Facebook

22/01/2010

Facebook is a mediating force. It gives a sense of actualisation to the user, an impression of actualisation, and a painfully false one, through friend numbers (actualisation of popularity), profile picture selection (actualisation of beauty), becoming a fan of bands (actualisation of coolness), and all of the other “activities” involved in “creating a profile”. This is understandable in as much as people tend not to believe things are real until they see it, even if in this case, they create what they see, therefore falling for their own illusion. Through facebook then, they can sometimes realise an identity which they may feel escapes them in reality. Those who run the thing seem to be quite aware of the fact. The first misnomer is the use of the term create, implying the invention of the profile rather than a record of that profile (which is closer to existing) in an, admittedly, subjective reality. Even more bizarre is the language used in those apparently unassuming explanations that appear upon hovering a mouse over certain things. Take the “like button”. The explanation is as follows: “click here to like this item”. The corollary of which is “in order to like this thing, you must press this, so that the record can be made in visible format”. Striking is users’ campaign for the addition of a “dislike button”. Facebook thus becomes the mediator for the action of liking or disliking the thing, since the reality of liking or disliking the thing is achieved through the visible record, through its becoming an object, which seems, nowadays, to mean it is real. A sideways and paranoid way of looking at the ubiquity of action through machines, perhaps, yet even in that arena purporting to resent the rise of the machine more resiliently than any other, the scholar’s world, evidence of the mediating machine is inescapable in the misery of the powerpoint presentation.

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2 Responses to “Facebook”

  1. p duff said

    did u write this? Gold.

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