analyzed amount of Facebook usage and the characteristics of Facebook users (and nonusers), using a large probability-based sample and behavioral data. Given the rich data source available to the researchers, we are able to generate a more general and accurate picture of Facebook usage than has been done with other Facebook user research.

Among our major findings, first we find that approximately 50% of the members of the sample did use Facebook (at home on a computer) over the observation period. This is a large and impressive number and generalizable to the general U.S. Internet population, age 13–99. This estimate is based on actual usage over the observation period and is not based on self-reports.

In terms of amount of usage, we cannot speak of a single homogenous group of Facebook users. That is our second major finding. Among those using Facebook, we identified a group of heavy users, consistent with the popular perception that Facebook users are very active and on the site for large amounts of time. However, the behavioral data show that there is an equally-large group of light or casual Facebook users – those who are light users in terms of frequency of use, duration of use, and overall amount of usage. These light users may be considered borderline non-users, but based on the behavioral data collected, they did in fact use Facebook over the four-week observation period, albeit a very small amount. And of course, between the heavy users and light users, there is an equally large group of medium users. Moderate users are also often overlooked or not considered a group of “typical” Facebook users.

Our third major set of findings revolves around the demographic characteristics of Facebook users. Based on our multivariate analysis, we find that Facebook users are significantly more likely to be female, age 13–17,

White, and among adults, to have at least a high school diploma. These findings are generally consistent with the descriptive figures reported by Pew (Lenhart et al., 2010). In addition, we find these patterns apply to heavy, medium, and light Facebook users.

That is women, teens, Whites, and adults with at least a high school diploma are all more likely to be heavy Facebook users, and also significantly more likely to be medium and light Facebook users.

Interestingly, demographic differentials in usage by gender, age, and race are more pronounced among heavy Facebook users. Women are twice as likely as men to be heavy Facebook users, teens are at least 2.5 times as likely as adults to be heavy Facebook users, whites are approximately 45–90% more likely than Blacks and other non-Whites to be heavy Facebook users, and adults with at least a high school diploma are approximately 70–100% more likely than those with less than a high school diploma to be heavy Facebook users.

The current research highlights the benefits of analyzing actual behavioral data (when available), rather than relying on self-reports of behavior. Of course, for many behaviors of interest, retrospective self-reports are the only possible method for collecting data. In this particular instance, it is possible to directly collect behavioral data on Facebook usage (and other Internet activity).

Currently, there are firms that do collect these behavioral data, but it is not an easy or light undertaking. Developing the ability to do so requires firms and organizations to make large investments in capital, labor, and technology (which is far beyond the means of most individual researchers).

In addition, individual-level user data are proprietary data, which most Facebook researchers do not have access to. The authors are fortunate and grateful to be able to analyze such data and to contribute to the Facebook user research using a rich data resource.

Notes

  1. 1

    Age of all household members was collected during in-home interviews. It was not the case that age information was based on self-reported Facebook profile data. Thus, members of the sample who are Facebook users are, in fact, old enough to have a Facebook account. See boyd, Hargittai, Schultz, & Palfrey (2011) for a discussion of false reports of age on Facebook profiles among children under the age of 13.

  2. 2

    Most frequently reported reasons for refusal include: desire not to be monitored, concerns with personal information, concerns with data security, not interested.

  3. 3

    We estimate a multinomial logistic regression model rather than an OLS regression model because our intent is to predict membership in one of the Facebook user segments, not to directly model the number of hours of Facebook usage.

  4. 4

    In this case, universe reach and active reach are used to measure the reach of Facebook among the Internet population. Basically, universe reach is defined in relation to those with Internet access, whereas active reach is defined in relation to those with Internetusage. For each of these two measures, the numerator includes all persons age 13+ who visited Facebook during the observation period using an Internet-enabled computer at home. The denominator for universe reach is all persons age 13+ with access to an Internet-enabled computer at home. The denominator for active reach is all persons age 13+ who used an Internet-enabled computer at home.

  5. 5

    County Size – There are four county size groups – A, B, C, and D. They are based on the population and metropolitan location of the county in which the household is located and are defined as follows: A Counties – All counties belonging to the largest metropolitan areas, which together account for 40% of U.S. households. B Counties – All counties in the next largest set of metropolitan areas which together account for 30% of U.S. households. C Counties – All counties in the next largest set of areas – including both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, which account for 15% of U.S. households. D Counties – All remaining counties.

  6. 6

    CPS results are based on descriptive analyses, rather than multivariate analyses which statistically control for the influence of other measured factors.

Facebook's Vision Of Networked Capitalism

In Zuckerberg’s IPO filing letter he declares, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.
In Zuckerberg’s IPO filing letter he declares, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.

Facebook: the quasi-interpersonal structured Medium

Valerie Scheisberger, Jennifer Billinson and T. Makana Chock inform us thusly:

The old adage says that everyone's a critic, but new media have made everyone a gatekeeper as well. An increasing number of Americans—particularly younger adults—use social media networks to access and assess news (Purcell, Rainie, Mitchell, Rosensteil, & Olmstead, 2010). A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that in 2010, 75% of online news consumers reported that they received news forwarded through e-mails or social networking sites and that approximately half of those users shared links to news stories using social media.

As Facebook and Twitter icons accompanying a “share this!” message become a staple of online articles, users can link back to these articles from their social networking pages with just the click of a mouse. It is possible that presenting stories in this manner on a Facebook page may suggest an implicit recommendation on the part of the sharer; further, sharers may choose to frame the story by adding a few editorial sentences of their own. This method of sharing information raises questions about perceived effects of media content on both the self and others, and it's possible that perceived effects on self could be influenced by framing of stories.

The current study examines third-person effects (3PE) in social media environments. Audiences tend to make third-person effect judgments concerning the effects of mass media messages—including news stories—and report that those messages have a greater effect on others than on themselves (Davison, 1983). Although research has found that people make 3PE judgments concerning the perceived effects of social media (Banning & Sweetser, 2007), it is less clear whether the social media context itself may limit or reduce 3PE.

The Impersonal Impact hypothesis (Tyler & Cook, 1984) predicts that mass media sources are less effective in influencing individuals than interpersonal sources. The Differential Impact hypothesis, however, predicts that media sources can influence individuals when they are personally involving (Basil & Brown, 1997; Snyder & Rouse, 1985).

Given the “social” nature of Facebook and the quasi-interpersonal nature of the medium, it is possible that simply reading stories in a Facebook environment could increase the “interpersonal” nature of communication and increase perceived relevance—contributing to increased effects on self, and serving to limit perceived differences between self and others.

However, the medium of delivery (Facebook) may not in and of itself increase perceived effects. The personal relevance of the story and story quality are also important.

In a world where it is increasingly possible for individuals to “personalize” news selections and limit their access to news stories of personal relevance and interest, it is important to examine the relationship between the self-relevance of stories and the potential influence (or lack of influence) of social media sites on the perceived effects of relevant stories.

This experimental study attempts to determine if social media contexts—Facebook pages—affect young adults' perceptions of the effects of online news stories. We will also attempt to determine if the effects of story context are influenced or outweighed by the personal relevance of those news stories. In addition, this study examines the Third Person Effects of “framing” news stories by the addition of positive or negative comments in Facebook sites.

Third-Person Effects

The Third-Person Effect hypothesis predicts that individuals tend to think that other people are influenced by mass media messages to a greater degree than themselves (Davison, 1983). This type of relative comparison has been found in a wide range of contexts and formats (Perloff, 1999).

People, however, are more likely to report that messages influence themselves if those messages are positively evaluated (in terms of message quality and content), if those messages are viewed as personally self-relevant, and if influence is seen as being socially desirable (Duck, Terry, & Hogg, 1995; Gunther & Mundy, 1993; Innes & Zeitz, 1988).

These factors can diminish perceived differences in effects on self and others. In some cases, they can even create a “first-person effect” (1PE) in which individuals rate messages as having a greater effect on themselves than on other people (Duck & Mullin, 1995; Duck et al., 1995).

Until recently, studies of 3PE have focused primarily on traditional mass media messages (DeLorme et al., 2006; Golan et al., 2008; Hoffner, 2001). Third-person effects, however, have been found in a range of online contexts. Banning and Sweetser (2007) examined 3PE among blogs, news websites, and newspapers, and concluded that 3PE exists across all platforms with relative consistency.

Research on 3PE in social media contexts, however, is limited. For example, Zhang and Daugherty (2009) explored the implications of 3PE for online marketing. The authors conclude that people make 3PE judgments concerning the effects of social networking. Adolescent gamers have also been found to make 3PE judgments concerning the effects of video games (Scharrer, 2008). It is possible that social media contexts themselves, however, may influence message effects and perceived differences between self and others.

The Impersonal and Differential Impact Hypotheses

A number of studies have found that there are differences in the influence of messages depending upon whether they are delivered through mass media or through interpersonal communication (Tyler & Cook, 1984; Basil & Brown, 1997). The Impersonal Impact Hypothesis (IIH) posits that cognitive assessments of risk stemming from media messages are perceived by individuals to occur less for the individuals themselves than for society in general (Tyler & Cook, 1984).

In other words, media messages influence people's perceptions of risk for society as a whole, but have a limited impact on people's perceptions of their own risk. Tyler and Cook conclude that mass communication and interpersonal communication influence perceptions of risk differently, and that mass communication is more likely to influence individuals' perception of risk to society as a whole than to themselves.

In contrast, interpersonal communication can influence individuals' personal risk assessments. Thus, if a friend or acquaintance informs an individual about a potential risk, that individual may be more likely to view that information as applying to himself or herself.

The Differential Impact Hypothesis (DIH), however, proposes that media messages can have an influence on perception of personal risk if the message is personally relevant (Basil & Brown, 1997; Snyder & Rouse, 1995), and if people view themselves as having a social or parasocial relationship with the media source (i.e. celebrities). Research on both IIH and DIH confirms that identification is key in determining personal relevance (Scarberry et al., 1997).

Most of the research on the DIH has examined the potential effects of televised messages. It is less clear how individuals will respond to messages in social media contexts. Although “news stories” may have originated from mass media sources, embedding these stories in a social media context—such as Facebook—may elicit perceptions that the stories are being delivered through a more personal, or interpersonal, channel. This perception may be heightened by the addition of comments or story evaluations by the Facebook “source.”

Social Media & Framing News Story Perceptions

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that young adults (18–32) are most likely to get their news from online sources. They tend to draw on a range of different news sites and sources and 22% report that they rely on their social networks for alerts or links to news stories (Purcell et al., 2010). The majority of audience members report that they access news through social media and that they have in turn used social media to disseminate news stories. Approximately 25% of online news users report commenting on news content (Purcell et al., 2010).

These personal comments usually appear with the news stories and can serve to provide a “frame” for the story that may influence story reception. In the simplest terms, framing deals with the way items are presented in the media, rather than what items are presented (McCombs et al., 1997; Scheufele, 1999). Studies concerning framing theory have tended to focus on specific kinds of new items and their presentation via broadcast media or more traditional news sources (Pajnik, 2010; Birkland, 2009). Facebook “frames” or comments, however, can also influence perceptions of story content through interpretation, praise, or ridicule.

The latter may be of particular importance. As noted earlier, perceived social desirability can influence third-person effects. When message effects are viewed as socially undesirable (pornography, violence, etc.), then third-person effects tend to be greater (see Perloff, 1999). Negatively framing news stories through the inclusion of negative or critical comments could contribute to perceptions of the social undesirability of acknowledging influence and limit people's willingness to acknowledge message effects. It could also increase third-person effects.

Study Goals and Hypotheses

Prior research on mass media persuasive messages (Duck & Mullin, 1995; Duck et al., 1995) found that higher evaluations of message self-relevance and quality were positively associated with perceived effects of those messages on self. These factors may also be related to perceived effects of online news stories. Therefore, the first set of hypotheses predicts that:

H1a: Perceived effects of news stories on self will increase as the perceived self-relevance of news stories increases.

H1b: Perceived effects of news stories on self will increase as the perceived quality of news stories increases.

News in Facebook

If social media sites such as Facebook increase the “interpersonal” nature of communication, then the Differential Impact Hypothesis would predict that reading online news stories in social media sites should increase perceived effects of those stories on self. This in turn should diminish 3PE. Therefore, this study predicts that:

H2: Perceived effects of news stories on self will be greater if stories are read as part of a Facebook page than if those stories are read as online news stories.

H3: Third person effects will be smaller if news stories are read as part of a Facebook page than if those stories are read as online news stories.

Self-Relevance

If messages are perceived as being personally relevant, then individuals are more likely to report that those messages influenced them. This tends to diminish third-person effects. On the other hand, if messages are not viewed as relevant, than audiences are more likely to make third-person-effect judgments concerning message effects. Although social media may enhance perceived effects of messages, this is less likely to be apparent for stories that audiences view as irrelevant. The effects of relevance should outweigh the effects of message context. Thus,

H4a: Regardless of viewing condition, participants will rate Low-Relevant news stories as having a greater effect on others than on self (3PE).

H4b: Participants will be less likely to make consistent 3PE judgments for High-Relevance stories.

Framing

H5a: Negatively framing stories in a Facebook page will decrease perceived effects on self.

H5b: Negatively framing stories in a Facebook page will increase third-person effects.


Method

Design

This study used a 4 x 2 x 2 mixed design with between-subject variables of evaluation conditions (no Facebook frame, neutral Facebook frame, positively evaluated Facebook frame, and negatively evaluated Facebook frame) and the within-subjects factors of story relevance (Low, High) and story presentation order. In order to limit potential order effects, story presentation was varied in each of the experimental condition. In the “control” or no-Facebook condition, participants were immediately directed to two online news stories. In the “neutral” Facebook condition, participants read stories linked to a Facebook page without any evaluative comments. The “positive” Facebook condition included positive evaluations by the Facebook “person” and the “negative” Facebook condition included negative evaluations.

Stimulus Construction

Three Facebook pages were created to fulfill the condition requirements of the study. Beyond the differences described above, all the information on the Facebook pages was identical. The Facebook “person” was given a fake, androgynous name (Casey Jones), and the profile picture contained no identifying features—but depicted the university logo. Information on the site, identified the “person” as an undergraduate student with no other visible photographs besides the profile picture. Interests included school sports and a few other non gender-specific hobbies.

The articles were chosen based on a pretest conducted with 11 graduate students at a mid-size university in the Northeastern US. Our goal was to find innocuous news stories with little or no potential to elicit biases in the reader. No political articles were considered, nor were any articles about controversial topics like abortion, same-sex marriage, the health care plan, etc. The group of graduate students evaluated six articles for potential controversy and story relevance. The two least controversial articles were selected. The first story was considered to be the least relevant and focused on a bunny exhibit in a renowned museum. The second story—judged as somewhat more relevant—concerned new technologies and facilities on Disney cruise ships.

Measures

Perceived self-relevance for each story was assessed using a 3-item Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree). Participants were asked to rate their agreement with statements assessing the perceived relevance of the news stories (i.e. “this article contains news I should know”). Scale reliability tests were conducted on combined scales for both stories. Standardized Cronbach alpha reliability scores were acceptable (α = .82). Averaged responses from participants in all conditions were calculated in order to confirm the designated level of relevance of the Low- and High-Relevance stories.

Message “quality” was assessed by asking participants to rate their agreement using a 7-point Likert-type scale to a 3-item measure (“This article is of high quality”). Standardized Cronbach alpha reliability scores were acceptable (α = .73).

Effects on self and others were assessed using indirect comparisons. Unlike direct comparisons—where individuals are asked to assess perceived effects relative to a specified “other”—effects on self were assessed separately from effects on others. This approach is commonly used in Third-Person Effect research (Conners, 2005). Participants were asked to rate their agreement with the statements “How much do you think that you are affected by the contents of this article?” and “How much do you think that the average college student would be affected by the contents of this article?” using a 7-point scale ranging from 1 = Not at All to 7 = Very Much.

Prior studies of 3PE have used a variety of different comparative targets including “the average American” and the “average person” (see Perloff, 1999). As the student participants in this study could reasonably assume that there might be differences among other age groups in use and access to Facebook, we attempted to limit potential variance by selecting “the average college student” as a comparative target. 3PE scores were calculated by subtracting ratings for self from ratings for the average college student. Positive scores indicate a third-person effect (greater effects on other than self). A negative score indicates a first-person effect (greater effects on self than other).

Participants were also asked to report their use of online news and Facebook. Participants were asked to respond to a series of questions using (Yes, No) bivariate responses: “Do you typically get your news online?;” “Do you post news stories on Facebook? (This can mean any kind of news- hard news, features, tabloid news, etc.);” and “Do you click on news stories featured on your friends' Facebook pages?” Participants were also asked to use a 6-point scale measuring number of hours per week spent using Facebook ranging from 0 to 10+ hours. Participants were also asked to respond to a series of questions assessing demographic information.

Participants

Eighty-eight undergraduate students (77% Female, 23% Male) participated in this study. Ages ranged from 18 to 22 (M = 19.09, SD = .89). The majority of participants (69.5%) identified themselves as White, 15.9% as Asian, 7.3% as Latina, 2.4% as African-American, 2.4% as Native American, and 2.4% as Middle Eastern. Given the limited racial diversity of participants, race was not analyzed as a factor in this study.

Procedures

Participants were recruited from several undergraduate Communications courses at a midsize university in the Northeastern US. They received extra course credit for participation. The survey was conducted online using the surveymonkey.com collection program. Participants were randomly assigned to the different experimental conditions and then emailed the link to the survey. After reading each story, the participants completed the evaluative measures and then were directed to the second story.

Analyses

Pearson Product Moment Correlation analyses were conducted to examine the overall relationships between ratings of perceived relevance, message quality, and perceived effects on self and others. As the amount of time spent using Facebook increased, perceived differences between effects on self and the average person for the Low Relevance story decreased, r = −.34, p = .007.

Therefore, in subsequent analyses of story effects on self and others, time spent using Facebook was treated as a covariate. Mixed multivariate analysis of covariance tests were conducted with the between subjects factor of viewing condition (control, neutral Facebook, positive-framed Facebook, and negative-framed Facebook) and the within subjects factors of story relevance (low, high) and rating target (self, average person).

Similar analyses were conducted to examine effects of viewing condition and story relevance on 3PE difference scores. In order to test hypotheses 2 and 3, only data from the neutral Facebook and control conditions were analyzed.

Why social media success is about quality not quantity

Is it important to have a large number of Friends(quantity) or a few with which one can be or talk/do things with? Well...
Is it important to have a large number of Friends(quantity) or a few with which one can be or talk/do things with? Well... | Source

Some Notes From FB Users

We learn the following from Chris Street who informs us that:

"For the last 12 months, I’ve been conducting an experiment in social media marketing on Facebook– which culminated in culling half of my contacts last week.

That might sound like a drastic move, particularly when social media engagement is supposed to be all about reaching the maximum number of people possible.

Social media marketing is not a numbers game, as my experiment highlighted.

At the start of the year, my personal Facebook profile had more than 4,000 contacts. As of last week, I’d culled nearly 2,000.

But why – and what did the experiment highlight?

For the last 12 months, I’ve added all friend requests, added friends of friends, added contacts from any continent outside of the UK where I’m based, and generally increased the quantity without strategically monitoring the quality.

The result was that during the course of 2013, my Facebook News feed gradually filled up with more and more irrelevant content, more promoted posts which were irrelevant, more generic content which was irrelevant, more invites to join irrelevant Groups, more invites to attend irrelevant events, and a significant increase in wasted time. Clearly, quantity wasn’t working.

Having sat down and spent an entire day analysing and reviewing the useful content, interesting posts, contacts who didn’t spam, and the events and Groups which were worth considering, I culled half of my 4,000 Facebook contacts.

What happened? The main outcomes have been:

* Quality of Facebook News Feed has increased

* Quality of social engagement has increased

* Relevance of Facebook content has increased

* Quantity of traffic to my blog has increased

* Quality of overall traffic referred has increased

* Reach of Facebook posts overall has increased

It was an interesting, illuminating and useful experiment in social media marketing, and demonstrated effectively to me that playing the quantity over quality numbers game on Facebook – or any social media platform, for that matter – doesn’t work.

I discussed the merits of quality over quantity in this article more than 18 months ago – it clearly resonated, gaining more than 2,000 shares across various social media networks at the time.

I’ve always been an advocate of networking small and deep on social media: as in life, social media engagement works best when done in a committed, targeted and strategic way.

Social media isn’t just another broadcasting and advertising channel, as the Facebook marketing experiment demonstrated.

So, what was the main lesson from this experiment in social media marketing?

Numbers might look great, but it’s the quality of contacts that counts. Social media marketing works best when delivered with strategy and relevance."

Stopping Using Facebbok Is Not Going To Be Easy-Trying is Better

Shut Facebook Down and Close Your Account-Cold Turkey
Shut Facebook Down and Close Your Account-Cold Turkey | Source

A Much More Closer Look At the The Facebook Ecology(environment)

Since I have been adding and writing about the addiction of Facebook, I have been working on weaning myself from one for the past 8 months, slowly. As is suggested by the articles I have posed below, I started staying away from Facebook, Cold Turkey. Then say, after two or three weeks I would go back with fury, posting rare musical videos, posting Very interesting and great art, Poetry, Images, and composing articles on Facebook just to see what kind of response and how many readers "See" or comment on the original articles, music, poetry and so on.

During my self-imposed absence from Facebook, I read, exercise, and work on my Hub, elongate them, edit them and add pictures, music, poetry and images, etc. Now, this has helped me develop my Hubs, and also, it has helped me stay informed about the news, and finding some interesting pictures and poems on the Web, and at times, kept me sharp mentally because in constructing my Hubs, I had to read, and I read everything from the Web(of Interest), books I consult researching my topics.

As a media specialist and enthusiast, I do cite, like the articles below, what other people have to say about Facebook and its addiction patterns and mannerism. I have and have been working on detoxifying myself from the grip of browsing and 'liking', or looking to see who and how many have "seen" what I have posted. I have developed a serious following in different Walls where I post my wares as I have indicated above. I do not necessarily want to quit Facebook per se, but for me, it is part of My continuing and never-ending Media Studies and the effects of technology and technique on the lives and minds of man.

Inasmuch as FB is addictive, because my speciality is Media Ecology(Environments) I have to be immersed and at the same stay away from the experiences I garner from using and looking/observing technology, media and social media and what it is that they do, and if there are people out there who want to dole out advice as to how to cure oneself from the addiction, and that this information can be used by those who read this Hub, I will use their articles. But my point of view remains the same, that we need to interrogate/investigate/observe and pay close attention to this Medium(Specifically socially media like Facebook), and write up to the changes that are taking place in it and amongst its users, and what the significance or insignificance of Facebook book is or not..

Facebook: Time Waster Or What?

Maybe you got on Facebook just to stay in touch with old friends -- or to remember the birthdays of your new friends. Maybe you were just bored. But now, you're finding it difficult to spend an hour of your waking life without checking or thinking ab
Maybe you got on Facebook just to stay in touch with old friends -- or to remember the birthdays of your new friends. Maybe you were just bored. But now, you're finding it difficult to spend an hour of your waking life without checking or thinking ab | Source

Getting Off The Facebook Environ and Reconstructing One's Life Without Facebook

Having said my two cents above, We learn and read from Matt Steel when he writes:

Why I stopped Using Facebook

"I recently completed a weeklong media fast. The experience was refreshing, uncomfortable and eye-opening. It even helped me confront some unhealthy patterns in my life. Here are the ground rules that I followed, most of which were inspired byThe Four Hour Workweek:

  1. No newspapers, magazines, audiobooks, or non-music radio. Music is allowed at all times.
  2. No news websites whatsoever.
  3. No social media whatsoever.
  4. No television, except for one hour of pleasure viewing each evening.
  5. No books, except for The Four Hour Workweek (nonfiction) and The Silmarillion (fiction).
  6. Read and send email only twice each day. Most media-related emails go straight to the trash.
  7. No web browsing at work unless it's necessary to complete a task. In the words of Tim Ferriss, "necessary means necessary, not nice to have."

In the past, I've tried similar fasts. Last year, I deleted all of my social apps, disabled web browsing, and turned off email on my phone and tablet. That experiment lasted about two weeks. I would only check email from my laptop. Limiting access to email and Safari provided greater awareness of my communication consumption, but proved problematic when I needed to find information on the go. I didn't feel bad when I turned those apps on again. As for social media, I came crawling back to them as well, even though I felt like a cat eating its own hairball of shame in a dark corner.

There are two kinds of digital communication: those that improve our lives, and those that harm. If that seems too black and white for you, consider our second-greatest resource: time. Besides love, time is perhaps the most valuable thing we have. Though everyone this side of terminal illness or calamity has time in spades, it is limited and non-renewable. You can't buy more of it. Compare time with money, which is distributed unevenly yet virtually unlimited for those with the wherewithal to create it. By all means, be careful when spending your hard-earned cash; but spend your time with ruthless discernment. The world has great need for your best work, words and wisdom. It has no need for wasteful or addictive habits.

It can be hard to tell the difference between healthy and toxic communication tools, and many of them have mixed amounts of honey and arsenic. Some digital tools, however, have been around long enough to prove generally unhelpful for society. And for myself and at least one other person who has my utmost respect, Facebook falls squarely into the toxic category.

This is why I'm leaving Facebook for good. I'm certainly not the first to write about such a decision, but hopefully I can contribute something new to the conversation.

Here are some reasons for leaving, in no particular order.

  1. Facebook made it easier for me to be a crappy friend and family member. Aunts, cousins and even grandmothers can stay up to speed on the Steel household, thanks to Facebook and Instagram. I almost never have to pick up the phone. I'm the only one to blame for this, but I certainly don't need Facebook to empower my relational apathy.
  2. You can go broad, but you can't go deep. A friend of mine recently described the baseline for his Facebook connections as "people he'd recognize in a line-up." Because time is precious to me, I'd rather focus on deepening my social network instead of broadening it.
  3. It's addictive, and not in the "OMG this product is so useful and amazing" way. The devious brilliance of Facebook is how those little red flags induce the release of small amounts of dopoamine in our brains. Those little squirts of brain-buzz never mature into lasting feelings of joy. Like any addictive drug, Facebook always leaves you unsatisfied and wanting more. I'd go as far as to say that Facebook is to friendship what porn is to sex. A poor substitute for the real thing.
  4. Facebook is the perfect platform for presenting a designed self. But the allure of deceit by design is all too powerful. I can carefully curate my life to look like a shimmering stream of Hallmark moments. To people browsing their newsfeeds, this can produce feelings of envy, depression, or (perhaps most ironically) isolation and loneliness.
  5. My ego doesn't need the fuel. Facebook provides a never-ending popularity contest of likes, comments and reposts. Just because narcissism is more pervasive than ever, that doesn't mean it's okay.
  6. Real communication is messy, hard to control, requires vulnerability and can take decades of hard work. But it's infinitely more beautiful and more rewarding. Having total control over the way we present ourselves makes us less human.
  7. I've found that every time I browse Facebook, I'm avoiding a more challenging yet meaningful use of time. It distracts me from the real stuff of life, whether it's playing Legos with my kids, enjoying rare moments alone with my wife or designing something that will improve people's lives in some small way.
  8. Selective ignorance is a profoundly peaceful state, particularly when...
  9. The majority of content is utter garbage.
  10. I rediscovered the prudence of privacy.
  11. When I clicked the (hidden) Deactivate button, I was informed that my "370 friends will no longer be able to keep in touch with me." Bullshit. Thanks for making it easy for me to follow through, guys.
We are far too easily pleased. --C.S. Lewis

So as of February 23, 2014, I've decided that the time has come to change the way I use Facebook. People interested in the ideas and work being done at Grain (my company) can follow our Facebook page. But I am choosing to stop using Facebook for personal communication with family, friends or clients.

If anyone has glossed over this entire post until now, leaving Facebook doesn't mean you (or I) have to leave relationships behind. For myself, I'm actively choosing to deepen the real relationships I already have, and create more space for new ones.

I'm excited to see what my life is going to look like without Facebook.

Some suggested Substitute Of Acting To Deal With Facebook addition

Think about the things you can do with this time instead. If you find yourself spending, say, 10 hours a week on Facebook, make a list of all the other things you could accomplish in that time. Seeing this number of hours written down can make you fe
Think about the things you can do with this time instead. If you find yourself spending, say, 10 hours a week on Facebook, make a list of all the other things you could accomplish in that time. Seeing this number of hours written down can make you fe | Source

How To Wean Oneself From Facebook Addiction: Suggestions

When we study Media and its effects and affects on its users, we need to critique the way we use and take it for granted as billions do in Facebook. But this has its own side effects/affects. It is these affects that this Hub is addressing, also, I think it will be prudent to create an escape door for those entrapped within and by mediums like Facebook. these might not work for all, but they should almost be presented so as to enable those captured and overwhelmed by the preset state and format of the Facebook ecology.

It is true that Facebook alters the behavior and thinking of its users. This has been attempted to be delineated within the Hub. There are those today, who are keenly observing this entrapment, are now writing profusely about how one can and should disengage from the Facebook and its addiction. That is why, in construction and composing this Hub, I realized from earlier on that this Facebook medium is relatively young, and evolving fast.

But, I realized that as it is evolving, it is going to pass through many stages. One of the stages that Facebook has managed to affect and implement is its addictive nature. It has now been broken-down as to the time it takes from the user to engage in many other "humanly possible" activities. The user gets caught up and becomes embedded within the Facebook environment without let up, and for many hours on end, and there is, in the end, no gain for the users in much of this much vaunted activity.

So below, I will cite some suggestions about 'how one can quit Facebook, by Nathaniel Wingfield, et al.

How To Quit Facebook


Track your usage for a day (or a week). Keep tabs of what you actually do on Facebook. After every session, ask yourself, "What did I just accomplish by checking Facebook?" Odds are, you're probably just logging in to see if you've been poked, check for updates, write a new note, add a song, and other mindless tasks you do to waste time — even if you logged in for a set purpose, like accepting a friend request.

  • Recording your Facebook activities can help you realize how much time you actually spend getting nothing constructive done.
  • Mark the time when you log in and when you log out, or download an app for your browser that will track how much time you spend on various sites.

Think about the things you can do with this time instead. If you find yourself spending, say, 10 hours a week on Facebook, make a list of all the other things you could accomplish in that time. Seeing this number of hours written down can make you feel the harsh reality that you're wasting your life away on Facebook. Here are some things you could do instead:

  • Pick up a part-time job and save up (or even invest) that money.
  • Teach your kid (or kid sibling) how to throw a footbal.
  • Get Fit.
  • Spend time socializing with people in your real life.
  • Clean Your Room.
  • Volunteer.
  • Read a book.
  • Teach Yourself a new language.
  • Make a papasan chair cushion.
  • Listen to music and make it a routine. An album per day or so.

Try to remember your life without Facebook. If you only joined Facebook a year or two ago, or if you got through all of high school and college before Facebook was even introduced, try to think about all of the things you did before Facebook. Maybe you spent less time in front of the computer in general and more time outside. Make a list of all of the positive aspects of your life without Facebook to motivate yourself. Here are some ways that your Facebook-free life could have been like:

  • Maybe you spent less time stalking your exes, caring what your photos look like, or comparing yourself to all of the "friends" you haven't seen in five years.
  • Maybe you spent more time playing soccer or tennis with your friends.
  • Maybe you spent more time actually interacting with people in person instead of just checking up on them online.
  • Writing down all of the positive things in your life before Facebook will make you see that you don't really need Facebook to be happy. In fact, if you have an addiction, it's likely that it's making you depressed.

Think of how you can get the benefits of Facebook without it. Write down all of the things that Facebook has done for you, and the things that you'll miss the most when you delete your account. Then, think of a way that you can still get these benefits without feeling the soul-crushing feeling of being chained to your Facebook account. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Some people say that they're only on Facebook to remember their friends' birthdays. Well, if that's one of your reasons for being on it, mark a calendar up with all of the birthdays of your actual friends so you don't forget them, or just write them down on a piece of paper you hang up on your desk.
  • Some people are on Facebook because they love sharing photos. Well, you can share your photos by starting an Instagram account and only connecting with the friends and family members that you'd really like to share with.
  • Some people are on Facebook because they want to know what their friends are up to. Instead of being on Facebook to check up on your five closest far-flung Facebook friends, make a goal of calling them or emailing them once a week or once a month to see what they've been up to.
  • Some people go on Facebook to have the feeling of a social interaction when they're feeling lonely at work or when they're stuck at home, too busy to hang out with people. Instead of interacting with people online, grab lunch with a coworker at lunch, or get your work done earlier so you can go home and hang out with your friends.
  • Some people like Facebook because they like to see the articles that people are posting and commenting on. Try checking a popular news source instead of Facebook to gain more knowledge and still be in the loop. Some of the sites that people post from the most are The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Jezebel, Slate, The New York Times, Gawker, College Humor, and The Onion. Pick a new -- and more informative -- web site to read instead of Facebook.

Take Action

Turn off all of your email and phone Facebook notifications. Part of the reason you're on Facebook is because every time you check your phone or email, you get a notification that someone posted a photo or a comment about you, or that it's the birthday of your third cousin's second best friend. This kind of message inevitably causes you to click on Facebook for "the purpose" of seeing whatever has been posted, but it leads you to inevitably waste your time browsing through random photos.

  • Turning off the notifications is the first step to making Facebook less appealing.

Save your important contacts. Before you delete Facebook, you should keep the contact information of the people you actually want to stay in touch with if you don't have them already. Save them to your email account so that you can continue to stay in touch with the people you really care about. If your only interaction with someone was through sending Facebook messages, then chances are that it wasn't a real friend anyway.

Try to quit for a short period of time. Just like smoking, quitting cold turkey will be the hardest approach. Instead, try quitting Facebook for a day or two, and then work your way up to quitting it for a week. During that time, make a list of all of the things you accomplished because you didn't waste your time on Facebook. Set more goals to meet for your next week without Facebook and try to meet them.

  • Once you've been able to go two or three weeks without Facebook, you should work your way up to a month. After that, it may be time to quit for good.
  • If you're staying on Facebook because you're worried you'll miss important updates from friends or that you won't get invited to parties, have a close friend in your inner circle keep you in the loop about what's going on with your friends without talking about how great Facebook is.
  • Alternately, you can tell your friends to stop talking about what people are doing on Facebook completely instead. Remind yourself that if your "friends" had something really important to tell you, they would just call you or tell you in person -- not post it on Facebook.

The Dangers of Facebook

Turn Off And Regulate/Control Your Facebook(Wall)

Technological Vigilance and knowledge is a prerequisite towards the users reclaiming their lives
Technological Vigilance and knowledge is a prerequisite towards the users reclaiming their lives | Source

Making Concrete and Progressive Choices about Facebook

Preserve Your Contacts
Preserve Your Contacts | Source

A few good reasons why you should stop using FacebookA few good reasons why you should stop using Facebook

Some Approaches To Consider And Mull About Concerning Facebook

Leaving Facebook will then mean doing some of the things that one was engaged in or involved in before the advent of Facebook. I do not readily want to dissuade people from using Facebook, but I concur with the cited works above that rerouting ones goals and aims is key here. Just because so many hours are spent on Facebook with no renumeration, in most times, it would be better therefore to begin to think about how tho fill the time that as a user one has invested into Face, to those things that are different and very concrete and positive actions. so I continue citing Wingfield below:

Make an announcement that you're quitting for good. Write a simple post telling all of your friends that you're quitting Facebook for a while. This will give them a nice head's up if they're used to connecting with you on Facebook, and it will also make you more likely to keep your promise. Once you announce that you're really quitting Facebook, you'll be more likely to stick to your promise.

  • If you're really serious, tell your friends to not tease you for not being on Facebook, and to stop telling you that you need to give in and get back on Facebook.

Leave Facebook. Once you've announced that you left Facebook, it's time to take measures to actually leave it, and to tie up any loose online threads that you've left behind. Here are some things that you may need to do:

  • There are two options here: you can either deactivate your account, which lets you take a breather without losing any information, or permanently delete your Facebook account, which is the real deal.
  • If you've started any groups, transfer admin rights to someone you trust.
  • Send an email to your Facebook contacts explaining your decision to leave. Include your current contact information so they can get in touch with you without Facebook.
  • If you plan to permanently delete, clear every last bit of information from your profile. Don't forget to remove your photos!

Block Facebook from your computer (optional). You can turn to this step in a moment of desperation, if you're worried you won't be able to control your impulse to go on Facebook -- even after you deleted your account. Check out How to Block Websites on firefox or 'How to Block A Website on on Internet

  • You can use a free self-control program called Cold Turkey to temporarily disable your access to popular social media websites.
  • Parental control programs such as EzinternetTimer or TimeUpKidz can also help.

Stuff They Don't Want You to Know - Facebook

Reconstructing The Self Colonized By Technology And technique

Find alternatives to using Facebook. A lot of people get addicted to Facebook because they check it when there's nothing else to do, like in between classes or during a lunch break; then the curiosity spills over into time that should be spent doing other things, like studying or working. Find something to do during those little windows of time in order to prevent relapse. Here are some great ways to fill your time instead of being on Facebook:

  • Stay away from the computer as much as you can. For many of us, getting in front of a monitor is a default activity. Try to find other things to do that'll keep you away from the computer and therefore, Facebook. keep a notebook. Meditate.
  • Learn to do impressive tricks with a tech.
  • Make a goal of reading one book a week instead of spending that time on Facebook.
  • Call your friends on the phone or do something fun with them in-person. Anything that you can do anywhere and for short periods of time is good.

What FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are Hiding from world.

Technological Media And its Side-Effects/Affects

The thing about Facebook and its embedded shenanigans as described above is that it is truly happening and many people do not pay nor are they cognizant of it and how it applied and manifests itself-thus controlling the users.

There is a lot going on in our reality and existence today. There are some changes we have undergone in the past 30 years, and in this sense I am talking about technology and technique. My teacher on this subject is the premier medial ecologists and I have utilized most of them above. But, as a human being and living in the technological society today, I am also affected and effected by these new paradigm shifts.

In order for us to understand this much more broadly and clearly, we will take up on a lecure by McLuhan below.

James Martinez : Cold fusion and the media ecological effects on human perception

Facebook updates spread bad moods virally

Study of anonymous status updates found that individuals reading gloomy updates were more likely to post something sad themselves
Study of anonymous status updates found that individuals reading gloomy updates were more likely to post something sad themselves | Source

Facebook's Viral Bad Moods Moods Noted

Some of the side effects of being involved with Facebook are our emotions, These are some of the most explosive interactive connection that one finds, and sometimes is involved in. They are harmful side-effects, and the following article below tries to quantify and present a reality that is now commonly found on Facebook. There are other Walls on FB that are positive, but those that involve politics, religion, economy, and so forth, are chock-full of these negative diatribes. Concern these negative and positive emotion, we learn from James Vincent that:

"We all know that we’re affected by the moods of people we talk to face-to-face, but a new study suggests that online interactions have a similar influence. Read a lot of sad updates from friends online? Then don’t be surprised if you start feeling down yourself.

"Researchers from the University of California and Facebook studied status updates on the popular social network that were identified as having a strong emotional slant – be it positive or negative – and looked to see if these had a knock-on effect on online friends.

"The study looked at billions of anonymous status updates posted between January 2009 and March 2012, concentrating on gloomy updates prompted by (but not commenting on) poor weather.

"By correlating these updates with historical weather information they found that negative posts on Facebook increased by 1.16 per cent in response to bad weather, while positive posts decreased by 1.19 per cent.

"The researchers then looked at the posts of people who were friends with those influenced by the weather but who lived in cities where the outlook was little sunnier. Here they found that every negative post generated an additional 1.29 sad posts than normal among individuals’ friends.

"Luckily though, they also found that happy posts had a stronger impact, generating an additional 1.75 positive posts amongst online friends. Neither of these numbers are great enough to suggest that social networks are creating easily influenced, volatile masses, but they do show that moods can spread online just as they do in real life.

"These results imply that emotions themselves might ripple through social networks to generate large-scale synchrony that gives rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals," wrote the authors in the study published in online Journal Plos 1.

"New technologies online may be increasing this synchrony by giving people more avenues to express themselves to a wider range of social contacts," they said.

"As a result, we may see greater spikes in global emotion that could generate increased volatility in everything from political systems to financial markets."

Maybe Facebook Democracy Will Mean Being Ignored And Not Listened To..

The real horror of digital life is not that all your thoughts and opinions are out there, online for governments to observe and act on. It’s that they’re out there, online and, for the most part, no one’s interested.
The real horror of digital life is not that all your thoughts and opinions are out there, online for governments to observe and act on. It’s that they’re out there, online and, for the most part, no one’s interested. | Source

Zuckerberg gives Heads Up To Obama About How Social Media can Be Used To restore The People's Democratic Voice

It is interesting to read that Zuckerberg is peddling the idea of Facebook being used as a democratic medium and vehicle to give the people a voice in their democracy. The Hub above has been written from the perspective of how addictive Facebook can be. I somewhat concur with Zuckerberg's idea, although I will still need more data to check and balance his argument and that of this Hub.

One interesting issue that is written about above by the author is the fact that those who have power, hog the social network podium/environment and dialogue. Being out there with one's concerns and issues, and splurging them through the viral stream, does not mean anyone carries about these: and this questions you as to who are, and what power or way do you hold. Meaning, Democracy that it can be used as a voice of the silenced armies of voters, is no guaranteed a sympathetic and eager ear out there in Twitterland or Facebook estate, etc.

The only thing is that power responds to power, the powerless are ignored and not even regarded as existing. We make up the hundreds of thousands and millions of "Following Friends", but it is never as personal as one relates to ones real friends. We, the users and many of us, voters, are not the real concern for those controlling power.. It is those that are part of an eclectic and motley crew of owners, as in the case of Zuckerberg, who are listened to, and that is not really democracy, and will never be. There are too many power fixtures and archaic filthy rich bunch who make an impact. Money speaks; the penniless do not matter and their voice is loud, but muted upon reaching their leaders. Obama, jokingly, pointed out to Galifianakis, that "First of all, Zach, no one is interested in your texts. Humorous, yes, but with a tinge and kernel of truth in the schtick.

Cameron's spin doctors raised an interesting point when they twitted back 'the picture of the PM with Bill Clinton, this time face-to-face", is in itself what this Hub has been pointing out, that, face-to-face communication should not be discarded for purely Facebook communication. This might just have been a reaction to that to be able to Talk to power, you need a phone, not only social media, but it is this access which is limited, and it is why I wrote about the addictions of Facebook, because the experience on Facebook for many is lonely, dour and are incarcerated by the shenanigans of US Internet security, which has Zuckerberg frustrated.

As The article point out, below, that speaking up on the social media is different from being heard. It is true, that, as much as I write about issues of concern, whenever I post them on Facebook and twitter, really, no one cares like that, and some have even accused me of writing elongated pieces. Well, I think that I am here on HubPages for those who want to know certain issues in-depth, and I would cater for those readers, and invite those who find my writings lengthy to read them, but will not sacrifice may narrative intent and technique to conform to a short and uninformative piece. I aim to give some alternatives and understanding to this addiction, and what else affects and effects us through our interactive use of this merging and emerging media/mediums and its/their constantly changing and interlinking gizmos. The following article was written by Ellen E. Jones:

Zuckerberg contacts Obama: Social media might give us all a voice. But it isn't worth much if no one is listening

"The US President has 42 million Twitter followers, 39 million “likes” on Facebook and a responsibility to represent the interests of 314 million Americans – but how many of them can just pick up the phone and call Barry for a chat? Mark Zuckerberg is one. On Thursday, in a public post, the 29-year-old Facebook founder wrote of his concern over the threat the US government poses to internet security. Unlike most who share these concerns, Zuckerberg has a means of communicating them. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration,” he reassured us.

David Cameron would also like us to know that he has the President on speed dial, judging by the much-mocked “phone selfie” he tweeted last week. For the benefit of those who missed the mick-talking from Twitter users (including actor Patrick Stewart and comedian Rob Delaney), the original picture showed the Prime Minister on the phone with a theatrically sombre facial expression. The accompanying text read: “I’ve been speaking to @BarackObama about the situation in Ukraine. We are united in condemnation of Russia’s actions.”

At least Cameron or, more accurately, the team of junior spin doctors who run his Twitter account, found the subsequent meme amusing. A few days later, @DavidCameron followed up by tweeting Patrick Stewart a picture of the PM with Bill Clinton. “Talking to another US President, this time face to face, not on the phone,” it said, thus demonstrating that the point had been entirely missed. It wasn’t the phone people found risible, it was Cameron’s try-hard attempt to convey a statesmanlike ease.

Still, the phone selfie mimicry must have made a pleasant change from the usual volley of badly spelt obscenities which ping back at any tweet from the PM’s office. Or, indeed, any social media remark made by any high-profile individual. In Oh Do Shut Up, Dear!, Mary Beard’s programme on the public voice of women, scheduled for broadcast on BBC Four, the classics professor makes, in passing, an interesting suggestion. We all know that women are subject to online verbal abuse, but perhaps misogyny is merely the form. Perhaps the root cause is an increasing frustration with the limits of social media.

People once believed – and were encouraged to do so – that being able to tweet their elected representative directly, to join a Facebook group or to sign an online petition would give them a louder voice in our democracy. Now we know that speaking up and being heard are two different things. Unless you happen to be the bloke who said “Make it so” with such authority on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Prime Minister is unlikely even to read your tweet, never mind to act on it.

Social media does have the potential to aid grassroots democracy, but more often it simply acts as a bigger podium for the powerful few, while everyone else is just there to pad out the audience numbers. Note that when powerful men like Cameron or Zuckerberg want to be heard, they may turn to social media to boast about their influence, but actually to exercise said influence? That requires a telephone. The message, whatever the medium, is clear: when I speak, important people listen.

As for the man on the other end of the line, this week President Obama took to his own online podium, a webisode of the satirical talk show Between Two Ferns. He wanted to encourage those elusive millennials to sign up for affordable healthcare, but there was also a secondary message to broadcast to citizens. When the host, comedian Zach Galifianakis said he was “off the grid” for fear that the government would be checking up on him, Obama took the opportunity to set him straight: “First of all, Zach, no one’s interested in your texts.”

This is the ego-bruising news that governments have been trying, gently, to break to us for some time, and despite many very legitimate concerns about the extent of state surveillance, it still rings true. The real horror of digital life is not that all your thoughts and opinions are out there, online for governments to observe and act on. It’s that they’re out there, online and, for the most part, no one’s interested."

I have always thought that Democracy is a vehicle for the voiceless to exercise their power and have their concerns listened to and heard. It would seem,then, according to the article, Democracy in the social media has a disadvantage in that no one really cares as to what any 'joe-schmo' online might impact government policy and meaningful social change.

Maybe that time will come when Facebook, Twitter and so forth might be viable for Democracy, which I still have yet to see how that is plausible, is so; but, otherwise, for now, those who are listened to, are those with power-The powerless are sterile and lacking any influence or consideration-never listened to, but ignored. Maybe it's still not yet a good idea, and maybe for Zuckerberg, it will mean more revenue and a rise of stocks on Wall Stree.. Well, We all go figure...

Facebook And Catching Our Eyes

Just what are they testing?
Just what are they testing? | Source

Yet another step toward a police state

FaceBook Experiments With ManipulatingYour Mind

Alfredo Lopez wrties:

How does the news on the Internet make you feel?

What sounds like a frivolous question, the kind you might be asked in a bar after a few drinks, is actually a profound and powerful one. If the Internet's content can affect your feelings, the manipulation of that content can exert powerful social control.

So for a week in 2012, Facebook, in collaboration with Cornell University and the University of California at San Francisco, set out to explore that possibility. It edited the content seen by a select 689,000 of its users, overloading its news feed content with positive news for some users and negative news for others and then studied their posts in reaction without their knowledge.

As a result, Facebook learned a lot. According to an abstract of the study, "for people who had positive content reduced in their News Feed, a larger percentage of words in people's status updates were negative and a smaller percentage were positive. When negativity was reduced, the opposite pattern occurred."

And, when news about the study broke last week, Facebook confronted an immediate and powerful push-back from horrified activists and users (and now a couple of governments) who raised some significant questions. Does a company have the right to use its customers as test subjects without their knowledge? Is it ever ethical to change news feed content for any reason?

But the more important issue sits behind those questions. Facebook obviously thought this was okay; it does research on users all the time. And its hunch about the outcome proved correct. So what does it mean when one of the largest information companies on earth, the centerpiece of many people's information experience, practices how to program people through lies?

The experiment was conducted by Facebook's Data Science Team, the company's department for collection and analysis of user data. Facebook uses some of that data for advertising and marketing but it also sells the data to other publications and takes grants for research from Universities and think-tanks. The research work is impressive. These are the people who were able to determine how many users were visiting Brazil for the World Cup (and from what countries) before anyone got on a plane. They also developing complex data on the best places to be single in the U.S. for a Wall Street Journal article.

Although most people heard about it last week, this study was actually published in March in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was sparked by a question Facebook leaders asked themselves: how much does the content of a news feed affect the way people think, feel and express themselves? It's actually an excellent question and worth studying. And Facebook, which has more personal data available on its servers than any other institution in the world, was the perfect investigator.

Facebook has a news feed which has become popular among many of its users. Applying a list of "positive and negative" words, Facebook researchers filtered news content. If some content had a positive tone (based on those words) it would be eliminated for some users. The same was true of negative tone for the rest of the users. It did this for a week and recorded the content of the users responses and other posts day by day, finding that positive content read produced positive response and that the opposite was also true.

At no time did any of the users know about this.

Illegal? That's doubtful because Facebook's infamous "terms of service" allow it to collect and use our personal data as it sees fit. It owns our data when the data is posted on a Facebook page and can do with it whatever it wants.

Unethical? Obscenely so. You don't alter what people are reading as news and then collect their response to it without telling them. That is the worst "guinea pig" treatment a company can make of its on-line members and a horrible use of content that people, at least theoretically, rely on in their daily lives.

But what's most important is how Facebook itself treats the controversy. According to Adam Kramer (one of the Facebook scientists involved in the study)"...the actual impact on people in the experiment was the minimal amount to statistically detect (their reaction)." The company's official statement said it had used "appropriate protections for people's information."

Disingenous is a kind way of putting it. The "actual impact" is that an on-line company, which has extensive relationships with several governments, has tested how to effectively manipulate people's reactions. What we should be asking Facebook isn't how long this took or how many people were involved. The most important question is why this company was doing this?

There is no gentle answer. Apparently, the "appropriate protections" didn't protect users from Facebook itself. No matter how Facebook slices the situation to make it easier to swallow, it's still poison. They collected information on how to control our deepest and most powerful terrain: our feelings and thinking. They did it because, in the end, they could and because there was nothing about the lives and rights of people that would deter them.

They are doing what the Nazis worked so hard to do. It's the "1984" morality that spawned a word, "Orwellian", to describe its author's nightmare vision which has become the reality in so many parts of our world. It's the mental manipulation of a police state, the kind that does blanket surveillance on its citizens, sends information gatherers to jail for decades and maintains well-funded disinformation departments (called Press Offices) to cover-up its international crimes and divert attention from its domestic ones. Sound familiar?

No matter how popular it is or how cute some find its oft-told (and constantly edited) founding story, Facebook is a monster: part of the monstrous machine being developed in the country to make sure you don't resist the oppression visited upon you every day.


Facebook As A Social Network Ecosystem And Environment

Facebook Evolves from Social Network to Social Ecosystem

Brian Solis, in his blog wrote:

Every so often, Facebook hosts its a conference in San Francisco aimed at developers, media, and partners. This year, in front of an audience of 2,500+, Facebook introduced its vision for the next year and beyond. With Mark Zuckerberg kicking things off, Facebook introduced a dozen or so new products organized into three including Facebook’s update to Login, which gives people more control over the information they share with apps, Anonymous login, which offers a way for people to log in to apps without sharing personal information from Facebook with developers, and the Audience Network, which allows advertisers to easily extend their Facebook campaigns into other mobile apps.

The theme of f8 and also Facebook’s intentionally limited vision at the conference focused on three pillars…

1) Build

2) Grow

3) Monetize

The goal was to help developers expedite time to market, amplify visibility in the app world, optimize user experience and increase the value of their apps by plugging into the Facebook ecosystem. And by leveraging (still not used to using this word as a verb) Parse, a mobile app development platform acquired by Facebook in 2013, developers will have an unprecedented springboard toward market acceleration and consumer prevalence.

Rigging Of Facebook To Social Media Ecology...

State of the News Media 2014

Amy Mitchel Writes in the following article that:

In many ways, 2013 and early 2014 brought a level of energy to the news industry not seen for a long time. Even as challenges of the past several years continue and new ones emerge, the activities this year have created a new sense of optimism – or perhaps hope – for the future of American journalism.

Digital players have exploded onto the news scene, bringing technological knowhow and new money and luring top talent. BuzzFeed, once scoffed at for content viewed as “click bait,” now has a news staff of 170, including top names like Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Schoofs, and is the kind of place that ProPublica’s Paul Steiger says he would want to work at if he were young again. Mashable now has a news staff of 70 and enticed former New York Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts to become its chief content officer. And in January of this year, Ezra Klein left the Washington Post for Vox media, which will become the new home for his explanatory journalism concept. Many of these companies are already successful digital brands – built around an innate understanding of technology – and are using revenues from other parts of the operation to get the news operations off the ground.

Other kinds of new revenue are flowing into news operations as well. A new breed of entrepreneurs – like Jeff Bezos, John Henry and Pierre Omidyar — are investing their own money in the industry, in some cases creating wholly new entities and in others looking to bring new life to long-standing ones. Among their best credentials – beyond deep pockets – is that they are tech industry insiders and news media outsiders. Philanthropic money has grown as well, in many cases focused on smaller outlets seeking to fill the gap in news coverage left by legacy cutbacks. As recently as March 2014, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation announced a $10 million grant to New York Public Radio to help build its digital capabilities, an expressed need among nonprofits.

The year also brought more evidence than ever that news is a part of the explosion of social media and mobile devices, and in a way that could offer opportunity to reach more people with news than ever before. Half of Facebook users get news there even though they did not go there looking for it. And the Facebook users who get news at the highest rates are 18-to-29-year-olds. The same is true for the growth area of online video. Half of those who watch some kind of online video watch news videos. Again, young people constitute the greatest portion of these viewers.

Accompanying this momentum is the question of what it adds up to within the full scope of news that consumers receive. Here the events of the last year get put in some perspective. Our first-ever accounting found roughly 5,000 full-time professional jobs at nearly 500 digital news outlets, most of which were created in the past half dozen years. But the vast majority of bodies producing original reporting still comes from the newspaper industry. But those newspaper jobs are far from secure. Full-time professional newsroom employment declined another 6.4% in 2012 with more losses expected for 2013. Gannett alone is estimated to have cut 400 newspaper jobs while the Tribune Co. announced 700 (not all of them in the newsroom).

The new money from philanthropists, venture capitalists and other individuals and non-media businesses, while promising, amounts to only a sliver of the money supporting professional journalism. Traditional advertising from print and television still accounts for more than half of the total revenue supporting news, even though print ad revenues are in rapid decline. While seeing some small gains in new revenue streams like digital subscriptions and conferences, total newspaper advertising revenue in 2013 was down 49% from 2003. (That 2013 number also includes some niche and non-daily publications.) Television ad revenue, while stable for now, faces an uncertain future as video becomes more accessible online. What’s more, most of the new revenue streams driving the momentum are not earned from the news product itself.

There were a number of other events over the last year for which the impact on citizens is mixed or unclear. Local television, which remains the primary place American adults turn to for news, saw its audience increase for the first time in five years. At the same time, though, there were fewer stations producing original news compared with 2012, primarily the result of television acquisitions that left fewer companies in control of more stations. At this point, fully a quarter of the 952 U.S. television stations that air newscasts do not produce their news programs. Additional stations have sharing arrangements where much of their content is produced outside their own newsroom. The impact on the consumer seems to vary from market to market, with some markets increasing potential reach by airing news on stations that never had it – even if that newscast is the same one that airs on another local station. In other markets the news has contracted, as news organizations have reduced staff or content production for cost efficiency.

In digital news, the overlap between public relations and news noted in last year’s State of the News Media report became even more pronounced. One of the greatest areas of revenue experimentation now involves website content that is paid for by commercial advertisers – but often written by journalists on staff – and placed on a news publishers’ page in a way that sometimes makes it indistinguishable from a news story. Following the lead of early adapters like The Atlantic and Mashable, native advertising, as it is called by the industry, caught on rapidly in 2013. The New York Times, The Washington Post and most recently The Wall Street Journal have now begun or announced plans to begin devoting staff to this kind of advertising, often as a part of a new “custom content division.” eMarketer predicts that native ads spending will reach $2.85 billion by 2014.

Many of these publishers initially expressed caution over such ads, with Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker even describing it as a “Faustian pact.” In the end, though, many publishers eventually came down with a conclusion similar to Baker’s, who said that he was “confident that our readers will appreciate what is sponsor-generated content and what is content from our global staff,” according to a statement released by The Journal. That may be the case, and it could also be the case that stories created for and paid for by advertisers do not bother consumers as long as they are a good read. At this point, though, there is little if any public data that speak to consumer response one way or the other.

And despite evidence of news consumption by Facebook users—half of whom report getting news across at least six topic areas—recent Pew Research data finds these consumers to have rather low levels of engagement with news sites. Another question looming over developments in social media is whether the self-selective process combined with algorithmic feeds are narrowing the kinds of information Americans are exposed to.

One of the biggest stories of the year, the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shined light on yet another area of challenge for journalism in the digital age: easy access to web-based content. It threatens the security of journalists’ communications and their ability to get sources to share information with them, the ultimate impact of which could be the stories that don’t get reported on and delivered to consumers.

A year ago, the State of the News Media report struck a somber note, citing evidence of continued declines in the mainstream media that were impacting both content and audience satisfaction. As indicated above and throughout this report, many of these issues still exist, some have deepened and new ones have emerged. Still, the level of new activity this past year is creating a perception that something important, perhaps even game-changing, is going on. If the developments in 2013 are at this point only a drop in the bucket, it feels like a heavier drop than most. The momentum behind them is real, if the full impact on citizens and our news system remains unclear.

This year’s Annual Report, our 11th edition, set out to examine these shifts—in revenue, in jobs, in technology, in content, in consumer behavior. It is structured a bit differently than in the past – to account for the widening of the industry, the growing influence of technology and new ways of sharing of our data. This year’s report includes four original research reports and two graphical presentations, along with key findings and a searchable database of all the statistics gathered in past years. From these reports, six major trends emerge:

1) Thirty of the largest digital-only news organizations account for about 3,000 jobs and one area of investment is global coverage. Vice Media has 35 overseas bureaus; The Huffington Post hopes to grow to 15 countries from 11 this year; BuzzFeed hired a foreign editor to oversee its expansion into places like Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo. The two-year-old business-oriented Quartz has reporters in London, Bangkok and Hong Kong, and its editorial staff speaks 19 languages. This comes amid pullbacks in global coverage form mainstream media. The amount of airtime network evening newscasts devoted to overseas reporting in 2013 was less than half of what it was in the late 1980s. International reporters working for U.S. newspaper have declined 24% from 2003 to 2010. As the new digital native outlets continue to add staff, the country may be seeing the first real build-up of international reporting in decades – save for a few start- ups like Global Post.

2) So far, the impact of new money flowing into the industry may be more about fostering new ways of reporting and reaching audience than about building a new, sustainable revenue structure. The news industry in the U.S. brings in a little over $60 billion of revenue annually, according to estimates in our report. Advertising, at least for now, accounts for roughly two-thirds of this pie, most of which remains tied to legacy forms. Audience revenue accounts for about a quarter and is growing both in total dollars and in share. But this revenue may also be coming from a smaller—or at least flat—pool of contributors. New kinds of earned revenue streams like event hosting and web consulting account for about 7%, while investment from sources such as venture capital and philanthropy amount to only about 1% of the total. One part of the equation worth exploring is what kind of savings occurs at digital news startups free of the legacy infrastructure, but taking on the newer costs of technology development and maintenance.

3) Social and mobile developments are doing more than bringing consumers into the process – they are also changing the dynamics of the process itself. New survey data released here find that half (50%) of social network users share or repost news stories, images or videos while nearly as many (46%) discuss news issues or events on social network sites. And with broader mobile adoption, citizens are playing important eyewitness roles around news events such as the Boston bombing and the Ukrainian uprising. Roughly one-in-ten social network users have posted news videos they took themselves, according to the data. And 11% of all online news consumers have submitted their own content (including videos, photos, articles or opinion pieces) to news websites or blogs. Just as powerful, though, are the shifts in how news functions in these spaces. On social sites and even many of the new digital-only sites, news is mixed in with all other kinds of content – people bump into it when they are there doing other things. This bumping into means there may be opportunity for news to reach people who might otherwise have missed it, but less of that may be in the hands of news organizations. Only about a third of people who get news on Facebook follow a news organization or individual journalist. Instead, stories get shared from friends in their networks. And few Facebook visitors, according to a separate Pew Research study of traffic to top news sites, end up also coming to a site directly. For news providers, this means that a single digital strategy – both in terms of capturing audience and building a viable revenue base – will not be enough.

4) New ways of storytelling bring both promise and challenge. One area of expansion in 2013 was online news video. Ad revenue tied to digital videos over all (no firm calculates a figure specifically for news videos) grew 44% from 2012 to 2013 and is expected to continue to increase. For now, though, its scale is still small, accounting for just 10% of all digital ad revenue in the U.S. YouTube alone already accounts for 20% of these revenues and Facebook has now entered the digital video ad market and, based on its rapid growth in display ad revenue, is expected to quickly account for a significant portion of these dollars. In terms of audience appeal, one-third of U.S. adults watch online news videos, but that growth has slowed considerably. After a 27% increase from 2007 to 2009, the next four years saw just 9% growth. Again, large distributors of video content like YouTube and Facebook already account for a hefty portion of video watching on the web. Nonetheless, some news providers are making significant investments in digital video. The Huffington Post celebrated the one year anniversary of HuffPost Live, Texas Tribune held a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the purchase of equipment to stream live video coverage of the 2014 Texas governor’s race, and the multimedia company Vice in early 2014 launched a new multimedia portal just for news stories.

5) Local television, which reaches about nine in ten U.S. adults, experienced massive change in 2013, change that stayed under the radar of most. Nearly 300 full-power local TV stations changed hands in 2013 at a price of more than $8 billion. The number of stations sold was up 205% over 2012 and the value up 367%, with big owners getting even bigger. If all the pending sales go through, Sinclair Broadcasting alone will own or provide service to 167 stations in 77 markets, reaching almost 40% of the U.S. population. Sinclair’s CEO, David Smith, at the UBS conference in December 2013 expressed an interest in growing even more: “I’d like to have 80% of the country if I could get it. I’d like to have 90%.” Much of what is driving these purchases is the growth in fees that local stations are able to charge cable companies for re-airing their content – known by the industry as retransmissions fees. Both Meredith (which owns 13 stations) and Scripps (which owns 19) said they saw their retransmission revenues roughly triple in the last three years. In terms of programming, a clear result is more stations in the same market being operated jointly and sharing more content. As of early 2014, joint service agreements exist in almost half of the 210 local TV markets nationwide, up from 55 in 2011. And fewer stations are producing their own newscasts. The ultimate impact on the consumer is complicated to assess, but the economics benefit to the owner is indisputable.

6) Dramatic changes under way in the makeup of the American population will undoubtedly have an impact on news in the U.S, and in one of the fastest growing demographic groups – Hispanics – we are already seeing shifts. The Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown 50% from 2000 to 2012–to 53 million people. Most of that growth has come from births in the U.S. rather than the arrival of new immigrants, reversing a trend from previous decades. As a result, a growing share of the Hispanic population is American-born and a growing number speak English proficiently. In response to these trends, more general-market media companies—like ABC, NBC, Fox and The Huffington Post—have started Hispanic news operations. Since 2010, six national Hispanic outlets have been launched, all of which are either owned in full or in partnership by a general-market media company. Not all of them have been successes, however. Earlier this year, NBC Latino—a website-only outlet—closed, after only 16 months, and CNN Latino, which had both a web and on-air presence, was shut down just a year after its launch. At the same time, Fusion, a joint effort by ABC and Univision, initially described the channel as aimed at Hispanic millennials but later switched to aiming it at millennials more broadly—currently the largest and most diverse generational group in the U.S. As demographic shifts within the U.S. continue, so too will their impact on the news ecosystem.

Digital Reporting And News Gathering/Dissemination

As spring knocked at the doors across United States, media executives would have recollected this Bob Dylan song from a different perspective. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its full year-2013 report on Internet Advertising Revenue
As spring knocked at the doors across United States, media executives would have recollected this Bob Dylan song from a different perspective. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released its full year-2013 report on Internet Advertising Revenue
The problem for news is the composition of the digital ad market, starting with the intensifying competition it faces from Google and other tech firms. While no separate tally breaking out the news industry’s share of digital ads exists, one daunting
The problem for news is the composition of the digital ad market, starting with the intensifying competition it faces from Google and other tech firms. While no separate tally breaking out the news industry’s share of digital ads exists, one daunting
Owned: These are the websites, corporate blogs, intranets and extranets your business has full control over. Paid: These are media properties your business “purchases” in order to drive traffic and raise awareness. Earned: Properties which drive traf
Owned: These are the websites, corporate blogs, intranets and extranets your business has full control over. Paid: These are media properties your business “purchases” in order to drive traffic and raise awareness. Earned: Properties which drive traf

Digital New-Reporting In the Viral Streaming Web Soup

We Also take a look at the Digitalizing of News And What That Means for Consumers, as written by Mark Jurkowitz..

At a time when print newsrooms continue to shed jobs, thousands of journalists are now working in the growing world of native digital news—at small non-profits like Charlottesville Tomorrow, big commercial sites like The Huffington Post and other content outlets, like BuzzFeed, that have moved into original news reporting. In a significant shift in the editorial ecosystem, most of these jobs have been created in the past half dozen years, and many have materialized within the last year alone, according to this new report on shifts in reporting power.

Since the fall of 2013, there has been a dramatic and conspicuous migration of high-profile journalists to digital news ventures. In October, Yahoo hired high-profile New York Times tech columnist David Pogue, who was followed a month later by Times political writer Matt Bai. In late October, former Times assistant managing editor Jim Roberts became chief content officer at Mashable’s growing news operation.

Also in October eBay founder Pierre Omidyar announced that his digital startup, First Look Media, would be spearheaded by the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, famed for publishing Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA documents. And BuzzFeed brought on Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Schoofs (previously at ProPublica, The Wall Street Journal and The Village Voice) to run a new investigative team. The pace picked up again in January 2014, when the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein took his Project X journalism concept (now known as Vox.com) to Vox Media. And in February, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller announced that he would become editor of The Marshall Project, a new nonprofit focusing on criminal justice issues.

All this movement is merely the tip of the iceberg for a digital native news universe that includes not only dozens of highly publicized national and international organizations, but also hundreds of smaller digital news entities, mainly filling targeted news niches. And it is occurring at a time when print newsrooms continue to shed jobs and when local television news jobs, while holding steady, often are being stretched thinner to produce more content than in the past.

The Pew Research Center made a first effort to put a number on the shifting journalism landscape by using interviews and multiple data bases to account for editorial staffing at 30 major digital news organizations and 438 smaller ones. Those 468 outlets—the vast majority of which started in the past decade—have produced almost 5,000 full-time editorial jobs.1 While that does not represent a complete census of a digital news world, it is a robust a sample as may be possible from a variety of credible sources.

Still, purely in terms of bodies, the growth in new digital full-time journalism jobs seems to have compensated for only a modest percentage of the lost legacy jobs in newspaper newsrooms alone in the past decade. From 2003 to 2012, the American Society of News Editors documented a loss of 16,200 full-time newspaper newsroom jobs while Ad Age recorded a decline of 38,000 magazine jobs, which includes all jobs for the entire consumer magazine sector. Such job cuts continued in 2013 and early 2014—at such big organizations as the Tribune Co. and Time Inc.

The accelerating shift of talent to digital news jobs has significant implications for the U.S. news consumer. Many digital outlets are working to fill reporting gaps created by the strain on resources at traditional outlets—from niche topic areas like education to international coverage to local community news to investigative journalism. One of the larger cohorts—the digital investigative outlets—ranges from the Pulitzer Prize winning ProPublica to the 73 digital news operations in the five-year-old nonprofit Investigative News Network.

Other digital news producers, especially those that have emerged most recently at the national level, are aimed at cultivating new forms of storytelling—from video to crowdsourcing to new documentary styles—and new ways to connect with audiences, often younger ones. A number of legacy outlets are also experimenting with new storytelling and data visualization techniques. But much of the innovation is coming from the digital native sector, with many outlets focused on hiring people with skills and voices “being nurtured online,” as one editor put it.

Some of this coverage, particularly at the local level, can be inexpensive to produce and can require only modest resources. But the question of whether digital news outlets can ultimately replenish the loss of legacy jobs and reporting resources hinges on creating the kind of successful business model or models that have proved elusive. Many native digital outlets are still unprofitable and there is a finite supply of billionaires willing to spend $250 million on a startup. Most analysts say this growing investment in digital news does not mean the industry has figured out a consistent formula for monetizing that news.

Yet even with concerns about the bottom line, many see the rise of digital newsrooms as a significant moment in a transforming media landscape. Not long ago, BuzzFeed content was viewed by some as frivolous click bait. But in a recent speech to Kansas University journalism students, former Wall Street managing editor Paul Steiger mentioned BuzzFeed as “the kind of team I’d want to join,” if he were embarking on a journalism career. Many mainstream journalists may not have even heard of Vox Media before Klein’s Project X alighted there. But when news surfaced last month about 500 across-the-board job cuts at the Time Inc. magazine empire, Slate’s Dave Weigel tweeted, perhaps only half-jokingly: “500 more applications for Vox.”

“This represents something completely new in the journalism ecosystem,” says First Look Media executive editor Eric Bates, who went there in November after a decade at Rolling Stone magazine. “It’s a shifting not only of editorial resources, but a shifting of editorial expertise.”

The data Pew Research used to track the shifting job market in news came from several sources. The staffing data for the 30 larger native digital organizations came primarily from interviews—conducted both via phone and email—with representatives of 28 of the 30 organizations. The staffing information for the remaining two outlets came from media accounts. The staffing data from the universe of smaller sites was derived by merging five lists totaling more than 500 digital news organizations.

That figure that was whittled down to 438 when duplicate outlets and sites that were not applicable or about which little data could be found were discarded. The staff numbers for the individual sites came from survey results, information collected by those compiling the lists and staffing levels listed on outlet websites. The job numbers from legacy media outlets came from data compiled by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Ad Age, the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University and Pew Research data.

Among the findings in the study:

At some of the digital natives, the rate of hiring has been explosive. Two years ago, BuzzFeed had about a half dozen editorial employees. Now it has at least 170.2 Three years ago, Bleacher Report had no paid writers; now there are about 50. The rapidly expanding global Vice Media operation has already hired 48 more staffers in the U.S. this year alone. Henry Blodget has plans to increase the Business Insider editorial staff of 70 by 33% this year. And startups like First Look Media, Project X and the new FiveThirtyEight blog have thus far hired a total of about 60 editorial staffers in the last few months.
Many of the native digital news organizations are small, nonprofit and young. Of the 438 smaller sites examined, more than half (241) have three full-time staffers or less. It is also clear that the nonprofit business model is an attractive option for many of these outlets. In our sample, slightly more than half of the 402 organizations where we could identify a business status were nonprofits (204.) And many of them are very new. Nearly 30% (120) of the smaller outlets for which we have starting dates have come into existence since 2010. Fully 85% were started since 2005.
Many of the smaller digital organizations focus on filling reporting gaps in local news and investigative journalism. Among the smaller organizations studied, more than half (231) identify themselves as primarily local or hyperlocal outlets—often covering events at the neighborhood level. Nearly four dozen (45) identify themselves as investigative in nature. In addition, several of the largest nonprofits—ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting—produce investigative journalism, often in collaboration with legacy news organizations.
Among the larger digital outlets, a number are investing substantially in global coverage. The editorial focus of the 30 larger sites ranges from sports (Bleacher Report) to tech (Re/Code) to investigative (ProPublica.) But some of the general interest outlets are expanding overseas in a significant way: The Huffington Post wants to grow its reach to 15 countries from 11 this year; Vice has 35 overseas bureaus; BuzzFeed hired a foreign editor to oversee its expansion into such places as Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin and Tokyo. The two-year old business-oriented Quartz has reporters in London, Bangkok and Hong Kong and its editorial staff speaks 19 languages.
Digital news organizations are hiring a mix of legacy and non-legacy journalists, with a clear emphasis on new storytelling skills. One area where legacy skills are in demand is investigative work. The Investigative News Network estimates that at least 80% of the journalists working at its 92 outlets are from legacy jobs. At ProPublica, 25 of its 41 staffers are legacy transfers. But increasingly, editors of digital natives say they are hiring younger staffers with better digital instincts and skills. “The training of traditional journalism is not perfectly suited to what digital audiences are looking to read,” says Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney.
The loss of legacy media jobs in recent years has been concentrated in the print sector. The American Society of Newspaper Editors counted 38,000 full-time newsroom jobs in 2012, down from more than 54,000 a decade earlier. And in 2013, there were hundreds of new layoffs at such companies as Gannett and Tribune. The Ad Age Data Bank, which tracks all magazine industry jobs, said 26% of magazine jobs were lost in the past decade. That does not include more recent layoffs such as the 500 overall Time Inc. cuts recently announced as part of a corporate restructuring.
For all the expansion, it is far from clear there is a digital news business model to sustain these outlets. First Look Media founder and funder Pierre Omidyar has acknowledged that solvency is at least five years away. The Huffington Post has 575 editorial employees, but is still only “flirting with profitability” according to analyst Ken Doctor. Global Post, which recently signed NBC as a content partner, has never operated in the black. Asked if the explosion of hiring suggests that digital news has figured out a successful business model to sustain those jobs, one veteran industry observer responded simply: “No. That’s the irony.”

Image of Facebook - As In Facing One Another On the Viral soup...

Some Notes On Facebook today..

It’s interesting reading the many discussions on what Facebook will be in 2014. The social network has become an integral part of people’s lives, personal and business, and the latest changes to its NewsFeed, filter algorithms and advertising models have many nervous about what to expect. It’s hard to say whether the changes will have a positive or negative effect on the user experience – which is what the company is touting as the main focus of their changes – though it is clear that Facebook is riding a very fine line between necessary profit growth and ongoing user demand. Here are a few of the major changes and their potential impacts:

1. The addition of play-now video ads in your NewsFeed. This one is being flagged as a major concern from regular, non-business users. The addition of play-now video ads has already begun, with a number of users now seeing these come up. You scroll past them and they mute out and you can go on with what you’re doing, but the potential annoyance factor is high. Annoying enough to turn users away from Facebook? Not likely, but definitely one which would seem to have more impact on the user experience than benefit. This addition opens up a whole new revenue stream for Facebook, so it makes perfect sense that they would be going down this path, but it could be the beginning of the end, depending on how it’s adopted. Possibly.

2. Changes to the NewsFeed algorithms to improve ‘quality’ of user experience. This has been an extremely contentious issue, though one not all regular users are fully aware of. Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm weights the relevance of all updates that appear in people’s NewsFeeds. This may mean that status update you just posted will not be seen by all your friends, which somewhat goes against the ethos of Facebook in the first place (though the impacts of updates from ‘Friends’ is relatively minimal). Facebook has expressed its intention to create an online newspaper type feel to the site, with the content tailored to you, but a part of that is the addition of, effectively, an editorial process and the rules governing what appears and what does not are tricky. The underlying motivation is that Facebook wants to push businesses towards paying to reach their followers and fans by diluting their ability to connect to those who’ve ‘Liked’ their brand-page organically. This is likely to become more prevalent in 2014, which will drive more businesses to funnel users towards their own websites and away from Facebook. The impact of this is impossible to determine, but it really highlights that fine line Facebook is tip-toeing.

3. The focus on targeted advertising. As with the changes to the NewsFeed, Facebook is hoping more users will interact more with ads to give them more data on what they want, enabling them to improve their individual experience by ensuring the ads they see are of relevance to them. The problem is, most regular users don’t see Facebook as an advertising medium - they want to connect with their friends, not be confronted with sales pitches. Advertising is a necessary part of the business, and as Facebook grows, so does the impetus for increased revenue generation. The underlying idea of targeted ads makes sense, that Facebook wants to ensure they’re not spamming users with stuff their not interested in, but the practical roll-out of this model is problematic. The other potential impact is for small businesses – Facebook has announced that it will focus on small business advertising to capitalise on the millions of small business pages it’s currently hosting – which they, of course, need to do, but as they push towards a paid advertising model, how will those small businesses compete against bigger players for space? And if all of them want to pay for targeted ads, will there be enough room for users to share content with their friends?

No doubt Facebook has some of the answers to these questions, while others will be causing the executives headaches every day. It would seem way too early to be predicting the demise of the largest social network in the world, but some have suggested the writing is on the wall. While the changes will introduce a raft of new challenges for business, they also bring new opportunities which, if utilised well, will remain a key part of any brand strategy. But they also highlight the need to remain active on other social networks and monitor the progress of user migrations, staying in touch with more audience share whilst also leveraging against potential fall-out from ongoing Facebook updates.

... And Down Goes Facebook!

Facebook Down!! Since January 9th 2015 to January 27th 2015

Today, arond 7 am Sout h African time, my Facebook Went Down. I went to Google to check. I typed: What's Wrong With Facebook today? Meaning on the 27th of January 2015. I managed to get into a site called 'down detector.com'(!) On this sitem they had some graphics which showed a section called "Problems at Facebook: Facebook Problems Last 24 hours. the grph psted there showed a sharp spike of Facebook problems from zero to up 10,392-next to it they had an 'outage map' which was showing the red and yellow outages on a world google map and more focus waas on North America, Europe and West Asia, along with Australia.

Up to the point of the outage, I was just posting some music and replying on some posts, and Bang! the Facebook was gone and a message to the effect that:

"Sorry, something Went Wrong. We're Working On It And we'll Get Fixed As Soon As we can."

Then thee was a button where I was to click to go back to whence I came from prior to seeing this message. With that, there was another button for "Help Center", which too was rendered hopeless and was not working.

Thenn there was another catergory on 'dwondetector.com(!) which had a 'thumbs Down sign: "I have a Problem With Facebook"

"Most Reported Problems:

  • Total Blackout (47%)
  • Log In (41%)
  • Games>apps (27%)
  • Then thes messae was posted:
  • 27th January: Problems At Facebook
  • "Facebook is having issues since 12:10 AM EST. Are You Also Affected? Leave a message in the comments.
  • Scrolling down, I came across all the affected users who were clearly traumatized from the absence of Facebook


More Details On today's [Facebook] Outage

Robert Johnson writes:

Early today Facebook was down or unreachable for many of you for approximately 2.5 hours. This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it. We also wanted to provide much more technical detail on what happened and share one big lesson learned.

The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition. An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.

The intent of the automated system is to check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values from the persistent store. This works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid.

Today we made a change to the persistent copy of a configuration value that was interpreted as invalid. This meant that every single client saw the invalid value and attempted to fix it. Because the fix involves making a query to a cluster of databases, that cluster was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of queries a second.

To make matters worse, every time a client got an error attempting to query one of the databases it interpreted it as an invalid value, and deleted the corresponding cache key. This meant that even after the original problem had been fixed, the stream of queries continued. As long as the databases failed to service some of the requests, they were causing even more requests to themselves. We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover.

The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful - we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site. Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site.

This got the site back up and running today, and for now we’ve turned off the system that attempts to correct configuration values. We’re exploring new designs for this configuration system following design patterns of other systems at Facebook that deal more gracefully with feedback loops and transient spikes.

We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously.

FAcebook Went Down For Just A While: This is what I captured Below..

Early today Facebook was down or unreachable for many of you for approximately 2.5 hours. This is the worst outage we’ve had in over four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it. We also wanted to provide much more technical detail on what happened and share one big lesson learned.

The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition. An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed.

The intent of the automated system is to check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values from the persistent store. This works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid.

Today we made a change to the persistent copy of a configuration value that was interpreted as invalid. This meant that every single client saw the invalid value and attempted to fix it. Because the fix involves making a query to a cluster of databases, that cluster was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of queries a second.

To make matters worse, every time a client got an error attempting to query one of the databases it interpreted it as an invalid value, and deleted the corresponding cache key. This meant that even after the original problem had been fixed, the stream of queries continued. As long as the databases failed to service some of the requests, they were causing even more requests to themselves. We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover.

The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful - we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site. Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site.

This got the site back up and running today, and for now we’ve turned off the system that attempts to correct configuration values. We’re exploring new designs for this configuration system following design patterns of other systems at Facebook that deal more gracefully with feedback loops and transient spikes.

We apologize again for the site outage, and we want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously.
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Qadriyah Sufi: STILL NOT WORKING says " this page cannot be loaded fight now. try again.

Gail Gurchak: 11pm 1/9 still won't load

Donna Hayes: Facebook not working.

Pamela Coleburn: Still not working for me.

Al DiRaffaele: Facebook is a mess for a few days now... Flickering and now not responding at all...


Amy Hall Haines: My fb is working again since last night . Why does it keep doing this? Please fix

Rissa Haze: if its not working then how are use commenting on this haha
wtf

Jane Tumminelli: This is Google not FB. Anyway. I can't get ANYTHING on FB

Suki Mill: My FB had loading issues. Now it is on "super maginification" and not loading properly which has rendered it completely useless. I hope they fix this because it is bad. Really bad.

Wendy Lawson: Is Facebook down atm

Mac Macdonald: 1535 here in England Facebook is still down!

Kammy Scott: Still not working..

Caroline Ashcroft: That' great, but it still doesn't work. Any other thoughts?

Pam Winston: Still down in illinois

Bob Little: Still down south west Florida

Robin Kerei: Will I've been of fb since this afternoon and still of now I don't want to receive notification thru SMS because
I dont know how to get sms

Peggy Riggs: Seriously no back up plan?

Tammy Crawford-Staffon: this happens everyday.Just figure it out and fix it.

Gail Fredlund: Down all day on my cell phone & still down.

Joseph Turner: Wow, people sure get upset over a free service going down for a while. Or are they mad that they had to participate in real life for a few hours?

Shirley Gilliam: This is 4 days fb is down.
Please get it back up

Darren Mullin: Whats going on with Facebook today

Susan Irvin: Still can't access Facebook from my iPhone 6 app.

Liz Watson: My Facebook still down. Frustrating....

Keith Piper: Still got problems with my main account. SORT IT OUT FACEBOOK!!

Barbara Tindall: Mine has been down for 2 days. What the heck.and these guys get paid the big bucks . Go figure!

Aya Newton-Turner: My timeline is gone - been down all day. I can see messages and that people are leaving comments but I have nothing but a blank page and if I click on the comment to read it, it goes to a blank page. BOO!

Tapas Mishra: awesome explanation

Angela Ceron: what the matter with fb today

Dianne Williams: Face book not working

Belinda Zamarripa: What is going on with Facebook??? Cannot log in. Keeps saying server timed out.

Linda Howard well its 27th jan here and F/book is Down Again. NOT good enough !!!!

Ellen Agnew: this sucks, fb down in Victoria, Australia. Really needed a bleat, but can't

Linda Howard Some one has Stuffed Up Something !!
32 mins · Like

Anca Teo: in Italy the same problem....

Debbie Cochran: 9:15 pm Hawaii ... not loading

Daniella Lodewyks: Facebook is down why?

Kartina Ashe: Facebook is down everywhere! The whole world is experiencing this.

Tiffney LaShae Workman Its down in Tennessee too

Tiffney LaShae: Workman WTF!!!

Fiona Osoba: What a way to get back into facebook! What Happened???

Joe Ayers" It's up in Ohio now

Djny: up

Mahender Singh: working in my city


Jhanz Pacis Selvio: i cant live without facebook

Tobias Hartman How have people been able to comment her if facebook was down. Some say this concersation has initially been had over google... I don't believe facebook would ever allow that to happen... besides it seems like a technical impossibility to then quitly move the thread back to facebook... Can anybody add something here?

Mike Wheeler blame russians lol

Marissa Diamond Engage in life for anew hour or two, people..... relax. It's just an app, not the end of the world. Gee

Ixwa: It's inteesting to see how we are all addicted, and I wrote a Blog on 'Facebook Addiction", and this is going to add to the relevance and correctness of my Blog.. Especially the comments of the Users.. This is Priceless, for me...


Ixwa: Oh! Facebook is back.. Can you Beat that.. Shit.. I have a lot of material to work with to edify my blog ... Yeahhh!!!!
1 min · Like

FAcebook Temporarily Down

Facebook Was Not Down.. So Say The Propaganda Spinners Of Facebbok

I noticed that the Failure Of Facebook on the 24th was denied by Facebook, and this somewhat had me concerned. I had managed to save some of the comments made by the users of Facebook who were sriting in their Tweeter Accounts very much taken-aback-to say the least, by their finding out that Facebook was down. I was also affected by this Facebook failure. But I am taking ubrage with the fact that Facebook is denying that this ever took place,and never happened. Well, I was affected to the extend when I tried to log in on my Facebok Timeline, after what I posted had frozen, caused me to refresh, when I got the message that: "Something went wrong. We are fixing it". Hmm, I aped Arsenio Hall.. I went into Google, and Typed In What's Wrong With Facebook.

.. These are some of the Tweeter posted on the Webssite called "down detector.com:

Facebook User's Comments:

@kumasan1969 @alsantaniello it seems that facebook id down at the moment.
2015-01-27 01:31:23

@claribabes anyone else here who checked on twitter to see if facebook is really down?
2015-01-27 01:31:21

@courtnaecollins why is facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:31:20

@VacuumGupta yeahh.... here too. "@matthewkeyslive: is facebook down for everyone else or just me?"
2015-01-27 01:31:13

@Mhongell is facebook and messenger not working or what? i'm about to throw my phone at the wall if i have to watch it load anymore
2015-01-27 01:31:08

@mscaitlinjones why tf is facebook not working on my laptop, phone and every other device in my house. i have shit to do
2015-01-27 01:31:08

@azmainsyed okay so facebook and instagram are down i thought it was my internet down
2015-01-27 01:31:03

@bblsepulveda is anybody else's instagram or facebook not working?
2015-01-27 01:30:38

@sorryimacassidy why the hell is facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:30:27

@revisualize do not call 911! facebook is just down. do not worry they'll fix it. i repeat do not need to call 911 because you cannot get on facebook.
2015-01-27 01:30:18

@MyLifeOnMatch insta is down. i repeat insta is down! rt @buzzfeed: facebook and instagram appear to be down. let us all pray.
2015-01-27 01:29:25

@nkcxx_ instagram and facebook are not working rn.
2015-01-27 01:29:25

@danny24680 anyone facing problem can't get on to facebook web?
2015-01-27 01:29:20

@piperlynn93 is facebook not working for anyone else ? or is it just me
2015-01-27 01:29:10

@smarthall @zacdavies lots of sites that pull data from facebook (like tinder) may also go down if they haven't isolated the code properly.
2015-01-27 01:28:56

@_alyssamaras why is my facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:26:24

@titansfan7997 #facebook not working any news? @facebook
2015-01-27 01:26:09

@JustinMendoza i'm noticing facebook is not working.
2015-01-27 01:26:04

@evilZardoz appears that facebook and instagram are being hit by some big outage right now. everybody to twitter!
2015-01-27 01:26:01

@Adriianperez man down, i repeat man down, #facebook is down... only jesus can help us.
2015-01-27 01:26:00

@josh_dh is facebook down to anyone
2015-01-27 01:25:43

@SheCountsBands @facebook ummm why my facebook not working!!
2015-01-27 01:28:08

@FatAlanOfficial #facebookdown #fbdown so it appears facebook is down, twitter servers be prepared :d
2015-01-27 01:28:05

@blouregalado is it just me or facebook is really not working right now?
2015-01-27 01:28:03

@ILikeKelseyToo is anyone else's facebook down? did it crash or what? #facebook
2015-01-27 01:27:59

@Aggronize anyone else's facebook not working at the moment?
2015-01-27 01:27:54

@RKaedB mayday mayday facebook and instagram are down, i repeat facebook and instagram are down.
2015-01-27 01:27:45

@rbrtblkgrgry why is facebook not working? i'm just tryna message @survivalistxiii back
2015-01-27 01:27:38

@TherealJurtl3 @comedycentral .. is anybody else's facebook down, too?
2015-01-27 01:27:36

@Rajendra9Prasad @axnindia @axnindia #contes #topchefwithaxn where sudden facebook link t &c are mentioned not working
2015-01-27 01:27:31

@omariallen_ thank you jesus that is all. i thought my internet was out. omg.
2015-01-27 01:27:31

@ACallis90 when twitter confirms that it's not only my insta and facebook that isn't working.
2015-01-27 01:27:25

@yamshot cant log in in facebook f*ck !
2015-01-27 01:27:23

@soltran facebook is still down. looks like facebook connect doesn't work either. uh-oh if you are a website dependent on it. #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:27:13

@ellaissaiki instagram and facebook down..anyone else? #instagramdown
2015-01-27 01:27:11

@DavidProv i think facebook just died...only site not working.
2015-01-27 01:27:00

@G4Billy anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:59

@willendler1993 is facebook down or something none of my facebooks will load up at all even on firefox chrome and ie
2015-01-27 01:26:56

@isatishyadav currently @facebook is not working....
2015-01-27 01:26:56

@amysposito oh darn facebook is down how will anyone survive.....
2015-01-27 01:26:46

@RadicalxEdward is @facebook down for anyone else? seems to be down here in chicopee using charter.
2015-01-27 01:26:45

@UmarKuddus is anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:43

@LostGirl260 @facebook is there an outage?
2015-01-27 01:26:42

@IslandOfDan @instagram any update on the outage? appears facebook is down too.
2015-01-27 01:26:41

@Suno1024 the #facebook server seems to be down. ah, the world can now get back to work or twitter.
2015-01-27 01:26:29

@_alyssamaras why is my facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:26:24

@titansfan7997 #facebook not working any news? @facebook
2015-01-27 01:26:09

@JustinMendoza i'm noticing facebook is not working.
2015-01-27 01:26:04

@evilZardoz appears that facebook and instagram are being hit by some big outage right now. everybody to twitter!
2015-01-27 01:26:01

@Adriianperez man down, i repeat man down, #facebook is down... only jesus can help us.
2015-01-27 01:26:00

@josh_dh is facebook down to anyone
2015-01-27 01:25:43

@StandWithUs how many more tweets are being fired off right now due to the facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:42

@LostGirl260 is there a facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:35

@Scott__Cody sooo instagram and facebook just quit working for me....anyone else having this problem?
2015-01-27 01:25:32

@Carib101 @facebook and @instagram are both currently down
2015-01-27 01:25:28

@taylorgipple instagram and facebook are down. the blizzard is working!
2015-01-27 01:25:25

@KingNessax okay so facebook getting on my nerves not working and shit
2015-01-27 01:25:17

@Jashateyou is facebook not working for anyone else rn?
2015-01-27 01:25:11

@Kishnani_T @yourstoryco facebook is down, experiencing problems myself
2015-01-27 01:25:08

@RadicalxEdward is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:25:05

@Barnababe2010 both of those apps are @facebook apps though. getting revenge for earlier, huh? "oh we don't work do we? we'll show you... by not working."
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@EdNieto05 oh the humanity! #facebookdown appears to be down! #facebook not working! what will we do?
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@RKauff7777 yep!! rt @edmmaniac anyone else go to twitter to check to see if facebook is down? #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:49

@melissawiebe #facebook down for anybody else?
2015-01-27 01:24:48

@afcantelmi coincidence that @instagram and @facebook serves are down at the same time??? #illuminati #conspiracy
2015-01-27 01:24:47

@Miss_Mousie wow, what is happening?! instagram goes down & then facebook won't work either!
2015-01-27 01:24:46

@ShutUpStupidMTL oh oh! facebook not working. let the panic begin.
2015-01-27 01:24:44

@KateCanDoStuff it's so confusing when facebook goes down and i realize this isn't just another moment to be arbitrarily angry with comcast.
2015-01-27 01:24:39

@urbanbabymag is anyone else having issues login into facebook #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:38

@anshelsag #facebook is down, i repeat facebook is down. $fb #fb
2015-01-27 01:24:34

@khaled_mhmd my facebook and instagram are down ..anyone else?!!
2015-01-27 01:24:30

@ACallis90 when twitter confirms that it's not only my insta and facebook that isn't working.
2015-01-27 01:27:25

@yamshot cant log in in facebook f*ck !
2015-01-27 01:27:23

@soltran facebook is still down. looks like facebook connect doesn't work either. uh-oh if you are a website dependent on it. #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:27:13

@ellaissaiki instagram and facebook down..anyone else? #instagramdown
2015-01-27 01:27:11

@DavidProv i think facebook just died...only site not working.
2015-01-27 01:27:00

@G4Billy anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:59

@willendler1993 is facebook down or something none of my facebooks will load up at all even on firefox chrome and ie
2015-01-27 01:26:56

@isatishyadav currently @facebook is not working....
2015-01-27 01:26:56

@amysposito oh darn facebook is down how will anyone survive.....
2015-01-27 01:26:46

@RadicalxEdward is @facebook down for anyone else? seems to be down here in chicopee using charter.
2015-01-27 01:26:45

@UmarKuddus is anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:43

@LostGirl260 @facebook is there an outage?
2015-01-27 01:26:42

@IslandOfDan @instagram any update on the outage? appears facebook is down too.
2015-01-27 01:26:41

@Suno1024 the #facebook server seems to be down. ah, the world can now get back to work or twitter.
2015-01-27 01:26:29

@_alyssamaras why is my facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:26:24

@titansfan7997 #facebook not working any news? @facebook
2015-01-27 01:26:09

@JustinMendoza i'm noticing facebook is not working.
2015-01-27 01:26:04

@evilZardoz appears that facebook and instagram are being hit by some big outage right now. everybody to twitter!
2015-01-27 01:26:01

@Adriianperez man down, i repeat man down, #facebook is down... only jesus can help us.
2015-01-27 01:26:00

@josh_dh is facebook down to anyone
2015-01-27 01:25:43

@StandWithUs how many more tweets are being fired off right now due to the facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:42

@LostGirl260 is there a facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:35

@Scott__Cody sooo instagram and facebook just quit working for me....anyone else having this problem?
2015-01-27 01:25:32

@Carib101 @facebook and @instagram are both currently down
2015-01-27 01:25:28

@taylorgipple instagram and facebook are down. the blizzard is working!
2015-01-27 01:25:25

@KingNessax okay so facebook getting on my nerves not working and shit
2015-01-27 01:25:17

@Jashateyou is facebook not working for anyone else rn?
2015-01-27 01:25:11

@Kishnani_T @yourstoryco facebook is down, experiencing problems myself
2015-01-27 01:25:08

@RadicalxEdward is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:25:05

@Barnababe2010 both of those apps are @facebook apps though. getting revenge for earlier, huh? "oh we don't work do we? we'll show you... by not working."
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@EdNieto05 oh the humanity! #facebookdown appears to be down! #facebook not working! what will we do?
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@RKauff7777 yep!! rt @edmmaniac anyone else go to twitter to check to see if facebook is down? #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:49

@melissawiebe #facebook down for anybody else?
2015-01-27 01:24:48

@afcantelmi coincidence that @instagram and @facebook serves are down at the same time??? #illuminati #conspiracy
2015-01-27 01:24:47

@Miss_Mousie wow, what is happening?! instagram goes down & then facebook won't work either!
2015-01-27 01:24:46

@ShutUpStupidMTL oh oh! facebook not working. let the panic begin.
2015-01-27 01:24:44

@KateCanDoStuff it's so confusing when facebook goes down and i realize this isn't just another moment to be arbitrarily angry with comcast.
2015-01-27 01:24:39

@urbanbabymag is anyone else having issues login into facebook #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:38

@anshelsag #facebook is down, i repeat facebook is down. $fb #fb
2015-01-27 01:24:34

@khaled_mhmd my facebook and instagram are down ..anyone else?!!
2015-01-27 01:24:30

@VinLew yus, facebook being down isn't (apparently) my fault for once.
2015-01-27 01:24:27

@Dead_Evangelion so both my facebook and instagram are.not working! #bullshit
2015-01-27 01:24:22

@mrurbanstar must be the end of the world... facebook down, i repeat, facebook down!!!!
2015-01-27 01:24:20

@PevelyPress #facebook is currently down.
2015-01-27 01:24:12

@ErikaEadness not sure if facebook isn't working or my app is being dumb.
2015-01-27 01:24:11

@AlpsRoads the #facebook outage is clearly a north korean act of war. time to invade.
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Dammerung2012 @facebook your shit is broken! site down!
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Van_Alethea is facebook website down? i can't get online
2015-01-27 01:23:56

@nictooradd my twitter is working, but not my instagram or facebook
2015-01-27 01:23:50

@Malaysia_Latest themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:23:47

@jmcambo is @facebook down for anyone else? #snowmageddon2015 has frozen the servers
2015-01-27 01:23:44

@DlSTRESSEDGHOST i can't log into my spotify bc facebook is down sigh
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@dontran95 anyone elses facebook not working?
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@JulieKirkman damn, facebook is down both on my computer and phone. what am i supposed to do with myself now?
2015-01-27 01:23:37

@shanerzz thought it was just mine
2015-01-27 01:23:34

@xxxconstantiny1 anyone got facebook loading problems?
2015-01-27 01:23:30

@maxomai who else is facebook broken for?
2015-01-27 01:23:22

@MattAlkire dear @markzuckerbergf ... facebook is down. did eduardo freeze the account again? twitter is working fine. thanks.
2015-01-27 01:23:21

@LordBlizzard facebook is down. i repeat: #facebook is #down.
2015-01-27 01:22:59

@mariamheartsyou is facebook like not working tonight or
2015-01-27 01:22:58

@UmarKuddus is anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:43

@LostGirl260 @facebook is there an outage?
2015-01-27 01:26:42

@IslandOfDan @instagram any update on the outage? appears facebook is down too.
2015-01-27 01:26:41

@Suno1024 the #facebook server seems to be down. ah, the world can now get back to work or twitter.
2015-01-27 01:26:29

@_alyssamaras why is my facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:26:24

@titansfan7997 #facebook not working any news? @facebook
2015-01-27 01:26:09

@JustinMendoza i'm noticing facebook is not working.
2015-01-27 01:26:04

@evilZardoz appears that facebook and instagram are being hit by some big outage right now. everybody to twitter!
2015-01-27 01:26:01

@Adriianperez man down, i repeat man down, #facebook is down... only jesus can help us.
2015-01-27 01:26:00

@josh_dh is facebook down to anyone
2015-01-27 01:25:43

@StandWithUs how many more tweets are being fired off right now due to the facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:42

@LostGirl260 is there a facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:35

@Scott__Cody sooo instagram and facebook just quit working for me....anyone else having this problem?
2015-01-27 01:25:32

@Carib101 @facebook and @instagram are both currently down
2015-01-27 01:25:28

@taylorgipple instagram and facebook are down. the blizzard is working!
2015-01-27 01:25:25

@KingNessax okay so facebook getting on my nerves not working and shit
2015-01-27 01:25:17

@Jashateyou is facebook not working for anyone else rn?
2015-01-27 01:25:11

@Kishnani_T @yourstoryco facebook is down, experiencing problems myself
2015-01-27 01:25:08

@RadicalxEdward is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:25:05

@Barnababe2010 both of those apps are @facebook apps though. getting revenge for earlier, huh? "oh we don't work do we? we'll show you... by not working."
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@EdNieto05 oh the humanity! #facebookdown appears to be down! #facebook not working! what will we do?
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@RKauff7777 yep!! rt @edmmaniac anyone else go to twitter to check to see if facebook is down? #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:49

@melissawiebe #facebook down for anybody else?
2015-01-27 01:24:48

@afcantelmi coincidence that @instagram and @facebook serves are down at the same time??? #illuminati #conspiracy
2015-01-27 01:24:47

@Miss_Mousie wow, what is happening?! instagram goes down & then facebook won't work either!
2015-01-27 01:24:46

@ShutUpStupidMTL oh oh! facebook not working. let the panic begin.
2015-01-27 01:24:44

@KateCanDoStuff it's so confusing when facebook goes down and i realize this isn't just another moment to be arbitrarily angry with comcast.
2015-01-27 01:24:39

@urbanbabymag is anyone else having issues login into facebook #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:38

@anshelsag #facebook is down, i repeat facebook is down. $fb #fb
2015-01-27 01:24:34

@khaled_mhmd my facebook and instagram are down ..anyone else?!!
2015-01-27 01:24:30

@VinLew yus, facebook being down isn't (apparently) my fault for once.
2015-01-27 01:24:27

@Dead_Evangelion so both my facebook and instagram are.not working! #bullshit
2015-01-27 01:24:22

@mrurbanstar must be the end of the world... facebook down, i repeat, facebook down!!!!
2015-01-27 01:24:20

@PevelyPress #facebook is currently down.
2015-01-27 01:24:12

@ErikaEadness not sure if facebook isn't working or my app is being dumb.
2015-01-27 01:24:11

@AlpsRoads the #facebook outage is clearly a north korean act of war. time to invade.
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Dammerung2012 @facebook your shit is broken! site down!
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Van_Alethea is facebook website down? i can't get online
2015-01-27 01:23:56

@nictooradd my twitter is working, but not my instagram or facebook
2015-01-27 01:23:50

@Malaysia_Latest themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:23:47

@jmcambo is @facebook down for anyone else? #snowmageddon2015 has frozen the servers
2015-01-27 01:23:44

@DlSTRESSEDGHOST i can't log into my spotify bc facebook is down sigh
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@dontran95 anyone elses facebook not working?
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@JulieKirkman damn, facebook is down both on my computer and phone. what am i supposed to do with myself now?
2015-01-27 01:23:37

@shanerzz thought it was just mine
2015-01-27 01:23:34

@xxxconstantiny1 anyone got facebook loading problems?
2015-01-27 01:23:30

@maxomai who else is facebook broken for?
2015-01-27 01:23:22

@MattAlkire dear @markzuckerbergf ... facebook is down. did eduardo freeze the account again? twitter is working fine. thanks.
2015-01-27 01:23:21

@LordBlizzard facebook is down. i repeat: #facebook is #down.
2015-01-27 01:22:59

@mariamheartsyou is facebook like not working tonight or
2015-01-27 01:22:58

@jennywhiting #facebook -- cannot connect to facebook -- is it down?
2015-01-27 01:22:57

@ThermosphereLoL um is facebook down for anybody else...?
2015-01-27 01:22:53

@vampire_Dawson @dillywalters @facebook ugh.... i thought my wifi was not working. i was about to cry. i can't live without my wifi
2015-01-27 01:22:44

@Jenntality is #facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:22:37

@kronSAYS why facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:22:37

@sevan is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:22:34

@pulsefeedz no, it's not just you. #facebook and #instagram are currently down.
2015-01-27 01:22:31

@JudithDahmen is facebook broken at anybody else's computer as well? :) i can't open facebook with any browser this morning...
2015-01-27 01:22:28

@chrome_dog looks like facebook is down? anyone else having issues?
2015-01-27 01:22:14

@EvanFeeLickz is anyone else's facebook and instagram not working?
2015-01-27 01:22:12

@joinmyprograms is facebook down? anyone has the same problem?
2015-01-27 01:22:08

@TheyCallMeDTO omg facebook is offline... now what is everyone supposed to do?
2015-01-27 01:22:07

@MonicaOP @facebook hi, any reason why fb is down? so totally not working :(
2015-01-27 01:22:04

@LiveLoveBryanna instagram & facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:21:57

@clickthebunny #instagram and #facebook are down, are you guys using the same servers?
2015-01-27 01:21:37

@mandaakh @facebook server is down ?
2015-01-27 01:21:33

@hkityen yes. rt @themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:21:23

@BettinaaKim right. #facebook & #instagram is not working.
2015-01-27 01:21:20

@sweetMarieLove7 is #facebook down? i can't access facebook or the messenger. who broke facebook? how will we ever live???
2015-01-27 01:21:19

@MjolnirMK86 is facebook down for anyone else??
2015-01-27 01:21:18

@ellaissaiki instagram and facebook down..anyone else? #instagramdown
2015-01-27 01:27:11

@DavidProv i think facebook just died...only site not working.
2015-01-27 01:27:00

@G4Billy anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:59

@willendler1993 is facebook down or something none of my facebooks will load up at all even on firefox chrome and ie
2015-01-27 01:26:56

@isatishyadav currently @facebook is not working....
2015-01-27 01:26:56

@amysposito oh darn facebook is down how will anyone survive.....
2015-01-27 01:26:46

@RadicalxEdward is @facebook down for anyone else? seems to be down here in chicopee using charter.
2015-01-27 01:26:45

@UmarKuddus is anyone else's #facebook down?
2015-01-27 01:26:43

@LostGirl260 @facebook is there an outage?
2015-01-27 01:26:42

@IslandOfDan @instagram any update on the outage? appears facebook is down too.
2015-01-27 01:26:41

@Suno1024 the #facebook server seems to be down. ah, the world can now get back to work or twitter.
2015-01-27 01:26:29

@_alyssamaras why is my facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:26:24

@titansfan7997 #facebook not working any news? @facebook
2015-01-27 01:26:09

@JustinMendoza i'm noticing facebook is not working.
2015-01-27 01:26:04

@evilZardoz appears that facebook and instagram are being hit by some big outage right now. everybody to twitter!
2015-01-27 01:26:01

@Adriianperez man down, i repeat man down, #facebook is down... only jesus can help us.
2015-01-27 01:26:00

@josh_dh is facebook down to anyone
2015-01-27 01:25:43

@StandWithUs how many more tweets are being fired off right now due to the facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:42

@LostGirl260 is there a facebook outage?
2015-01-27 01:25:35

@Scott__Cody sooo instagram and facebook just quit working for me....anyone else having this problem?
2015-01-27 01:25:32

@Carib101 @facebook and @instagram are both currently down
2015-01-27 01:25:28

@taylorgipple instagram and facebook are down. the blizzard is working!
2015-01-27 01:25:25

@KingNessax okay so facebook getting on my nerves not working and shit
2015-01-27 01:25:17

@Jashateyou is facebook not working for anyone else rn?
2015-01-27 01:25:11

@Kishnani_T @yourstoryco facebook is down, experiencing problems myself
2015-01-27 01:25:08

@RadicalxEdward is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:25:05

@Barnababe2010 both of those apps are @facebook apps though. getting revenge for earlier, huh? "oh we don't work do we? we'll show you... by not working."
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@EdNieto05 oh the humanity! #facebookdown appears to be down! #facebook not working! what will we do?
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@RKauff7777 yep!! rt @edmmaniac anyone else go to twitter to check to see if facebook is down? #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:49

@melissawiebe #facebook down for anybody else?
2015-01-27 01:24:48

@afcantelmi coincidence that @instagram and @facebook serves are down at the same time??? #illuminati #conspiracy
2015-01-27 01:24:47

@Miss_Mousie wow, what is happening?! instagram goes down & then facebook won't work either!
2015-01-27 01:24:46

@ShutUpStupidMTL oh oh! facebook not working. let the panic begin.
2015-01-27 01:24:44

@KateCanDoStuff it's so confusing when facebook goes down and i realize this isn't just another moment to be arbitrarily angry with comcast.
2015-01-27 01:24:39

@urbanbabymag is anyone else having issues login into facebook #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:38

@anshelsag #facebook is down, i repeat facebook is down. $fb #fb
2015-01-27 01:24:34

@khaled_mhmd my facebook and instagram are down ..anyone else?!!
2015-01-27 01:24:30

@VinLew yus, facebook being down isn't (apparently) my fault for once.
2015-01-27 01:24:27

@Dead_Evangelion so both my facebook and instagram are.not working! #bullshit
2015-01-27 01:24:22

@mrurbanstar must be the end of the world... facebook down, i repeat, facebook down!!!!
2015-01-27 01:24:20

@PevelyPress #facebook is currently down.
2015-01-27 01:24:12

@ErikaEadness not sure if facebook isn't working or my app is being dumb.
2015-01-27 01:24:11

@AlpsRoads the #facebook outage is clearly a north korean act of war. time to invade.
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Dammerung2012 @facebook your shit is broken! site down!
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Van_Alethea is facebook website down? i can't get online
2015-01-27 01:23:56

@nictooradd my twitter is working, but not my instagram or facebook
2015-01-27 01:23:50

@Malaysia_Latest themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:23:47

@jmcambo is @facebook down for anyone else? #snowmageddon2015 has frozen the servers
2015-01-27 01:23:44

@DlSTRESSEDGHOST i can't log into my spotify bc facebook is down sigh
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@dontran95 anyone elses facebook not working?
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@JulieKirkman damn, facebook is down both on my computer and phone. what am i supposed to do with myself now?
2015-01-27 01:23:37

@shanerzz thought it was just mine
2015-01-27 01:23:34

@xxxconstantiny1 anyone got facebook loading problems?
2015-01-27 01:23:30

@maxomai who else is facebook broken for?
2015-01-27 01:23:22

@MattAlkire dear @markzuckerbergf ... facebook is down. did eduardo freeze the account again? twitter is working fine. thanks.
2015-01-27 01:23:21

@LordBlizzard facebook is down. i repeat: #facebook is #down.
2015-01-27 01:22:59

@mariamheartsyou is facebook like not working tonight or
2015-01-27 01:22:58

@jennywhiting #facebook -- cannot connect to facebook -- is it down?
2015-01-27 01:22:57

@ThermosphereLoL um is facebook down for anybody else...?
2015-01-27 01:22:53

@vampire_Dawson @dillywalters @facebook ugh.... i thought my wifi was not working. i was about to cry. i can't live without my wifi
2015-01-27 01:22:44

@Jenntality is #facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:22:37

@kronSAYS why facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:22:37

@sevan is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:22:34

@pulsefeedz no, it's not just you. #facebook and #instagram are currently down.
2015-01-27 01:22:31

@JudithDahmen is facebook broken at anybody else's computer as well? :) i can't open facebook with any browser this morning...
2015-01-27 01:22:28

@chrome_dog looks like facebook is down? anyone else having issues?
2015-01-27 01:22:14

@EvanFeeLickz is anyone else's facebook and instagram not working?
2015-01-27 01:22:12

@joinmyprograms is facebook down? anyone has the same problem?
2015-01-27 01:22:08

@TheyCallMeDTO omg facebook is offline... now what is everyone supposed to do?
2015-01-27 01:22:07

@MonicaOP @facebook hi, any reason why fb is down? so totally not working :(
2015-01-27 01:22:04

@LiveLoveBryanna instagram & facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:21:57

@clickthebunny #instagram and #facebook are down, are you guys using the same servers?
2015-01-27 01:21:37

@mandaakh @facebook server is down ?
2015-01-27 01:21:33

@hkityen yes. rt @themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:21:23

@BettinaaKim right. #facebook & #instagram is not working.
2015-01-27 01:21:20

@sweetMarieLove7 is #facebook down? i can't access facebook or the messenger. who broke facebook? how will we ever live???
2015-01-27 01:21:19

@MjolnirMK86 is facebook down for anyone else??
2015-01-27 01:21:18

@steven_geldrich anyone elses facebook just crash?
2015-01-27 01:21:11

@Heybeee1989 why is facebook not working on my computer? so annoying.
2015-01-27 01:21:06

@kimiko611 is facebook down for anybody else?
2015-01-27 01:21:06

@EdNieto05 oh the humanity! #facebookdown appears to be down! #facebook not working! what will we do?
2015-01-27 01:24:59

@RKauff7777 yep!! rt @edmmaniac anyone else go to twitter to check to see if facebook is down? #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:49

@melissawiebe #facebook down for anybody else?
2015-01-27 01:24:48

@afcantelmi coincidence that @instagram and @facebook serves are down at the same time??? #illuminati #conspiracy
2015-01-27 01:24:47

@Miss_Mousie wow, what is happening?! instagram goes down & then facebook won't work either!
2015-01-27 01:24:46

@ShutUpStupidMTL oh oh! facebook not working. let the panic begin.
2015-01-27 01:24:44

@KateCanDoStuff it's so confusing when facebook goes down and i realize this isn't just another moment to be arbitrarily angry with comcast.
2015-01-27 01:24:39

@urbanbabymag is anyone else having issues login into facebook #facebookdown
2015-01-27 01:24:38

@anshelsag #facebook is down, i repeat facebook is down. $fb #fb
2015-01-27 01:24:34

@khaled_mhmd my facebook and instagram are down ..anyone else?!!
2015-01-27 01:24:30

@VinLew yus, facebook being down isn't (apparently) my fault for once.
2015-01-27 01:24:27

@Dead_Evangelion so both my facebook and instagram are.not working! #bullshit
2015-01-27 01:24:22

@mrurbanstar must be the end of the world... facebook down, i repeat, facebook down!!!!
2015-01-27 01:24:20

@PevelyPress #facebook is currently down.
2015-01-27 01:24:12

@ErikaEadness not sure if facebook isn't working or my app is being dumb.
2015-01-27 01:24:11

@AlpsRoads the #facebook outage is clearly a north korean act of war. time to invade.
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Dammerung2012 @facebook your shit is broken! site down!
2015-01-27 01:23:58

@Van_Alethea is facebook website down? i can't get online
2015-01-27 01:23:56

@nictooradd my twitter is working, but not my instagram or facebook
2015-01-27 01:23:50

@Malaysia_Latest themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:23:47

@jmcambo is @facebook down for anyone else? #snowmageddon2015 has frozen the servers
2015-01-27 01:23:44

@DlSTRESSEDGHOST i can't log into my spotify bc facebook is down sigh
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@dontran95 anyone elses facebook not working?
2015-01-27 01:23:38

@JulieKirkman damn, facebook is down both on my computer and phone. what am i supposed to do with myself now?
2015-01-27 01:23:37

@shanerzz thought it was just mine
2015-01-27 01:23:34

@xxxconstantiny1 anyone got facebook loading problems?
2015-01-27 01:23:30

@maxomai who else is facebook broken for?
2015-01-27 01:23:22

@MattAlkire dear @markzuckerbergf ... facebook is down. did eduardo freeze the account again? twitter is working fine. thanks.
2015-01-27 01:23:21

@LordBlizzard facebook is down. i repeat: #facebook is #down.
2015-01-27 01:22:59

@mariamheartsyou is facebook like not working tonight or
2015-01-27 01:22:58

@jennywhiting #facebook -- cannot connect to facebook -- is it down?
2015-01-27 01:22:57

@ThermosphereLoL um is facebook down for anybody else...?
2015-01-27 01:22:53

@vampire_Dawson @dillywalters @facebook ugh.... i thought my wifi was not working. i was about to cry. i can't live without my wifi
2015-01-27 01:22:44

@Jenntality is #facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:22:37

@kronSAYS why facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:22:37

@sevan is facebook down for anyone else?
2015-01-27 01:22:34

@pulsefeedz no, it's not just you. #facebook and #instagram are currently down.
2015-01-27 01:22:31

@JudithDahmen is facebook broken at anybody else's computer as well? :) i can't open facebook with any browser this morning...
2015-01-27 01:22:28

@chrome_dog looks like facebook is down? anyone else having issues?
2015-01-27 01:22:14

@EvanFeeLickz is anyone else's facebook and instagram not working?
2015-01-27 01:22:12

@joinmyprograms is facebook down? anyone has the same problem?
2015-01-27 01:22:08

@TheyCallMeDTO omg facebook is offline... now what is everyone supposed to do?
2015-01-27 01:22:07

@MonicaOP @facebook hi, any reason why fb is down? so totally not working :(
2015-01-27 01:22:04

@LiveLoveBryanna instagram & facebook not working
2015-01-27 01:21:57

@clickthebunny #instagram and #facebook are down, are you guys using the same servers?
2015-01-27 01:21:37

@mandaakh @facebook server is down ?
2015-01-27 01:21:33

@hkityen yes. rt @themmailonline: so... is anyone else having problems connecting to facebook and instagram? #socialmediawithdrawals
2015-01-27 01:21:23

@BettinaaKim right. #facebook & #instagram is not working.
2015-01-27 01:21:20

@sweetMarieLove7 is #facebook down? i can't access facebook or the messenger. who broke facebook? how will we ever live???
2015-01-27 01:21:19

@MjolnirMK86 is facebook down for anyone else??
2015-01-27 01:21:18

@steven_geldrich anyone elses facebook just crash?
2015-01-27 01:21:11

There's more, but I chose the bit becasue the list was too long.. I wonder if it really bothered the owners and defenders/workers of Facebook what pandemonium they caused amongst its users, then denying that it happened, if they really know what they have just done. I do not need to explain my point, one has to read the posted comment above to see how much they are effected, and affected by Facebook. My Hub is about Facebook Addicition, and if the posted comments posted above when Facebook got shut down do not make my point more concrete, nothing will ever make the point about Facebook being addictive much clearer.

Time for Leisure The American Way

Data include all persons age 15 and over. Data include all days of the week and are annual averages for 2-12
Data include all persons age 15 and over. Data include all days of the week and are annual averages for 2-12 | Source

Habitual Habit

Facebook Habituation

Bianca Bosker writes:

American Facebook members spend an average of 40 minutes per day on the social network -- about as much time as Americans devote to household chores and personal grooming.

Mark Zuckerberg shared the statistic on Facebook usage during an earnings call Wednesday, and qualified it by saying he still sees ample room for growth. Some might balk at the notion that Americans pass about as much time peering at each other on the social network as we do on habits like showering -- we average 42 minutes of grooming per day during the week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the Facebook CEO pointed out that Americans spend a full nine hours each day engaging with all forms of digital media, and hinted he hopes to claim a larger share.

A Facebook-sponsored survey of American smartphone owners released last year found that Facebook members checked the site an average of 14 times per day, and spent nearly 33 minutes on it. The study also found that Facebook was only the third most popular online activity, behind email and browsing the web.

Is Facebook Worth Our Time? Or What?

Facebook doesn’t publicize data on exactly how often a user logs in, though you can bet that they’ve got that information. In lieu of that measurement, this app runs through the timestamps on every post in your feed until it reaches the earliest one,
Facebook doesn’t publicize data on exactly how often a user logs in, though you can bet that they’ve got that information. In lieu of that measurement, this app runs through the timestamps on every post in your feed until it reaches the earliest one, | Source

An Then, This... 7 Reasons You Should Quit Facebook in 2015

We learn the following from Matthew Kitchen:

Ten years ago Facebook was just cresting as the cool new social media site that helped you keep in touch with the people you didn’t actually like in high school. We fed it our thoughts and feelings, shared our meals and locations and our top ten movie lists, kept it up-to-date on our relationship status, political views, favorite links, and personal information — all in the name of staying connected, and all without a thought to our security. But with a decade of questions regarding how Facebook makes money now answered, and a general understanding of how sharing information online can be dangerous (while the platform constantly updates its security protocol), we continue to use it anyway, even though many of us are just checking in as ritual and have threatened our exit from Facebook for years.

Of course, screen time in moderation is, for the most part, perfectly acceptable, and social media can offer a few genuinely beneficial uses. But before you log in or tap that app on your smartphone again, here are a few reasons to quit Facebook in 2015.

It Wastes Your Time
It's estimated that the average casual user (17 minutes per day on Facebook) who has been active on the site for 10 years has wasted upwards of 40 entire days of their lives scrolling and liking and commenting on pictures and posts. And more engaged users, who spend at least an hour a day on the site, have clocked 150 days feeding the Facebook beast during the same time. Think about how long you spend on the site each day, and what else could be a more productive use of your time.

Facebook Uses You to Sell Stuff...
In 2012, the site manipulated posts from 689,000 accounts without consent in an experiment that examined whether or not it could affect your emotions by making a few edits on your page. The study was done, according to Facebook, to "improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible." Skeptics think it was really used to discover the monetary benefit of a Like. COO Sheryl Sandberg later apologized, adding that they "never meant to upset you."
RELATED: Three Simples Steps for Keeping Photos Out of Hackers' Hands

And Targets You with Advertisements
One time you wanted to buy a thing, and then you searched for that thing, and six months later Facebook is still reminding you that you should think about buying that thing, even if you already bought the thing. Yes, most sites do this thanks to embedded cookies, but only Facebook seamlessly posts these ads in your timeline with enough regularity that you can only assume your friend has an odd obsession with the latest Norelco razor.

It's Bad for Your Health
Facebook isn't just a harmless website dedicated to cataloging your vacations, poor wardrobe choices, and myopic thoughts on sporting events (which can both define or destroy relationships), it can actually do you harm. Studies hint that it can impact your immune system and inhibit the release of growth hormones, impair digestion and vision, limit thinking and kill creativity, and affect sleep patterns and happiness.

"Who Are These People, Anyway?"
The average adult has 338 friends on Facebook and probably doesn't know more than 10 percent of them anymore, or at all. Many of them likely have new lives, some have new last names, new passions, new facial hair, and new humans they're now responsible for keeping alive (read: babies). These are not the friends you knew, and semi-casually keeping up with them is a waste of time that could be better spent with new, real friends. Or on Twitter.

RELATED: Why Apple Pay Will Take Over the World

"But I Don't Care About Privacy"
Fair. That's your right. But the problem is that we're setting precedent for the future without yet understanding how it will affect the free and open Web, and simultaneously creating an internet that relies on you having a Facebook account to access sites that are not Facebook. As one of nearly 1.2 billion users to date, odds are decent that your account won't be hacked by someone with ill-will toward your family. That doesn't mean that permitting easy access to your information goes without consequence, both immediately and decades from now.

Nothing You Post Actually Matters
Very few people care what you're doing, whom you're with, where you're eating, or what you just bought, and the people who do were probably right next to you when you did it. We all saw that funny Ice Bucket Challenge video, and if we didn’t see it, it's fine. We're all fine. You'll sleep well without knowing which childhood toys you owned are now worth a fortune, and you will absolutely "believe what happened next" on Upworthy, because someone took time to write about it. These articles only exist because you share them on Facebook, and you only share them because they exist. So, instead, just invite a friend over to talk about how much you both loved Save By the Bell. The internet can only take so much nostalgia.

Censorship And Blocking: Facebook Chilling Pop-Ups

A Word Or Two About Censorship And Blocking

Having on Facebook for close to five years, having been blocked and totally banned, I got on board again and have been on it ever since. Now, what has suddenly piqued my interests, are the operations of the Facebook Police(Data Controllers) in making themselves conspicuous and 'present' to all billions of posts... I guess this is programmed into the technique too... More of that later.

Facebook is a mammoth behemoth... As a medium, it is radically new in matters of human inter.intra mass communication. I still like McLuhan's Global Village, and I add, on the splurging viral stream. What I am talking about here is a matter of core interest to me as a student of the merging/emerging and bludgeon media that we are having access to enabled by the Internet.

The Internet is the mimicking of our central nervous system. The conscious flow of the network has altered human interpersonal relation to a point that many are still trying to configure what all this new Medium is all about. Specifically speaking, here, I am referring to the how we have been altered by these new ways of human technological inter/intra communications and their extended and their extending affect and effects on our human beingness, souls, spirits and consciousness. This is important, for this goes to the center of what Facebook is all about.

Like I said, Facebook is HUGE, and it has inherent in it mechanisms and techniques that alter our very being, and some of us are already addicted to it, and to many, it is virtually their life's existence, as I have attempted to discuss above within the Hub. In this part of the Hub, I want to examine the ways and means of the Data Gatekeepers of Facebook, int their operations of censoring and blocking what they find to be lewd and lascivious, and so on.

One cannot help but get the feeling there is a "Big Brother" watching every move, through use of the many assets available to such media like the Facebook social networking site. I must confess, I am but a speckle of dust, in the scheme of 'things' internet. But, as Bob Marley sang, "If you are a Big Tree, I am Small Axe,"" seems apropos here.

Pop-up messaging is one heavy-handed technique used by Facebook… Messages stating that 'one is abusing the mediums, and or using it not as it was intended to be used'.. Something like that... Then the following warning messages drive home the point that you will be blocked if you do not slow down… I think, as an after thought, it was added that you could write in to a given prompt why you think you should not be 'blocked'. … added to this information piece, is the fact that you will not be replied, but will be contacted if further information is needed… Some vague contrite message like that.

One of my mega-interests if to study technologies and their effects and affects on us its users… I have written many articles addressing this issue. Here, concerning the Facebook Police, one finds it disconcerting as to how much of a chilling effect this has on the user. That's what it is intended to achieve(Theses popping up warning, at times topped with a pink or yellow chevron triangle, to drive some effect home).

On reading up some googled material on this shenanigans by Facebook, this is called, being Blocked, being put into the Facebook Jail, maybe for 48 hours or so. Then this too can be gleaned from Facebook threats, repeated offense, after being warned, might lend one to being expunged from the network, one's account being drastically shut down.

In so far as I have learned from Media Law, such a tactic has still to be addressed. It is used by Facebook Marshals with impunity-for what it achieved is process: A controlled amorphous mass of its users, conforming them to a certain extent to censorship, by the Police themselves, or, if you are a user, self-censoring. This is why I am onto this piece, to give the read a glimpse into the modus operandi of the Facebook police, and add it to my observations as to how those addicted to Facebook, got that way, in a small way, and hope that others will expand on this point of view with time.

Facebook Censorship

There are many ways through which Facebook censors its users. This can be gleaned from the following heading by various authors which can be found on the Huffington Post of July 2, 2016.

-"The Manly Pursuit of Desire: I have Met Big Brother and His Name Is Mark Zuckerberg," written by Perry Brass

-"Father Facebook" by Alice O'Leary Randall

-France Wants To Punish Facebook for Censoring A Painting Of A Va****. Terrible Idea," by Slate

-BreastsOn Facebook: Stop Censorship, Mark Zuckerberg!" by Eloise Bouton

-Facebook InLegal Trouble After Censoring That NSFW 19th Century Painting by Artnet News

-6 Outrageous Historical Book Banning's - By Huffington Post

-These Censored Louvre Statues Prove Facebook's Censorship Laws Are Wack by Huffington Post

-Did This Project Deserve To Be Censored By Facebook? by Eric Ravelo

-Art Or Pornography? You Should Decide, Not Facebook by Jennifer Nix

-Facebook Removes Photos From Breast Cancer Art Project - Huffington Post

-Facebook Says It May Allowing 'Too Much' Free Speech ~ Huffington Post ~ Huffington Post

-Facebook Apologizes For Censoring Gay Kiss Photo ~ Amy Lee

Facebook, with its vastness networks and viral streaming capabilities, is really dabbling with censorship and intimidation of its users. We know that Facebook has implemented robust upgrades to the larger Social Network, and they have also implemented robust privacy features, Facebook Lexicon and Language preferences. Facebook has now been able give carte balance power to its staff, and it is this that I have been attempting to address here. I have cited, in brief, the headings only, of some of the topics related to censorship that is being practiced by the Facebook Police.

What Facebook considers 'Spam' or 'Offensive messages,' to these, there's have tentative response, none at best from Facebook, but mundane and very insignificant infractions by their users are responded to with such vicious intent that one begins to wonder what is this behemoth, known as Facebook up to.

In order to legitimate my points I have been making above, I have similar experiences as tabulated by Perry Brass below:

My Facebook page is “no longer available.” This means my 2,200 former Facebook friends cannot find out about my books, or what I am doing as a writer, since I use my Facebook page almost entirely for professional reasons.


Since February I have been “blocked.” Why, I have no idea but it has to do with the books I write being banned “forever” from being advertised or promoted because of their titles and possibly covers—The Manly Art of Seduction and later The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, both available on Amazon. The Manly Art of Seduction was an Amazon bestseller, received a Gold Medal IPPY award, is on Audible.com, and in Portuguese, and soon Spanish.

I was told by the faceless “Facebook Team” that The Manly Art of Seduction violated FB’s code because of the word “Seduction.” I can “never advertise this product” on Facebook (it’s a “product,” like a condom, not a book) and there is no appeal. Still, hope springs eternal. My follow-up book The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, without “Seduction” in its title, might be permissible.

It wasn’t. I was informed that Desire itself was not allowed in any advertisement of any product on Facebook. Therefore both books were categorized as “banned” products, like vibrators.This was done by people who hadn’t read or researched the books—like Salmon Rushdie’s fatwa. Or maybe by computer robots, or in some backroom in India that decided it was not going to allow books of this sort anyplace.

I was in Cuba for 10 days, from Feb 9 - 19, and from there, Facebook is off limits. When I got back, I came down with bronchitis which put me away from Facebook even longer. At the end of February, after receiving “reminders” directing me to log onto friends’ updates, I started hitting links that sent me into Mark Zuckerberg’s empire.And got this message.

We removed the content that was posted.

We restrict the display of nudity. Some descriptions of sexual acts may also be removed. These restrictions on the display of both nudity and sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless the content is posted for educational, humorous or satirical purposes.
So, why were some of my 2,400 Facebook friends’ posts being removed? After I tried my own page, I realized I had now been completely blocked from Facebook.

I started Googling what to do and learned that Facebook has recently instituted a policy that it can block anyone without warning. It is enforcing a new series of “global community standards,” meaning anyone in any country can complain about your content. So if in Timbuktu someone is offended, you can be blocked by the “Facebook Team.”

Also, that A), only Facebook can remove the block, so it’s futile to appeal. B) If they do decide to remove it, they will in their own time with no communication with you. And C) the cause of the block will never be known to you.

At this moment Facebook is the world’s largest social media organization. For many people it is a major route to “discoverability” for books and other important kinds of arts information.There is a history of homophobia here—I have seen heterosexual “dating” books openly advertised on Facebook that guarantee success with the opposite sex (meaning women), and that are plainly exploitative.

And ads for underwear that make anything I’ve posted look like stuff from the Daughters of the American Revolution. I know Facebook has a history of harassing gay men, a good example being the Australian magazine DNA which has received numerous warnings for showing bare-chested guys in Speedos on their covers. Many of my friends have also received warnings from Facebook without showing genitals at all.

I never received any warning, making me feel this might have been pre-emptive. In other words, Facebook simply blocked me before I could do anything. I’ve heard that my Facebook page could have been hacked—someone sticking “porn” there when I was in Cuba and unable to do anything. However, again No Warning. So if my page was hacked, then blocked, there was no way for me to know.People from across the globe have come to me as an openly gay writer in the US through Facebook.

Some have read my books on Kindle or other media. I am not a “pornographer,” although my work is sexually frank—but not any more frank than any number of commercially available books. The covers of my books often feature bare-chested men, but thousands of book covers, especially of women’s romances, do. The problem is homophobia on a corporate level, book censorship, and people applying “community standards” that have no place in an open society.

But there’s something else to understand: Facebook is not a free service. It is a multi-national corporation making billions off advertising, and the reason for this is the content you provide as a Facebook member. (They can use this content in any way they wish.) You are using your time to provide this content and attention. Facebook is selling that attention. (Or, as Mark Zuckerberg says: “We’re going to keep you on the site.”)

Even today, blocked, I still get regular “reminders” from Facebook telling me what my friends are doing, and that I need to log in—something I can’t do.Therefore the argument that as a “free” service they have the right to do what they did is spurious, and for them to “pull the plug” on my investment of time with no warning or explanation is reprehensible. It is something you’d expect from a dictatorship.

If you are a Facebook member, please feel free to post the link to this piece on your page. And remember, not only is Big Brother and his employees watching you and judging you, but at any moment he can do to you what he did to me.

Google And Facebook Censorship

Google Censorship
Google Censorship

The Bias Of Human Data-Gatekeepers Examined

The last words above are precisely what I have been talking about above. It is really disconnecting to have pop-ups with intimidating messages that have a serious effect of the free-flow of ideas and conversation plus posts on Facebook. Once you have gatekeepers who control the flow of the memes and images, there's bound to be friction. Even if they program, these in-built biases and prejudices become highlighted the Facebook police keep on acting like Big Brother.

Some have even proposed above toilet the people be the executor of sanitizing the Web, or I should say, have a much more bigger role towards axing some stuff or a person who happens to contravene some of the bizarre rules of the Face Book mammoth and its draconian laws. I do not advocate for a carte balance laissez faire loose policies, but, I find it that one the mega Social media entities is to dabbling with censorship, and chilling its users to be aware of Big Brothers ever castigating eye into all we do, say and post.

A lot of people are hooked-onto Facebook irreversibly, and multitudes of these users are not media savvy: In that they do not understand the media and that the media and medium are the messages-also that, message itself is in the media and medium… Now having tried to aver McLuhan, I want to point out that is precisely what is exploited by the Viral Stream Gatekeepers.

For instance, I have receiving these pop-ups now recently, which indicated to me a picked up activity, under the guise they are keeping the Facebook site clean, but at the same time utilizing its features to censors, ban and control its users(Facebook's'). These pop-ups were serious warning of infraction of the rules of Facebook, Something as vague as 'you are going on too fast(i.e. posting), and if you do not slow down you will be blocked, and the final infractions would lead to my account being shut down-basically taken off Facebook.

As according to the articles posted above, its last ominously sounding warning, is true to the "T". After the fracas that I had, receiving these messages, on clicking further their suggested opening, where you are given a choice to write something that you can and state why you should not be blocked, or, in some line, you might think the Facebook crew made an error, but know that you might not be answered, but might be prodded for some further material, if there is such a requirement.

Now, recently, on my Facebook prompt, on my timeline, on the posting part wherein Facebook prompts the user, "What's on your mind?" This is a very interesting 'prod,' for behind it, I see an in-your-face here's-looking-at you confrontation In my experiential case, when I was about to type, a pop-up came up and stated that I am allowed 350 words. This comes from the fact that I write long elongated articles to the limit allowed by FB, but now, they have curtailed me to 350 words…

I write somewhat in the area of 2000 words, and this has come about since I first saw the earlier pop-ups that were threatening me that I could only type 350 words, Ned that made me aware that the technology has been set up such that it slowly strangles me-I see Big Brother, according to these actions.

I had answered to their prompt about why I do not think I should be blocked. I told them that I do not post lascivious nor lewd material, and that I belong to many sites that I am a member, and that they could check it out, and have millions of followers spread-out throughout the different Facebook Wall's various timelines and sites. I have read somewhere that Facebook Blocking, means Facebook Jail, and it is up to 48 hours of suspension… Repeat ed infraction results in one being offed the site of FB.

They let me back under twenty-four hours, but had piqued my interest. I wondered what was that all about? Anyway, now that I am allowed back, I am posting less, because the chilling effect that one will be shut down, is real, and it is something I take seriously and it's real. This is now in the age of Viral Streaming, with all its whatever, and still, one sees the old fashioned censoring and self-censoring techniques with new features and mechanisms embedded within the technique built into the modern gizmos. These prowling technological technique mechanisms and method, serve to enable the Data-Gatekeepers to be efficiently logged on to 'undesirables' within this behemoth, known as Facebook.

It is how these snaking robots in the internet are deployed that we begin to see the new methods employed by the Facebook police. One can trace this to the censoring and blocking of materials in books, newspapers, magazines, radio, Television and so on that one can begin to see this as the more things change, there more they stay the same.As the censorship stories I have cited, their headings only, from the Huntington Post above clearly show, the DataGatekeepers are fumbling and really do not know what they are doing. What they want to do is to spread fear and chilling reality, that leads to self-censorship, or complete banning from their FB site, that this it seems, they are achieving rapidly, and few are still comatose to this trap being sprung on the users.

The Media Ecology of the Facebook mammoth is still a study in progress, and I am utilizing different approaches towards viewing it from being an addictive Social Media with no parallels, to itself imploding because of its Facebook Police, with their censorship and their chilling effect methods. If many of us are under the delusion and illusion that this is an open and free media, it depends what it is ope for and what type of posts are not attacked, and why some are being assailed.

They are the most dumb posts on many of the Walls On Facebook, but many of these, conspicuously escape the axe of the Facebook Police. Just because I posted fast in many groups I belong to, does not mean to say I am posting anything that contravenes Facebook. I have to post to so many sites, of which in about 10 of the 50 I belong to, I have been made an administrator of those sites by their owners, and I created maybe two extra more with my own Facebook-given timeline.

I like the article below by Douglass Rushkoff:

Trending Topics Censored On Facebook

Facebooks Newspfeed Algorithms And Trending Topics

Facebook's PR department has been busy defending itself against allegations from an anonymous, disgruntled employee that editors of the company's "trending stories" list were biased against conservative viewpoints. The Story -- itself a trending topic today -- may say less about the failings of biased human intervention, however, than the need for more of it.

According to the employee's allegations, stories quoting conservative stalwarts such as Glenn Beck were being rejected by Facebook's human reviewers because "it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz." We might as well use that argument to explain the entire news media's coverage on Donald Trump over every other candidate, and every other important story this election cycle

Supporters of Cruz -- just like supporters of John Kasich and Jeb Bush, or Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for that matter -- are still stunned by how Trump has monopolized media coverage over the past year. But the reality TV star's ability to trend on social media, including Facebook, has less to do with leftist human intervention than the embedded biases of these technology companies' algorithms. No, these platforms are not biased against conservatives, but against low traffic.

Social media is not configured to generate a balanced perspective on politics or anything. It has one and only one purpose: to generate attention, eyeballs, likes, reposts, and tweets. Facebook's algorithms are programmed to spot posts that are inflaming or titillating people, and then help those stories gain even more traction by highlighting them in people's news-feeds and the site's list of trending topics.

The result -- what's known as "power law dynamics" -- means that one or two stories dominate, and the rest are seen by almost no one. It's the same property of digital media that leads to the winner-take-all pop music scene, where there are a handful of superstars like Taylor Swift or Beyoncé and the rest make a much more modest living. It's not that record producers are biased against one sort of music or another. It's that the digital platforms on which music is played and sold tend to magnify existing trends.

In social media news, that trend is always going to be novelty. Things gain attention they "go viral" to quote my 1994 book-- because they provoke an immune response. We humans are hardwired to pay attention to things that are weird, different, and potentially threatening.

A car crash leads to rubbernecking, even though road signs are probably more important to the trip. Likewise, the radical novelty of a candidate banning Muslims, insulting someone's wife or building a border wall will generate more social media attention than someone talking about policy. When Mexico's president likens Trump to Hitler, he gets more attention than Glenn Beck calling him out for not being a true conservative. Facebook's human reviewers work in what amounts to a boiler room, where the trending topics list is curated and peppered with additional, potentially viral hits.

This is less about mitigating the harsh, extremist, or sensationalist results of headlines derived by algorithms than enhancing them. Did the machines miss something? Do we need a human interest story in there to balance out the ISIS beheading?Make no mistake: Facebook is not a news bureau. It is a business plan. The object of the game is to win traffic from Google, Amazon, Spotify, and CNN. Its algorithms don't just exploit the natural human failing for sensationalist novelty; they amplify and aggravate it.A staff of sensible, thinking, human curators could compensate for runaway algorithms and the charged rhetoric they demand and inspire from us all. Instead of defending itself against charges of human bias,

Facebook should start using and celebrating it.CNN Money US Reports:

No one knows how the most powerful name in news really distributes the news.That's why this week's allegations about liberal bias on Facebook are resonating even among people who don't believe the anonymous sources making the allegations.On Tuesday a top Republican in Washington, Senator John Thune, demanded answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg."Facebook has enormous influence on users' perceptions of current events, including political perspectives," he wrote.And yet the company's actions are often shrouded in mystery.

"The facts seem to be unclear on what Facebook does and doesn't do," digital media executive Jason Kint said. "Black boxes and algorithms" — like Facebook's famous news feed algorithm — "invite concern without years of reputation and trust."Facebook's power has also stoked fear and envy among many publishers. For many mobile users, Facebook IS the Internet; instead of seeking out news web sites, they click the links that show up in the personalized Facebook news feed.Related: Senator demands answers from FacebookFacebook has a unique ability to turn on a firehose of traffic — and the ability to turn it off. Publishers may not live or die by Facebook alone, but they certainly thrive or struggle based on the company's decisions.

So Gizmodo's recent reports about the production of Facebook's 'trending" stories have gained a ton of attention. Journalists, academics and some average users want to understand how and why Facebook does what it does.Related: Did Facebook suppress conservative news?"As the No. 1 driver of audience to news sites, Facebook has become the biggest force in the marketplace of ideas. With that influence comes a significant responsibility," Poynter ethicist Kelly McBride wrote.

That's why McBride, a former ombudsman for ESPN, offered what she called a "crazy idea" in a Poynter blog post on Monday: "What if Facebook (and other companies that have clear ability to influence the marketplace of ideas) had a public editor, like The New York Times does. That person would be able to research and write about the company from the public's point of view, answering questions and explaining the values that drive certain decisions.

"On Monday Gizmodo cited anonymous former contractors who said colleagues sometimes suppressed news about conservatives and links to right-leaning web sites.Related: Blocked in China, Facebook still winsOther anonymous former Facebook workers disputed the account. And a Facebook spokesman said Tuesday that "after an initial review, no evidence has been found that these allegations are true."To be clear, there is no concrete evidence of systemic bias at Facebook.

"The "trending" box regularly includes news about conservative news sources.But it is possible that some individual workers may have rejected specific stories. Monday's report advanced a long-held view among some prominent conservatives that tech giants like Facebook are stacking the deck against them.Some liberals, in turn, said conservatives were just seizing on another reason to claim victimhood status.Set that aside for a moment. How does Facebook decide what users see? Should human editors be involved?

"That this is such a big topic today is reflective of Facebook's massive gap in trust as a source of news," said Kint, the CEO of Digital Content Next, a trade group that represents publishers like the AP, Bloomberg, Vox, and CNN's parent Turner.Related: Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg honors single momsA Facebook spokesman said the company has "worked to be up front about how Trending and News Feed work."But outsiders who study Facebook say there's a lot they don't know.

"The big problem isn't that a couple of human editors fiddled with the Trending Topics," Fortune's Mathew Ingram wrote Monday. "It's that human beings are making editorial decisions all the time via the social network's news-feed algorithm, and the impact of those decisions can be hugely far-reaching — and yet the process through which those decisions are made is completely opaque."Facebook frequently runs experiments to change and improve the news feed. Sometimes users see more news stories from publishers, sometimes they see fewer such stories.Related: Facebook needs more 'human bias' The "trending" box is produced partly by algorithms and partly by workers called "news curators."

In the wake of Monday's Gizmodo report, Facebook said, "Popular topics are first surfaced by an algorithm, then audited by review team members to confirm that the topics are in fact trending news in the real world and not, for example, similar-sounding topics or misnomers."The curators weed out hoaxes, spammy stories and other objectionable content. Facebook says there are specific guidelines that "ensure consistency and neutrality." These guidelines do not permit the suppression of political perspectives.

"Furthermore," the company says, "We do not insert stories artificially into trending topics, and do not instruct our reviewers to do so."But even attempting to ensure 'neutrality' places Facebook in a quasi-journalistic role, reinforcing its de facto responsibility as one of the world's biggest publishers.

Facebook Is Not The Internet

Unveiling The Facebook Shenanigans: Facebook Is Not The Internet

I used to be able to justify using Facebook as a cost of doing business. As a writer and sometime activist who needs to promote my books and articles and occasionally rally people to one cause or another, I found Facebook fast and convenient. Though I never really used it to socialize, I figured it was OK to let other people do that, and I benefited from their behavior.I can no longer justify this arrangement.

Today, I am surrendering my Facebook account, because my participation on the site is simply too inconsistent with the values I espouse in my work. In my upcoming book "Present Shock," I chronicle some of what happens when we can no longer manage our many online presences. I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.

Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we're not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others. To enable this dysfunctional situation -- I call it "digiphrenia" -- would be at the very least hypocritical.

But to participate on Facebook as an author, in a way specifically intended to draw out the "likes" and resulting vulnerability of others, is untenable. Facebook has never been merely a social platform. Rather, it exploits our social interactions the way a Tupperware party does.

Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time -- our "social graphs" -- into money for others. We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been mining to predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote.

We have been handing over to them vast quantities of information about ourselves and our friends, loved ones and acquaintances. With this information, Facebook and the "big data" research firms purchasing their data predict still more things about us -- from our future product purchases or sexual orientation to our likelihood for civil disobedience or even terrorism.

The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook's paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we -- and the young, particularly -- spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.

The efforts of a few thousand employees at Facebook's Menlo Park campus pale in comparison to those of the hundreds of millions of users meticulously tweaking their pages. Corporations used to have to do research to assemble our consumer profiles; now we do it for them.The information collected about you by Facebook through my Facebook page isn't even shared with me. Thanks to my page,

Facebook knows the demographics of my readership, their e-mails, what else they like, who else they know and, perhaps most significant, who they trust. And Facebook is taking pains not to share any of this, going so far as to limit the ability of third-party applications to utilize any of this data.Given that this was the foundation for Facebook's business plan from the start, perhaps more recent developments in the company's ever-evolving user agreement shouldn't have been so disheartening.

Still, we bridle at the notion that any of our updates might be converted into "sponsored stories" by whatever business or brand we may have mentioned. That innocent mention of cup of coffee at Starbucks, in the Facebook universe, quickly becomes an attributed endorsement of their brand.

Remember, the only way to connect with something or someone is to "like" them. This means if you want to find out what a politician or company you don't like is up to, you still have to endorse them publicly.More recently, users -- particularly those with larger sets of friends, followers and likes -- learned that their updates were no longer reaching all of the people who had signed up to get them. Now, we are supposed to pay to "promote" our posts to our friends and, if we pay even more, to their friends

Yes, Facebook is entitled to be paid for promoting us and our interests -- but this wasn't the deal going in, particularly not for companies who paid Facebook for extra followers in the first place. Neither should users who "friend" my page automatically become the passive conduits for any of my messages to all their friends just because I paid for it.

That brings me to Facebook's most recent shift, and the one that pushed me over the edge.Through a new variation of the Sponsored Stories feature called Related Posts, users who "like" something can be unwittingly associated with pretty much anything an advertiser pays for.

Like e-mail spam with a spoofed identity, the Related Post shows up in a newsfeed right under the user's name and picture. If you like me, you can be shown implicitly recommending me or something I like -- something you've never heard of -- to others without your consent.

For now, as long as I don't like anything myself, I have some measure of control over what those who follow me receive in my name or, worse, are made to appear to be endorsing, themselves. But I feel that control slipping away, and cannot remain part of a system where liking me or my work can be used against you.

The promotional leverage that Facebook affords me is not worth the price. Besides, how can I ask you to like me, when I myself must refuse to like you or anything else?I have always appreciated that agreeing to become publicly linked to me and my work online involves trust.

It is a trust I value, but -- as it is dependent on the good graces of Facebook -- it is a trust I can live up to only by unfriending this particularly anti-social social network.Maybe in doing so I'll help people remember that Facebook is not the Internet. It's just one website, and it comes with a price.

Facebook Unfair To Its Users

Pointing the finger at Facebook, accusing the site of actively engauging in “unfair and deceptive” business practice. The feds on Tuesday announced a wide settlement that requires Facebook to respect it’s users’ privacy and wishes. Subject to regular
Pointing the finger at Facebook, accusing the site of actively engauging in “unfair and deceptive” business practice. The feds on Tuesday announced a wide settlement that requires Facebook to respect it’s users’ privacy and wishes. Subject to regular

Pushing Back On Facebook: Networking technologies are biased toward more distributed solutions. That’s what they were originally built for.

When I begun writing this Hub, I was more befuddled by the effects and affects of Facebook on its users, I covered a bit of ground making this point above in the fHub. What has had me perplex ever since I have a 'user' of Facebook, was how and why it worked and functioned as it did?

I started making notes, above concerning FB and its censoring techniques and rules. I looked back at my title for the Hub, and I caught the semantical phonology of the term "Environment"~ Facebook Environment. I have written some in-depth Hubs on Media Ecology and such like communications/Media/Technological Hubs that I dabbled with dealing with the environment-In such cases, I would use Ong and McLuhan as my reference points.

In this part of the Hub, I will use contemporary Media analysts that are in the forefront of the merging and submerging technologies, and how these work in tandem with one another. It is fascinating to learn and understand how Facebook, Google and other such Social Media affect and effect their users. This in part I have discussed as being "Addicted" to the 'business plan' as characterized by Rushkoff. The idea of how Facebook environ works came to me when I had some fracas with the Facebook Sheriffs. This drove me to come back to this Hub and elaborate more about how the environment really affects. How does it work to make us what it designs and dictates for us as its users?

One thing that has been standing out for me, and is outstanding with Facebook, is that they keep on requesting that I fill out the rest of the 'Profile' question that I just left out. I really never understood clearly, the relationship of my profile and money it was making for Facebook, like Rushkoff discusses it above. These reminders are incessant, and they never stop requiring that I fill them up. When Did I work at whatever I said I work at? Where was I homeschooled, in which Year? Where do I live? And so on. I saw the questions, and over the years filled one at a time, reluctantly, but being aware that this seems to be important for Data-Harvesters of Facebook.

Like Rushkoff states, the algorithms are designed to maximize profits by corporate entities on steroids. I think I am contravening their 'need' for my completed profile to get on with their harvesting business and increasing profits for their investors and the PR people(Companies). So that, when I was warned that I was using Facebook in way that it was not intended to be used, that caught my attention. How then was Facebook supposed to be used. I am a non-producing user, and for that I am now watched very closely, for I post things that cater to many people in a way that many are not doing it. So, I have my words cut up to 350, as noted above, and the pace at which I post are very closely monitored... For all practical purposes, I have my movements adversely curtailed on the Facebook environment.

What opened my eyes more is the fact that the use of our profiles is the financial grist-mill for Facebook, nothing else. Many of us are enthralled by the burgeoning, merging and submerging technologies with their embedded techniques, that in the final analysis, they can be regarded as entropic within the Facebook's viral stream. It is this I will be talking about below, but for now, it is interesting to begin to understand that what we do not know is really killing us off. The applications(APP) that enable the 'business plan' of Facebook, are set in such a way the behave like their are alive, and keep on RSS-ing data, which is then packaged or sold raw to the PR agents and their companies.

These people who run these companies are salivating at the prospects before them. They are happy that they have found new ways of selling Wi-Fi, and making trillions from it, and this is a subject that is now recently beginning to rear its head… And this discourse is led by Douglass Rushkoff in his Book "Throwing Rocks At The Google Bus: How Growth Became The Enemy Of Prosperity"

This is part of the Interview about what he wrote in the book mentioned above:

The main target of your critique is what you call “the growth trap.” Since at least the birth of the corporation, you argue, our economic thinking has been dominated by an unrelenting drive for growth: Companies have to continue to extract more and more value in order to be seen as successful. You suggest that we’ve reached a point where this is no longer tenable—and that digital technology in particular can enable a new way of thinking. Can you explain the growth trap and how it undergirds our current thinking?

Well, it takes a whole book to explain this properly, because the requirement for companies to grow really traces all the way back to the institution of interest-bearing currency, which requires that the economy grow in order for that interest to be paid back.
Today, the equivalent of those bankers are shareholders. They expect not just interest, but tremendous returns on their initial investments. They witnessed the success of Facebook and Google and want those sorts of returns, too.

So they put money into a company like Twitter, and then expect to earn back 100 or 1,000 times on their original investment. The fact that Twitter makes 500 million dollars a quarter is considered an abject failure by the investors. And so Twitter must look for some way to “pivot”—that is, change from a super successful company that lets people send 140-character messages, into something else.

Regular companies are in the same position. Pepsi, McDonald’s, Exxon all have shareholders who demand that the share price go up—that the company grow. And the bigger these companies get, the harder it is for them to grow. They are already worth billions of dollars. In fact, corporate profits over total value have been declining for over 75 years.

The CEOs of these companies read my articles about getting out of the growth trap, and they call me begging for the way out. They all know they can’t keep growing at the rate demanded by their shareholders. They can fake it a while, but in the end, these scorched-earth policies just kill the markets and consumers on which they’re depending. Well, in the real end, they end up extracting all the value out of people and places until there’s nothing left.

Growth depends on expansion. Not just that, but on accelerating expansion. You have to grow faster and faster. And it’s just not possible for companies of this size to do that. They must instead learn to pay shareholders with dividends. Run themselves like family businesses, for the long term.

You noted that at the beginning of the Net, there were serious and deeply felt expectations that it might not become, as you’ve characterized it, a strip mall. Today we have “social media” that basically recruits people to become marketers to their friends, and a “sharing economy” driven by the idea that if you’re not monetizing every bit of your time, you’re wasting it. Does it feel different this time—that this time there might be a role for the Net to play in genuinely reimagining our economic world?

Well, the thing that feels different to me is that pretty much everyone sees that it’s not sustainable. How can everyone get paid to advertise? What’s left to advertise? Marketing has never ever accounted for more than 3 or 4 percent of GDP. And now it’s supposed to be our main industry? That, and finance? They’re both abstractions. When we see a company as successful as Twitter failing, we come to understand that the model itself is broken.

As for “sharing,” Uber drivers taught us that this is a crock. The unemployed gig drivers of Uber are now as smart about labor politics as the cabbies from London. Uber’s monopoly and policies have been rendered so transparent.
And yes, while I’m not a techno-solutionist, I do believe that networking technologies could enable much more distributed prosperity. The digital economy, so far, is just corporate industrialism on steroids: extract value from people and places. Digital companies are like software programmed to take currency out of circulation, and deliver it up to shareholders.

They could just as easily—more easily, in fact—be optimized to promote the circulation of currency. Most simply stated, less like Amazon, more like eBay. It’s as simple as letting Uber drivers have shares in the company, proportionate to the amount of work they’ve done. And that would be pretty easy to calculate and authenticate with something like a blockchain. Networking technologies are biased toward more distributed solutions. That’s what they were originally built for.

But the real problem here is that our technology development is driven solely by the needs of capital.It is at this juncture that I would like to talk about how Google and Facebook and their ilk operate.


Supposed-Privacy Fix

Savvy Internet users know that all the great stuff they get from the Internet for "free"—the searches, the social networks, the games, even the news—isn't really free. It's an exchange, where companies are able to take user data, sell it to advertise
Savvy Internet users know that all the great stuff they get from the Internet for "free"—the searches, the social networks, the games, even the news—isn't really free. It's an exchange, where companies are able to take user data, sell it to advertise

Rushkoff puts succinctly in context what I have been saying above about censorship. In my case, as I have been writing, I was really question the modus operandi of censorship and blocking up to dismissal, very harshly, anyone who 'abuses Facebook unlike what it was intended for.' I can draw the summary conclusion that I was messing around with the algorithms of Facebook, which is based on maximizing personal data to hawk it for profit and stay in the Stock Market.

As Rushkoff points out, these companies are operating , those like Facebook, on a businesses plan of extracting profit by using the data we provide the. They also have a corporatist need to grow, and in the process, stop growing, and leaving their investors crying for more returns on their investment. This, rusk off observes, is what will cripple these Social media like Facebook.

My take in my soliloquy, above, is to the extent to which the Facebook Data-Gatekeepers are using the same approaches that were used during the corporate age in our past mechanistic world, and today, Rushkoff says it corporatism on steroids, and that nothing has changed in their business model on the Viral Stream. The main aim, incorporating censorship and blocking, is to have all the users have a herd mentality in order to be sutured firmly within the model of being able to sell their portfolio's to big companies who pay handsome fees, and gain mega millions whilst doing so.

I think Rushkoff nailed it, and the business model he is speaking of, is part of the censorship and blocking that I have addressed above and it is these that ensures the investors of Facebook to gain more for their returns, whilst we the users are made more poor and gaining nothing, as Facebook was designed to do so: Maximize profits for its investors, and the users get nothing/zero.

In his new work he argues that, appearances to the contrary, today’s online colossi—think Facebook, Google, Apple, and the like—haven’t truly revolutionized our economy. Instead, they’ve reproduced the Industrial Age corporation at a global scale, with all the benefits of digital innovation.

At heart, though, they’re still designed to extract value and to pursue growth above all else. That mission, he argues, is becoming increasingly untenable, and for perhaps the first time there’s an alternative: companies that leverage technology to spread abundance rather than hoard wealth to themselves. But making that happen first requires rethinking some of our most basic assumptions about what corporations do—and why they exist.

Via email just prior to his book launch at SXSW, we discussed why our global economy is stuck in an Industrial Age mindset, why Wall Street considers Twitter a failure, and why Silicon Valley needs to start building companies that aren’t just meant to be sold for a healthy return on investment.

Worse, Twitter would have to somehow deliver impossible returns to its new investors. They were demanding growth. So even today, Twitter—which earns half a billion dollars a quarter—is considered an abject failure by Wall Street.

Worst of all, this obligation to grow has turned otherwise promising companies into extractive monopolies. In order to grow, they use scorched-earth practices that take value from people and places and turn it into capital for their shareholders. This growth mandate is cause for the increasing disparity of wealth, and it has been energized and accelerated by digital technology. Digital technology was supposed to distribute this wealth to more people, not impoverish the many for the wealth of a few.

Well, it takes a whole book to explain this properly, because the requirement for companies to grow really traces all the way back to the institution of interest-bearing currency, which requires that the economy grow in order for that interest to be paid back.
Today, the equivalent of those bankers are shareholders. They expect not just interest, but tremendous returns on their initial investments.

They witnessed the success of Facebook and Google and want those sorts of returns, too. So they put money into a company like Twitter, and then expect to earn back 100 or 1,000 times on their original investment. The fact that Twitter makes 500 million dollars a quarter is considered an abject failure by the investors. And so Twitter must look for some way to “pivot”—that is, change from a super successful company that lets people send 140-character messages, into something else.

Regular companies are in the same position. Pepsi, McDonald’s, Exxon all have shareholders who demand that the share price go up—that the company grow. And the bigger these companies get, the harder it is for them to grow. They are already worth billions of dollars. In fact, corporate profits over total value have been declining for over 75 years.

The CEOs of these companies read my articles about getting out of the growth trap, and they call me begging for the way out. They all know they can’t keep growing at the rate demanded by their shareholders. They can fake it a while, but in the end, these scorched-earth policies just kill the markets and consumers on which they’re depending. Well, in the real end, they end up extracting all the value out of people and places until there’s nothing left.

Growth depends on expansion. Not just that, but on accelerating expansion. You have to grow faster and faster. And it’s just not possible for companies of this size to do that. They must instead learn to pay shareholders with dividends. Run themselves like family businesses, for the long term.

And yes, while I’m not a techno-solutionist, I do believe that networking technologies could enable much more distributed prosperity. The digital economy, so far, is just corporate industrialism on steroids: extract value from people and places.

Digital companies are like software programmed to take currency out of circulation, and deliver it up to shareholders. They could just as easily—more easily, in fact—be optimized to promote the circulation of currency.

Most simply stated, less like Amazon, more like eBay. It’s as simple as letting Uber drivers have shares in the company, proportionate to the amount of work they’ve done. And that would be pretty easy to calculate and authenticate with something like a blockchain.
Networking technologies are biased toward more distributed solutions.

That’s what they were originally built for.(Rushkoff)
But the real problem here is that our technology development is driven solely by the needs of capital.

Facebook's Revenue's From Advertising

Profile Under The Grind For Das Kapital

The following contents are taken from an article in "The Voice" citing ribbons for a newly instituted 'the-state-of-the-art' LinkNYC kiosks. This narrow, gleaming tower was the shape of things to come. By the end of July, there will be 500 of them throughout the city. Initially they will replace what remain of the city's antique pay phones, so the links, as they are being called, will number, which will become a standing army of supersize digital foot soldiers blanketing streets throughout the five boroughs(Of New York)

Within their imposing sci-fi from-factor, the links house an array of capabilities their puny analog forebears could only dream of: free national VOIP calling; USB charging stations; and, thanks to a brand-new network of high-speed fiber being laid under the streets for this purpose, free gigabit-speed internet, accessible either through a Chrome-powered tablet embedded in the face of the kiosk, or a Wi-fi on users' mobile devices.

If you signup once for the service, your phone will automatically connect to the network whenever you're in range and your Wi-Fi is enabled, with one kiosk seamlessly handing you off to the next as you walk down the block. This is going to be the biggest and fastest network in the world — and completely free of charge-Mayor de Blasio said… Next tot eh Mayor, the words, "Hello World" shone out of the huge glass screens that make up most of the towers' flanks… whilst he was speaking, the screens shifted and a new message appeared: "If You See Something, Say Something. Be Suspicious Of Anything Unattended."

The Mayor went on to state that the LinkNYC network will be free, and New Yorkers will be able to log on without shelling out extortionate airport-Wi-Fi fees. He meant that the city and the taxpayers are not paying a red cent for this infrastructure. No public authority was constituted to build it. No bonds were issued, no fees levied, no taxes imposed, no rainy-day funds raided.

All this will be built, owned and operated by a consortium of private companies calling itself CityBridge. The history and structure of CityBridge is tangled. When it was awarded the city franchise in 2014, the consortium included some of the biggest companies in their respective fields: Qualcomm, the telecom manufacturer; Civiq Smart-scapes, a Comark Corporation company working on technologies for wired smart-cities; Control Group, the technology and design consultants; and the outdoor-advertising company Titan.

Last summer(2015), two of the core partners, Titan and Control Group, were bought up and merged into a new company, Intersection. Intersection in turn, is owned by Alphabet, the renamed umbrella corporation most people still know as Google. so that, LinkNYC is underwritten, and the reason why New York City got so very lucky as to receive an unprecedented fast network of citywide public Wi-Fi - For "Free".

Not only is CityBridge going to lay miles of new fiber and operate, maintain, and upgrade the network at no cost to you the consumer, it's going to kick the city at least half a billion dollars over the next twelve years. The whole thing is financed by advertising. Each kiosk's twin 55-inch displays will carry targeted ads based on an audience profile algorithmically derived from the information kiosks collect from their users. But, as the old internet saw goes: "If you're not paying for the product, you are the product".

That should give anyone a pause....

If City Bridge is using a business model that is not charging, and they are spending a bunch of money putting these things in, they are going to be monetizing the data. That means that they are always thinking about how to collect your data and how to profit off of it. We are often told that people no longer care about privacy, that we are willing to trade the pst intimate detail of our lives for cool free stuff — a search engine , travel directions, email. People don't think about the sort of hazards created when their information is collected and put in a black box.

Companies are using our information to know us better than we know ourselves. They can predict that you're going to get divorced even before know it. Hey know that you'll pay for business class even if you're asking for coach. And they are using that knowledge to make decisions about us without our even being aware of it.

But there is a different issue in play here: the right of the city of New York to surrender that data for us; the right o f our elected officials — over the objections of some of the city's own watchdogs in exchange for what is, viewed in the light of the city's $78 billion annual budget, chump change — to sell citizen's privacy off the back of a truck to a for-profit company.

Google, after all, is the company that made $75 billion in revenue last year by hoarding users behavioral data to target advertising them; that has been repeatedly fined for violating privacy standards in the United States and Europe; that actually went so far last year(2015) as to shit shit-can its own. "Don't be evil" admonition to its employees in favor of "obey the law" — presumably out of sheer exhaustion at being mocked about the gulf between that slogan and its own business model.

Google is in the business of taking as much information as it can get away with, from as many sources as possible, until someone steps in to stop it. And user apathy, or inertia(Not knowing or being aware), or obliviousness — or all the above — is one of Google's most valuable assets. But LinNYC marks a radical step even for Google. It is an effort to establish a permanent presence across our city, block by block, and to extend its online model to the physical landscape we humans occupy on a daily basis.

This is what I was talking about: "Environment," which the PR's have figured out how to mass, manipulate, manifest as a means of extending and increasing their riches. (This is important to pay attention to, too.) The company then intends to clone that system and start selling it around the world, government by government, to as many will buy. And every place that signs on will become another profit center in Google's advertising business, even as it extends its near-monopoly on information about our online behavior to include our behavior in physical space as well.[This last sentence was inspired an upcoming Hub, on the Study of People's behavior and the Role of Google And Facebook in it].

The Saga Continues Unabated Below

Google's For-Profit Surveillance Problem

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has not been shy about his company's views on Internet privacy: People don't have any, nor should they expect it. "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first p
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has not been shy about his company's views on Internet privacy: People don't have any, nor should they expect it. "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first p

The Profiled User; Google/Facebook Gaining For Using Our Profiles

The Uber Social Media Giants And Data Hoarders: Facebook And Google - The Profiling Companies

Gimbal and its network of data-sharing partners are small-time compared to really big players like Facebook and Google… But their existence speaks to the increasing commercial value placed knowing not just you behave online, but where you go and what you do in real life.We're talking about a level of surveillance that used to be so expensive that it was really just nation-states doing it. Now it's something that any company can do to anyone.(Tien)…

Even if Gimbals beacons won't go into the Village Voice distribution boxes, they have built them into the LinkNYC kiosks. And a spokesperson of Gimbal said that whenever the they are activated, the beacons will create new revenue opportunities for the project(Read: Profits)

Last Fall, Facebook, Google's Chief rival, in the quest to own everyone's personal data, unveiled Internet.org, proposal to provide thousands of isolated villages in India with Internet accessInternet.org would only provide free access to certain sites(among them Facebook), tossing the principle of net neutrality out the window. Perhaps even more importantly, the service routed all users traffic through Facebook's servers and disabled the HTTPS protocol, that provides Web surfers protection from surveillance of their traffic. In effect, Facebook was offering a hobbled free service as the bait for a potentially massive haul of suer data. As the curate over the plan crested, Indian regulators ultimately rejected it…

LinkNYC represents a sort of first-world analogue for Facebook's doomed India Plan. Mr. Zuckerberg failed with Internet.org because we were able to show that it broke the net. The better way to go, as Google sees it with respect to its longterm competition with Facebook, is to bury yourself deeper in the wire. Once you can show the regulators that something is a poor internet for poor people, it becomes easy for the regulators to see why it is not a good national strategy.

But in the developed world, you have a rich net for rich people, which gives them the impression you're just a "Clear glass window through which they can see each other. That transparency , or pseudo-transparency, makes you forget that the network in between is untrustworthy. It isn't pure flat glass - it's a magnifying lens aimed at you."[Worthy taking note of]

The ability to target people based on their location is prompting a gold rush for advertisers. The medium has the reach and scale that brands are looking for. And unlike televisions, it can't be switched off or Tivo-ed. What brands are looking for, though, is not the same thing as what people are looking for… Targeted advertising of the sort that underwrites LinkNYC is about getting consumers information about goods and services they want. Rather, data collection is about producing profiles of consumers likely to engage in a particular form of consumer behavior, and then bombarded them with head or search results or tailored Facebook feds to tip them over into that behavior."(Rushkoff)

Ruskoff further adds:

They are working hard to get you to behave true to your statistical profile, and in doing so, they reduce your spontaneity your anomalous behavior, your human agency, as they try to get you to conform to the most marketable probable outcome… When we're doing that en masse, to an entire city — that kind of long-term manipulation is just astounding(Rushkoff)

"This isn't the Stasi bugging our phones for the state, though-it's the market, finding ever more frictionless ways to induce us into behaving how the advertisers want us to. The importance of the commercial motive is that it provides a thin justification, so people can convince themselves this is not really very malign.

"They are just trying to make money by advertising to me things I want! And these friendly kiosks on the street, we're supposed to think of them as just wonderful curvy streets furniture that improve our world. They're not social control; they're not tools for studying and interrogating human behavior. It's a smart cit! Don't you love being a smart young person living in a smart city? But there's more to it than you can see above the waterline. It's such a simple, cool design, you're not supposed to notice there's a back end, or who has it."(Moglen)

Using LinkNYC isn't like walking into a dodgy Internet cafe that doesn't run anti-virus software. Google, Qualcomm - these are established names. With really smart companies, I feel a lot better about their ability this well. But that confidence is undercut if if they have a business model that continuously give them a reason no to do such a good job aggregating. The more private they make your information, the less money they're going to make off your information. Which of those two competing things do you think is going to win the day?(Ohm)[I touched on matters of Privacy above].

That a bunch of public, for-profit companies will do all they can to make money isn't all that shocking. More troublesome is the role of the city government in granting CityBirdge its franchise without assuring greater protection for the citizens of New York. As Doctoroff stressed at the Yale Club when discussing his project to. The last time the city government entered a "complete partnership" with a corporation to trade its citizens' privacy for cash, at least the city got a better piece of the action.

Under Mayor Bloomberg, New York worked with Microsoft to build the "Domain AwarenessSystem", a collection of some six thousand cameras, hundreds of license plate readers, and other sensors, tightly networked to an NYPD command center. In that case, though, the city negotiated for a 30 per cent cut of Microsoft's future sales of the D.A.S. to other cities

With LinkNYC, when Sidewalk Labs sells the model elsewhere, as Doctoroff has said he intends to do, the city won't see a cent.

Not so long ago, whenever New York City wanted to build something important for its citizens, it did so itself, or formed a public authority to do so, but nowadays,the fashion is to contract out for expertise on projects. It's had to fault New York for saying, 'We know what we're good at and we know what we're not good at' and making the decision to outsource this.

But on the other hand, we're talking about extremely valuable real estate that New York Possesses here. they have a ton of leverage to negotiate really, really good terms, and I would have hoped that privacy would be one of the things they were negotiating about.(Ohm)-[As I have pointed out above, this is the core of their business model-rigging Privacy to earn more income]

Rushkoff is characteristically, less diplomatic:

What we have here is our public officials serving up the public to corporations. It's like New York doesn't realize that it has the power of place against these extractive corporations. The City is looking at its population not as a power base, but as an offering, as the thing to sell(Rushkoff)

When it comes to the protection of citizens by its government, individual users are left vulnerable. A senior official specializing in cyber and privacy said that, "When it comes to protecting user data, the United States falls far behind other developed nations. If we care about the privacy of our citizens, we should be lightning our privacy protections to be more like countries in the EU and Israel."

The senior officials adds:

"Information like my political party is protected overseas; it isn't here. My choice of a male or female life partner, or both, that's protected overseas; it isn't over here. My involvement in a union a union is private information overseas, it isn't over here. It can be taken at will. As a result, the securityI have very few apps on my phone.

When I walk down the street, I have wireless service turned off because there's so much information that can be leaking out of your phone that way. Most people don't understand that when they have Wi-Fi turned on, they're announcing their location to the entire city. I have a problem with that."(Cyber Executive)

This freedom to opt our entirely the last argument that spokespeople for LinNYC and the city itself fall back upon when challenged with privacy concerns:

If you don't like it, you're welcome not to use it. It is a disheartening place to land, especially when discussing infrastructure that's supposed to be serving people who are not served otherwise(the poor and minorities not served, as opposed to the Rich and powerful).

To Moglen, it's simply an unacceptable. "That's what they want us to believe, that we have a choice between isolation and monitored connecting. Those are not adequate choices in a 21st-century world:

"We are designing the net to track you — if you don't like it, don't use it. The human race is shifting to a fully surveilled and monitored super organism — if you don't like that, stop being human"(Moglen)

That's a poor outcome. The United States is a society that was based around the idea that human beings can have liberty. So give us Liberty! And don't tell us that otherwise we can have the death of the Net.

This series was culled from an article written by Nick, and I am indebted to him for the whole schpill.

LinkNYC's Wi-Fi: Destruction Of The Old Phone Booth

By the end of next year, New Yorkers will be able to access free, fast public Wi-Fi across all five boroughs. The plan, called LinkNYC, will replace the city's aging pay phone system with "Links." Links are hubs for free Wi-Fi that run at up to gigab
By the end of next year, New Yorkers will be able to access free, fast public Wi-Fi across all five boroughs. The plan, called LinkNYC, will replace the city's aging pay phone system with "Links." Links are hubs for free Wi-Fi that run at up to gigab
New York City is looking to replace its antiquated public pay phones in order to bring the five boroughs what it claims will be the largest and fastest free municipal Wi-Fi network in the world. While providing Internet access to the hustling and bus
New York City is looking to replace its antiquated public pay phones in order to bring the five boroughs what it claims will be the largest and fastest free municipal Wi-Fi network in the world. While providing Internet access to the hustling and bus

Now Your Facebook Privacy Will Be Everywhere On Google

All of your public feeds are about to obtain a whole brand-new audience. Facebook is overhauling its oft-maligned search engine by indexing greater than two-trillion blog posts and also making them searchable.
All of your public feeds are about to obtain a whole brand-new audience. Facebook is overhauling its oft-maligned search engine by indexing greater than two-trillion blog posts and also making them searchable.

The Innards Of Wi-Fi and our Profiles For Sale

Nico Pinto Adds:

A curated group of leaders in tech, media, and finance gathered on April 5 in the hulking neoclassical building of Manhattan's Yale Club. One of the main draws of the information Subscriber Summit was a talk entitled "GoogleCity: How the tech juggernaut is reimagining cities - faster than you realize." This was said by Dan Doctoroff CEO of Sidewalk, and served six years as Deputy Mayor for Bloomberg, the past Mayor of New York City.

He and other higher end operatives in the Media business helped define the City's transformation under Bloomberg into a playground for the wealthy and powerful Sidewalk Labs overall mission is to build products addressing urban problems. Doctor off cast Sidewalk's data driven innovation as only the latest in a string of world-historical technological revolutions-the steam engine, the electrical grid, the automobile — that have transformed the metropolis, forever disrupting the old order.

Doctoroff furhter illuminates u:

Cities are hard - you have people who have vested interests. You had to overcome big obstacles. But the technology ultimately cannot be stopped. And we think we are in that position now. You had to overcome big obstacles. Doctor off touted LinkNYC,as the only project Sidewalk Labs was discussing publicly at that time, as a solution to New York's long festering digital divide that has left the poor - often minorities - without adequate access to the Internet. We actually see made clear that their ultimate vision was far bigger.

Doctor off actually sees LinkNYC as now beginning the process of expanding to other cities. With their network providing an ernormous flow of data of data about city conditions, it could also serve as the backbone to all sorts of new smart-city applications. We see it a it as a utility and so we're beginning to now apply it to other proucts and services.

The full scope of Sidewalk'Lab' ambitions has now become more clearer;the company has offered t build Columbus, Ohio, a computerized traffic management system that experts fear right git public bussing and drive the city into a state of dependence on Google technologies. Even more ambitious are Sidewalk Labs' plans for the creation on a "digital district,"perhaps built on land owned by Google, or some other company or ceded to the purpose by an existing government.

The idea of a city built de novo on the principles and values of technologist, unfettered by inertia, red tape, and turf squabbles that burden actual cities where human beings already live, represents the apogee of messianic Silicon Valley thinking. The so-called "smart city," the one so wired with sensors and data-collection devices that its residents and operations move with finely calibrated efficiency of clockwork or computer code, is a mirage techno-utopians have been shimmering on the horizon for over a decade.

Around the world, projects in various states of realization - South Korea's New Songdo, Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, and PlanIT Valley in Portugal - all promise a vision of data-enriched urban living that looks like something out of a high-modernist fever dream.Adam Greenfield, an urban-design professor at University College,London, is perhaps the most vocal skeptic of the smart-city gospel, which he "regards as a dangerous gobbledygook of capitalist logical positivism. It is as if someone took Minority Report as a shopping catalogue or a punch list tother than a vision of dystopia. LinkNYC is insulting crap."

Greenfield's disdain is swamped by the tech-quelled boosterism that drives the smart-city movement and its media cheerleaders. And the perfect champion for this movement in Doctoroff, who spent his time in city government positioning himself as the technocratic urbanist par excellence, shepherding the visionary will of development through the thorny maze of government bureaucracy.

And at Sidewalk Labs and LinkNYC, Doctoroff's expertise in public-private facilitation has been married to a person worthy of his ambition. Dctoroff says: You have to go to, like, the seventeenth century, or maybe before that, with the Dutch East India Company, that actually had the power to wage war.

CityBridge as a consortium will spend roughly $300 million building an installing the LinkNYC kiosks and laying the fiber for the city's network. through they admit it will be very expensive, they expect to make a lot of money from this.

This observation above can be seen put clearly by Doctoroff below:

The core of this business models of both Sidewalk and and Google make money the same way: they collect people's information and using it to sell advertisements. By having access to the browsing activity of people using the Wi-fi - all anonymized and aggregated — we can actually then target ads to people in proximity and then obviously over time, track them through lots of different things, like beacons and location services, as well as their browsing activity. So, in effect, what we're doing is replicating the digital experience in physical space.

Wow! That very revealing...The paragraph above is telling us how this whole operation of LinkNYC, is for and about nothing else than using the profiles of the users and selling them to add makers. This is very deep and very serious.

It is worth noting hat Google's earlier forays into physical space aren't particularly reassuring. From 2008 to 2010 the company sent cars bristling with cameras all over the world to create Google Street View; it was later revealed that the cars were also equipped with Wi-Fi sniffers, which sucked date from any open Wi-Fi signals they happened to pass and then stored that data at an Oregon facility.

When Google was busted, it tried to pass the snooping off as an honest mistake, but an FCC report later determined not only that Google engineers had expressly wanted to collect data, but that project leaders were well aware of what was going on. In 2013, the company ended paying $7 million to settle lawsuits from 38 states' attorneys general over the episodes.

That figure was dwarfed by a settlement from the year before, when Google paid out $25.5 million over the revelation from Wall Street Journal reporters that the company was using a coding trick to get around the anti-tracking protections built into iPhones. In Europe, over recent years, Google has been accused by regulators of everything from monopolistic behavior to repeated violation of EU privacy policies.

With all that in mind, it's perhaps understandable that Google and its partners are eager to reassure the public that LinkNYC is not some sort of monstrous surveillance machine. At every stage of the project's development, CityBridge, Sidewalk Labs, and city officials have dismissed concerns regarding privacy implications with the same reassurances: The only personal data the system asks users for is an email address, which, as far as their concerned, can be a throwaway account.

LinkNYC isn't going to be tracking users as individuals, it will only analyze user data that's been "anonymized and aggregated"; and lastly, CityBridge is bound in its behavior by privacy policy that lays out these and other terms restricting its use LinkNYC data.

It is important that I cull from Nick Pinto because, as a media ecologist myself, I am more interested as to how the merging and emerging technologies and their gizmos are an extension of ourselves, and learning how the techniques embedded within them are effecting and affecting the way they do as described above.

Not Private Privacy: Trust Data Gluts To Protect Our Privacy

But the thing about storing anonymized information is that it often isn't so hard to de-anonymize it. How many people share your digital signature, running a given App on a given type of phone with given version of an operating system? How many of those people's phones commute to your office everyday?How many of those people's phones are always pinging out the name of your home Wi-Fi network? How many of those people's phones commute to your office every day?

In study after study after study, aggregation techniques that we thought were really robust turn out to be really weak. This has been happening for seven years, and there's a dozen of these studies every year. It's a really risky business to promise anonymization and aggregation at this moment in time.(Ohm)

What's more, LinkNYC's privacy statement isn't worth as much as you might think. This privacy statement is like most privacy statements. Its job is to make you believe that something is being promised, when actually it lets them do anything they want.

For one thing, the privacy policy authorizes CityBridge to collect an enormous range of informTION bout users, including unique identifiers like MAC and IP addresses, information about which websites users visit, where they scroll and click on those websites, how long they stay on them, and what they search for.

The privacy policy classifies all of this as Technical Information," a category that CityBridge lists separately from "Personally Identifiable Information," which, according to the privacy policy, includes "your name or email address.(Moglen)

But pretending that MAC and IP address don't qualify as personally identifying information because they ID hardware rather than people is disingenuous at best. We don't share our smartphones with anyone, so IP addresses and MAC addresses now are a one-to-one relationship with people(Ohm)

So with CityBridges' privacy policy, they're telling you that they can use your IP address, which is essentially you, and all of the pages you've viewed or searched for, including how long how long you visited them, to serve ads. This is really specific and personalized information that they're sharing with advertisers and using to show you advertisements. That worries me.(Ohm).

The assurance that user data will be anonymized and aggregated is also a canard. They could have, we're going to delete sensitive stuff as soon as we get it. They're not making that promise. Instead what they're saying is: "We need to keep the good data, the fully identified."

...It's absolutely a misreading of this privacy statement to say that all of the data is aggregated. I can tell you that's not what they're promising. They're going to keep all this stuff somewhere in a database(Ohm)City watchdogs see privacy concerns as well. In 2014, when the CityBridge proposal was considered at a meeting of the city's franchise and Concession Review, its representative, Letitia James urged that the proposal be rejected, questioning whether the city was creating a dangerous and illegal monopoly with inadequate protection o user's civil liberties.

The committee approved the contract anyway, but there are still a lot of concerns.In this era of Big Data, both corporations and our governments have a greater responsibility to protect the privacy of all New Yorkers[And People Of World]. We need greater clarity about the franchise agreement.

In March, the New York City Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the Mayor's lawyer, raising multiple serious concerns about LinkNYC's policies on data retention and the circumstances under which it will share information with law enforcementLinkNYC responded that it would never sell any user's personal information. That, LinkNYC does not collect or store any data on users' personal information. They added that:

LinkNYC does not collect or store any data on users' personal web browsing on their own devices. City Bridge would require a subpoena or similar lawful request before sharing any data with the NYPD or law enforcement, and will make every effort to communicate government requests to impacted users.(Jen Hensely).

Hen statement is less than comforting. The commitment never to sell personal information is easy to make when personal information is defined as narrowly as CityBridge does. The assertion that LinkNYC doesn't collect Web-browsing data from users on mobile devices, narrowly phrased in the present tense, feels weak in the face of a privacy policy that explicitly allows just that.

Saying that CityBridge would require a lawful request before turning over data, means little in an environment in which law enforcement agencies make those requests, and have them granted, everyday.

When gaping holes were pointed out to them, LinkNYC backpedaled: The policy language might permit LinkNYC to collect, share, and retain all sorts of data about its users. But linkNYC wasn't actually doing any of those scary things. But if CityBridge wants us to believe it's holding itself to such strict standards, why weren't those standards reflected in the privacy policy — the legal promise it makes to users?

The answer came back: "Because LinkNYC is a first-of-its-kind system, the privacy policy was written before we knew exactly how the network would operate. CityBridge and [the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications] are currently reviewing the privacy information with an eye to updating the terms to better reflect actual practices."

In other words, CityBridge and the city are making this up as they go along, and maybe they'll update the privacy policy someday. In the meantime, we must trust them.

Is Your Smart Phone Making You Stupid? Well..

Dependnancy on our smarthones exposes us to survellance and makes us dumb
Dependnancy on our smarthones exposes us to survellance and makes us dumb

Culling Our Profiles From Our Behaviors, From Our Gizmos

Google may be the great white shark in the sea of user data, but it's not the only creature chewing up data and metabolizing it into revenue. Clinging like a remora to the LinkNYC project is Gimbal, a company that makes little chips called Bluetooth beacons.

Though not yet activated, a Gimbal beacon sits dormant inside each LinkNYC kiosks. Why are they there? From a user perspective, there isn't really added functionality to having Bluetooth on top of Wi-Fi. They're just different radio frequencies. It seems like a way to capture more people's information(Surya Mattu)

Gimbal manufactures the beacons, but its real business is supplying the systems that ride on top of of them. In convention centers and stadiums, Gimbal systems push even-specific information and notices to attendees.

In retail stores, Gimbal systems notify shoppers of nearby bargains. It's a handy technology. But its real application to advertisers is in "location-based mobile advertising," pushing ads to people's devices as they move around the city.

In October of 2014, BuzzFeed broke the story that, unbeknownst to the New York, the company that had the concession to run advertising on the battered remains of the city's public phone booths had quietly installed hundreds of Gimbal beacons in them.

The advertising company was Titan, one of the original partners in CityBridge that has since been swallowed by Sidewalk Labs. Busted, Titan and Gimbal complied with a city request to immediately remove the chips. The dream of getting beacons into the city's sidewalk furniture would have to be deferred to another day.

In its corner of the location-information market, gimbal acts as a middle man, introducing partners who might want to share resources. An App publisher, like Shazam, boasts well over 100 million active monthly users, all of whom have consented(when they swiped past the terms-of-service page) to share their location with the company at all times, and to share data that data(aggregated and anonymized, of course) with any of Shazam's partners.

Pair that reach with a company or set of companies with networks of beacons, and you can start to get some fairly detailed information about people's movements. Are you an advertiser who wants to know how many Shazam users have passed by an advertising kiosk? Gimbal can make an introduction, and maybe, for a price, Shazam will cut you in on that information.

Most Shazam users probably didn't think, when they agreed to the terms of service, that they were saying yes to anything more than using a cool App that would let identify the songs they hear. They almost certainly didn't clock that they'd just agreed to let a whole other set of companies log their location with beacon networks in order to bombard them with advertisement from yet another set of companies. It's a marketplace that's largely outside of public awareness, thriving precisely because most people don't know it exists.

Earliest this year, when the Voice's entity was solicited by Gimbal to use Bluetooth in its beacons to help it keep track of the paper's red sidewalk distribution boxes, got awry. Gimbal was prepared to offer The Voice a substantial discount if the paper allowed it to share information from the beacons with third-party Apps and brands. We will lose money on this deal(from a data storage and hardware perspective). The only way I can justify it to our CRO/CEO is if we are allowed to sell campaigns against your beacons(Arjun Reddy)

An example would be Shazam doing a campaign with Miller Coors that triggers an NYC-based experience for Shazam users walking by your beacons. To clarify, no one will know that these are your beacons or that they are triggered by beacons in your boxes. There will be zero tie-back to the Village Voice brand whatsoever… This did not cohere with theVoice's business representative. Wouldn't using the boxes to push ads to unsuspecting passersby violate the city ordinance forbidding the use of the boxes as a platform for advertising? I believe we can work within/around this restriction, said Gimbal's director.

This deal was starting to smell wrong. A huge discount to surreptitiously use Voice property to push location-specify ads to passing New Yorkers? Maybe there was a story here. The business team walked it down the hall to the editorial staff. Gimbal audits network of data-sharing partners are small time compared to the really big players like Facebook and Google,

Big Data Is The Cash Cow For The Internet

Data Aggregation As Cash Nexus

Nick Pinto further informs us that:

Gimbal and its other networks of data-sharing partners are small time compared to the really big players like Facebook and Google. But their existence speaks to the increasing commercial value placed on knowing not just how you behave online, but where you go and what you do in real life. We're talking about a level of surveillance that used to be so expensive, that it was really just a nation-states doing it. Now it's something that any company can do to anyone.(Tien)

Gimbal's beacons won't be going into the Village Voice's distribution boxes. But they are built into the LinkNYC kiosks, with the hope that when the beacons are activated, they will create new revenue opportunities for the project.[I have already discussed how they aim to do this above].

Last Fall(2015), Facebook, Google's chief rival in the quest to won everyone's personal data, unveiled Internet.org, a proposal to provide thousands of isolated villages in India with internet access. Zuckerberg was showered with plaudits for this selfless effort to bridge the global digital divide, but as details emerged, reaction to the plan soured. Internet.org would only provide free access to certain sites(among them Facebook), tossing the principle of net neutrality out the window

Perhaps even more importantly, the service routed all user traffic through Facebook's servers and disabled the HTTPS protocol that provides Web surfers protection from surveillance of their traffic. In effect, Facebook was offering a hobbled free service as the bait for a potentially massive haul of user data. As the outrage over the plan crested, Indian regulators ultimately rejected it.

LinkNYC represents a sort of first wold analogue for Facebook's doomed India plan. Mr. Zuckerberg failed with Internet.org in India because we were able to show that it broke the net. The better way to go, as Google sees it with respect to its long-term competition with Facebook,is to bury yourself deeper in the wire. Once you can show the regulators that something is a poor Internet, for poor people, it becomes easy for the regulators to see why it is not a good national strategy

But in the developed world, you have a rich Net for rich people, which gives them the impression "you're just a clear glass window through which they can see each other." That transparency, or pseudo-transparency, makes you forget that the network in between is untrustworthy. It isn't pure flat glass-it's a magnifying lens aimed at you. The ability to target people based on their location is prompting a gold rush for advertisers. The medium has the reach and scale that brands are looking for…

And unlike television, it can't be switched off of Tivo-ed. What brands are looking for, though, is not the same thing as what people are looking for. Targeted advertising of the sort that underwrites LinkNYC isn't about getting consumers information about goods and services they want. Rather,data collection is about producing profiles of consumers likely to engage in a particular form of consumer behavior, and then bombard them with ads or search results or tailored Facebook feeds to tip them over into that behavior.

They are working hard to get you to behave true to your statistical price, and in doing so, they reduce your spontaneity, your anomalous behavior, your human agency, as they try to get you to conform to the most marketable probable outcome. When we are doing that en masse, to an entire city-that kind of long-term manipulation is just astounding.(Ruskoff)

This isn't the Stasi bugging our phones for the state, though-it's the market, finding ever more frictionless ways to induce us into behaving how the advertisers want us to. The importance of the commercial motive is that it provides a thin justification, so that people can convince themselves this in not really very malign. They're just trying to make money by advertising to me things I want! And these friendly kiosks on the street, we're supposed to think of them as just wonderful curvy street furniture that improve our world.

They're not social control, they're not tools for studying and interrogating human behavior. It is a smart city! Don't you love being a smart young person living in a smart city? But there's more to it than you can see above the waterline. It's such a simple, cool design, you're not supposed to notice there's a back end, or who has it.

In some sense, it's good news that New York's franchisees aren't shady unknown quantities. Using LinkNYC isn't like walking tiny a dodgy Internet cafe that doesn't run anti-virus software. Google, Qualcomm - these are established names. With real smart companies, I feel a lot better about their ability to do this well. But, that confidence is undercut if they have a business model that continuously gives them a reason no to do such a good job aggregating.

The more private they make your information,the less money they're going to make off your information. Which of those two competing things do you think is going to win the day? That a bunch of public, for-profit companies will do all they can to make money isn't all that shocking. More troublesome is the role of the city government in granting CityBridge its franchise without assuring greater protection for the citizens of New York.

As Doctoroff stressed at the Yale Club when discussing his project to bless New Yorkers with the physical-space equivalent of Internet ads, This is a complete partnership with New York City. The last timothy city government entered a "complete partnership" with a corporation to trade its citizens' privacy for cash, at least the city got a better piece of the action. Under Mayor Bloomberg, New York City worked with Microsoft to build the Domain Awareness System, a collection of some six thousand cameras, hundreds of license plate readers, and other sensors, all tightly networked to an NYPD command center.

Do Not Use The Net, If You Choose, And Do Not Be Part Of The Human Communications Family

Nick Pinto concludes thus:

In that case, though, the city negotiated for a 30 percent cut of Microsoft's future sales of the E. A. S. to other cities. With LinkNYC, when Sidewalk Labs sells the model elsewhere, as Doctoroff has heiniendes to do, the city won't see a cent.

It wasn't long ago that when New York wanted to build something important for its citizens, it did so itself, or formed a public authority to do so, but nowadays the fashion is to contract out for expertise on complicated projects. It's hard to fault New York for saying .'We know what we're good at and we know what we're not good at' and making the decision to outsource this.

But on the other hand, we're talking about extremely valuable real estate that New York posses here. They have aa ton of leverage to negotiate really, really good terms, and I would have hoped that privacy would be one of the things they were negotiating(Ohm).

Rushkoff, characteristically, is less diplomatic: "What we have here is our public officials serving up the public to corporations. It's like New York doesn't realize that it has the power of place against these extractive corporations. The city is looking at its population not as a power base, but as an offering, as the thing to sell."

Without rigorous government protections, individual users are left vulnerable. A senior executive specializing in cyber-security and privacy at a major international corporation told the Voice that when it comes to protecting data, the United States falls far behind other developed nations. The official adds: "If we care about the privacy of our citizens, we should be tightening our privacy protections to be more like countries in the EU and Israel.

"Information like my political party is protected overseas; it isn't here. My choice of a male of life partner, or both, that's protected overseas; it isn't here. My involvement in a union is private information overseas; it isn't over here. It can be taken at will."

As a result, the security executive said, she's extremely cautious with her digital interactions. "I have very few Apps on my phone. When I walk down the street, I have wireless service turned off because there's so much information that can be leaking out of our phone that way. Most people don't understand that when they have Wi-Fi turned on, they're announcing their location to the entire city."

If You Don't Like It, You're Welcome Not To Use It...

This freedom to opt out entirely is also the last argument that spokespeople for LinkNYC and the city itself fall back upon when challenged with privacy concerns: 'If you don't like it, you're welcome not to use it. It is a disheartening place to land, especially when discussing infrastructure that's supposed to be serving people who aren't served otherwise'..

To Moglen, it's simple an unacceptable conclusion.

"That's what they want us to believe, that we have a choice between isolation and monitored connecting. Those are not adequate choices in a 21st-century world:

"We are designing the Net to track you - if you don't like it, don't use it. The human race is shifting to a fully surveilled and monitored super organism — if you don't like that, stop being human. That's a poor outcome"

The United States is a society that was based around the idea that human beings can have liberty. So give us liberty! And don't tell us that otherwise we can have the death of the Net."(Moglen)

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor...

The Sponsor: Ads To Show And A Quid To Earn

The Petrie Dish Of Media Ecology

The whole of Nick Pinto's article, to me, it says I either join them, the data-robbed herd, or I become nothing. If I do comply, I will make the corporations rich using my data. Long before I read this article, I had already figured out that if I am going to use my data, meaning, give it willy nilly on all things requiring me to fill out such information, that I am not going to do that, just because I wanted to know how is this serving my membership, to be known, and have all that given to some Facebook, Email, Twitter, or whatever I do on the Net. I decided to use that option to give out information that I thought will fit their requirements, and it has worked thus far.

It is important that we Understand the Media and e clear about the fact that the Media and Medium is the Message, according to McLuhan.

The message for me in the medium became the very fact that I am making myself known to some entities without knowing why nor getting any feedback about what was being done by them knowing-except that they said I could use the Facebook, Tweeter and email to do just about anything I wished. I knew that the intent, that is build-in into today's modern technologies and their techniques has some nefarious techniques about them, so I decided to stay above the fray, and control the information I am giving.

Now I know that my IP number is known, and that does not do much for my puny endeavors, but it has done, is that I have become malleable in the usage of the media and its mediums that I do not subscribe to any Apps, and I do not own a cell-phone, and I am also trying to understand the Media and its mediums, their effect and affects on me, first, then to the whole communities or armies of users now being counted as billions of dollars by so many companies, through use and exploitation of their profiles, without many knowing that this is a fact of our lives with technology, today.

For optics, or the infrastructural make-up of New York City, and cities around the world, this look good. The fact that free and reliable Internet access will soon be the bane of the users lore, this is reasonably sound and good. But it is the shenanigans behind the scenes and the deal-making that is happening between the government and corporations that interest, to me here too as a Media Ecologist. It's what I have been talking about above is the changing and shifting communications media terrain that draws me intimately to the subject.

To me, the Media ecology enabled by the Computers and Internet, spewing Google and Facebook is down my alley of research and knowledge. It is this environment that I have always wanted to keep abreast with, and trying to flesh it out in its operational ways and means, and what that means for us as its users. The Ecology of the present-day media and mediums need to be interrogated and apply our piqued interest ceaselessly in trying to ferret its effects and affects on our daily lives and existence.

I wanted to know what are the ultimate effects and affects of the use of our data by corporation, and how does that effect our behaviors as we splurge in the space, environment, that has been pre-determined by them. It's like we are in a Petrie dish of media ecology, and are manipulated and rearranged as it suits the Ad Public Relations Agents and Operatives.

There's a rarely talked about called "The Sponsor". It is a whole history of the beginnings of ads and ad-people. It would important that people consult the book, if they can find a copy to better understand what Nick Pinto has been discussing above. One can trace adds from the radio to TV, up to the Newspapers and Magazines.… And now they are everywhere on all we do and partake in here on the Web.

But First, The Message, another way this is used on Facebook is "What's On Your Mind?" This to me raises too many issues to start with. Who is saying what to who, when, why and to what effect comes into my mind. For example, Barnouw writes:

The television 'sponsor' has become semi-mythical. He is remote and unseen, but omnipresent, Dramas, football, games, press conferences pause for a "word" from him/her. He/She makes possible concerts and public affairs broadcasts. His "underwriting grants" bring you folk festivals and classic films. Interviews with visiting statesmen are interrupted for him, to continue "in a moment."

His role and image have changed. There was a time when he/she clearly had human form. Performers saw him sitting in the 'sponsors' booth where he could order script revisions, which were promptly made. He was surrounded by attendant executives; sometimes accompanied by a lady. There were rumors that this or that program or star had been cancelled-or saved-by the verdict of the Sponsor's wife. The folklore of Sponsor meddling fills volumes of radio and early television history.

But things have changed. One is not even sure whether a Sponsor is a person or some abstract corporate entity-"they" rather than "he/she" ("IBM presents...…" If there's someone who sits at the corporate summit and makes decisions, he remains shadowy.

This is the point to the Nico article today, but in the present sense, it involves technologies and the Internet, and the Sponsor, ever present and omnipresent, is totally not imagined to exist or being human. What Niko has done was unveil for the masse, what's behind the technological workings, and the intent of the corporations to monetize profiles as much as possible without the ordinary people knowing what is going on. So Barnouw adds:

What sorts of decisions does he/she make? According to some network executives, he no longer makes decisions that deal with programming. Spokesmen for sponsoring organizations tend toward similar statements, but with a difference. They say they don't want to control programming, but insist on the right to decide which what programs their names or commercials will be associated with. They leave it to broadcasting companies to provide suitable settings for this participation. The broadcasters do so.

I could go on citing Barrow, but my point at this juncture is to remind our readers that the 'sponsors' are the ones that are controlling the Wi-Fi suction of profiles, and they still are making money out of it. Their relative roles, on the Internet, Facebook, and elsewhere in the world, reflects their power status.

The Sponsor is basic to American and world communications systems and entities. That is why my attention was piqued by Facebook that I wrote the whole piece as it stand. I will continue to interrogate this form of Media and its environment in order to show that they are abusing our profiles to enrich themselves, at the end of the day.

Julie Wittes Schlack rites and informs us in the following manner:

“Facebook is in the content business, which is pretty much antithetical to the news business,” Layala writes.

“The thing that makes news is editorial judgment. Content is driven by what readers/consumers want. One is reporters and editors saying, ‘We’re the experts, and we’re telling you this is important,’ while the other consists of outlets of various stripes saying ‘Our data show that this is what you, the non-expert consumer, like, so here you go!’ …

"If there's one thing Facebook is good at, it's harvesting data on the wants and habits of their users, and serving that up to advertisers. This is just a new way for them to monetize that. It's an Ouroboros.”

Back in the early days, the Internet was rightly celebrated as a place that countered the dominance of a few mainstream products and markets by allowing the “long tail” of niche content to endure.

But by having the enormous, diversified online collection of news, feature and opinion sites filtered into a handful of links on a Facebook page that readers will be increasingly unmotivated to leave, the promise of the worldwide web risks being turned into its opposite.

“The Internet was supposed to be about disintermediating the gatekeepers,” Mark notes. “Google is the biggest gatekeeper in history and now Facebook wants to join them.”

We Have Been Incarcerated By Technologies, Today

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Comments 4 comments

mosaicman profile image

mosaicman 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, Fl

In your South African Culture Hub, you didn't have a section for readers to leave comments. Just wanted to say it was amazing how much research and time you put into that hub. Mosaicman


ixwa profile image

ixwa 4 years ago Author

mosaicman: Thanks for commenting on this Hub about the Hub I had just published when you saw it. As you know, there is this 24 hour rule of having a Hub "PENDING" whilst reviewed by the Hub gurus. I was was also surprised to see that the Hub has no comment section, maybe it will be inserted whenever they feel that it is worth and deemed good enough to be published and or "FEATURED". If after twenty four hours it still does not have a comment box, which I hope you go to and see if it has been inserted by the HubPages Team, I will try and query that anomaly. As you have noted, I have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears[literally] into this Hub, not trying to toot my own horn, but, I think it should be approved for all to read, see, and comment upon. Thank you very much for commenting about the Hub "South African Culture, Customs and Practices Writ Large: Re-Morphed Cultural Renaissance against Dysfunctional Existence". It is a very 'long' Hub, but I do not regret one 'itsy-bitsy' moment I was onto it, and hope to hear from you on it, and the rest of the HubPages family and hope they (HP Team) approve it.


ChrisStyles profile image

ChrisStyles 4 years ago from USA

Wow, you put a lot of time and effort into this hub. Personally, I am always a little amazed at how Facebook and before it Myspace seems to become such a huge part of some people's lives. I have a friend who was huge on Myspace and then Facebook and he has 1000 plus "friends." I went to his birthday party last year... there were 6 of us there. That, I think can be telling about social networks and the authenticity of some of the friendships. I tried to use Facebook for a little while, but my stream became full of things I didn't want to know about certain people (religious views, political views, sometimes racist ramblings, and putting too much "personal" stuff out there) . So, I disconnected permanently. I am still a face to face kind of person when it comes to friends, so maybe I just don't get it, lol.


ixwa profile image

ixwa 4 years ago Author

ChrisStyles: Thank you very much for taking your time to read the Hub above and left some kind, relevant and thoughtful comments about Facebook. You have really nailed the theme of this Hub, albeit state subtly, that face-face-face friendships and communications is the bet way to go. Social media and streaming the Web is beginning to teach us that the number of "Friended" users who one become friends is fake and delusional. You nicely point out to the 6-people party you went to , with the host supposedly having 1,000 FB friends, but the reality brought out this contradiction into sharp focus and manifestations. are not representative of our lived-collective reality. In writing this Hub, the aim was to try and inform us about the role, nature and impact that FB has on its agents or users. Like the fact you summed up about the contents one has to deal wit, or 'social media persona people adopt on FB, area potpourri of miscommunication because the users have this laissez faire attitude that they can unleash their unseemly side because they are not involve in a face-to-face connection or interaction. Thus the last sentence of the Hub in which I caution and advice that as mass communication users and dependents, one way we can deal with this intra/intercommunication malaise, all we need to do is to "Log Out", which to some people is still unthinkable, tantamount to committing social network and communication suicide-and yet, come to think of it, FB and Twitter are mer coupla years in existence! I think you have a strong resolve to be able to withdraw or 'disconnect' you point out to. I hope this Hub manages to rouse people's awareness, not only from the user's points of view, but to what has been predicted by media ecologists gurus, that, maybe we can all take something out of this conundrum and paradox. Thank agains for such thoughful and very motivating comments.

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