Social Networking

Friday, April 1, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

I actually got a Facebook page at Ken’s  urging so that I could be part of the Philosophy Talk Facebook Community.  And while I’m glad that so many people like to follow the comings and goings of Philosophy Talk over facebook, for me personally, it’s a big pain.  People I’ve never heard of, ask to be my friend.  Once a month I log on and say yes to all requests so I won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  Aside from that I never use it.  I mean do I want to know when you’re walking your dog, or see pictures of some party I didn’t go to?  It’s a complete waste of time.   With one exception.  You can go through Facebook to play Scrabble with family and friends, which is kind of fun.

Ken inists, however, that although a lot of time is wasted on online social networks, there is great importance and potential to it.   On this view, eventually, social networking is going to change the way we relate to each other in pretty far-reaching ways. 

The basic idea is that the internet changes the shape of friendship.  People with common interests, but little chance of seeing each other, can become good friends.  The sorts of high-bandwith communications, that used to be possible only with people close by, can now be conducted with people all around the world.  How can this not be a good thing?

But  what kind of friendships are these?  I like to eat lunch, have a beer, shoot pool with my friends.  You can’t do that on the internet.

But I’m probably mistaking my own limitations, for limitations on the possibilities of true friendship.  Ever since the dawn of writing, there have been long-distance friendships.  People have kept up and even started friendships via the mail and the telephone.  The internet just extends this trajectory in the development of human relationships.

All human relations, insofar as they are mediated through the internet, are undergoing a revolution.  Think about the way businesses relate to their customers, the way we conduct scholarship, the way groups of like-minded people dedicated to a cause organize themselves –  these things are all being affected by this social revolution.  I think it’s potentially a huge big deal.  And I think we ought to pause to reflect philosophically on this huge big deal before it overwhelms us, not after, whether we are enthusiastic about the changes, or just think it is one more case, like guns, nuclear energy and hard drugs, of advances in technology leading to the deterioration of human life.

Comments (16)


Guest's picture

Guest

Saturday, April 2, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

I use Facebook primarily as one of my gateways int

I use Facebook primarily as one of my gateways into the internet, so I mostly "like" sources of interesting ideas and haven't "friended" very many people.

Guest's picture

Guest

Saturday, April 2, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

EGOTISM Ken poetically called social networking

EGOTISM
Ken poetically called social networking ?the theater of identity formation.? Rather, I would call it a theater for ego confirmation. (Confirmation of belief, having an object for love, and procreation, are the three powerful human drives.)
The impetus for, and the allure of, the social network is the same: to see your own stuff on the screen. Mcluhan?s central point was that what we commonly think of as the content on any medium, is less significant than the way we think about, and react to, the physical medium itself. TV was, and globally still is, the most powerful medium of all time; it confers, for a number of reasons, great honor and idolatry on anyone and anything, on it. In developed countries since 1957, and everywhere else now, the TV generation has been obsessed with the TV screen. And the computer and social networks have given everyone the opportunity to 1. see your stuff on the screen, and 2. give you the impression that other viewers of the screen with your stuff on it will honor and idolize you (and your grandchildren and cats). The social network gives one?s ego this kind of boost, which has only been available to a few heretofore, and is now available to everyone.
?Interaction? is usually used to defend social networking; it is argued that that TV is passive (bad), and that interaction in social networking means the participant is ?active? (good). Interaction, in the social network, however really means: the expression of my ego. This is currently thought to be ?good? activity, probably as a natural result of that educational theory of ?the promotion of self-esteem,? a false value which I have ranted about in a prior comment on that subject.
Note: (as alluded to on the program) the newest generation is not TV oriented. What I have described above makes the computer screen more powerful and alluring than the TV screen. As a result this new generation watches far less, if any, TV screen; what TV programming they do watch, they prefer to watch on their computer (more ego: ?what I want, when I want, where I want,? the ability to insert yourself ?into? the programming).

Guest's picture

Guest

Saturday, April 2, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

My thoughts are pretty much in accord with those o

My thoughts are pretty much in accord with those of Professor Perry. I do not use Facebook or any of the other vanity enhancers called social networking. It does not interest me to follow or be followed and I do not require legions of 'friends' to validate my life. So, maybe I am out of touch. We have had presidents who were out of touch. I really do not feel deprived in any way. Other than having to drive for those who are too distracted to do it for themselves.

Guest's picture

Guest

Monday, April 4, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

Plugged In or Out? George Orwell's "1984" saw u

Plugged In or Out?
George Orwell's "1984" saw us all with a computer screen in each and every household that spread fear and propaganda and thus control over a society. Our computer world of today is not much different is it? While we are being inundated with the negative news of the world, terrorism and terrorism, radiation and kidnappers, we seem to be further isolating ourselves from each other and closing ourselves in. Do our children freely play outside anymore, do any of us?
Perhaps the only out in a society so controlled by fear is the safe social tools of Facebook and others that keep the lonelinesses of such isolation at bay. Unfortunately these new social networks only enable the isolation even more.
What I find must disconcerting is rather than our government forcing us to have these controlled information devices and forcing us to keep them on in our houses and work and schools, we freely have chosen to have them and even carry small ones around.
"Freely"?
=
MJA

Guest's picture

Guest

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

I didn't have any friends until 3 years ago, and t

I didn't have any friends until 3 years ago, and that's largely because of my "abandonment issues." Then I met my one friend, whom I rejected roughly every 3 to 5 days on a strange sort of abandonment cycle. While I successfully changed everyone else away, no matter what, this one person stays as my friend. We no longer live in the same town, but we're on Facebook together (where I have 11 "friends"--mostly relatives). I still go through the abandonment/rejection stuff a couple of times a week, but it's easier now that he's in a different town. He told me once that he chooses how he feels about me, and he chooses to be my friend. We both post something on Facebook, then we email each other about what other people post on our posts. In that way, I suppose Facebook enhances our friendship. For people like me, the internet is the only possible way we can sustain any sort of friendship. Just saying.

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

I suppose there is some redeeming value to the soc

I suppose there is some redeeming value to the social networking phenomenon. There must be, otherwise it would not be the compelling force it has become, virtually (no pun intended) overnight. I therefore applaud and encourage those whose lives are enriched through contacts with people they have never met and probably never will. Everyone has their own album to do; their own axe to grind; their own butter to churn.
I have a garden to plan and I'm getting to it.

Guest's picture

Guest

Thursday, April 7, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

Some electronic social networks are quite specific

Some electronic social networks are quite specific and can connect people in times of need. Caring Bridge is one such network see: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/long_strange_trip/guestbook This site has been a great comfort to me as I face the reality and immediacy of a GBM (brain tumor).I am very fortunate to have so many colleagues,friends and family who are supporting and sustaining me. I Consider my CaringBridge blog an important factor in my daily care and recovery.
I don't have to tell the same story over and over again(I write it once in " my story") and I can keep people up to date about my treatment and progress ( or lack thereof).The site can be a bit overwhelming to new visitors. click on"my story" or "welcome"  to get started.  
I love the show, have been listening for years and now download the podcast. I'm retired from teaching women's studies and as a constructivist, I tend to agree with Ken more than John, and I enjoy both your perspectives. Thank you for the work( the thinking) you do and for keeping me thinking! I want my brain to work as well as it can for as long as possible.
~Ann

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Saturday, April 9, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

This post seems to have a kinship with the one you

This post seems to have a kinship with the one you did on too much information. From what I have heard and read, social networking has defenders and detractors. Then there are others such as the Carpenter and yours truly who don't much care one way or the other. I have noticed there are numerous blogs dealing with psychology and psychoanalysis. Apparently these are good for those who suffer from dysfunction and perhaps for the practitioners who treat them. To that end, I say long live social networking.
The thing that worries me a bit is the potential for abuse which is dogging the information superhighway. And as another blogger has asserted, words are messy---one must carefully parse (police?)his/her words, lest someone be offended or get the precisely wrong message.
I guess I'll leave it alone and hope everything works out for the best.

Guest's picture

Guest

Saturday, April 9, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

Who is running the show and what steps has been ta

Who is running the show and what steps has been taken to be in the market for another ten years. Yahoo i believe has to come out of the 90's loop and move ahead with the current trend and attract users and advertisers. Search has to match with Google or above. Mr. Yang couldn't answer the question in the NY Times article.
Google on the other hand is quickly responding to the user community needs and trend. We saw yesterday about Urchins call coming live (even though its expensive. Facebook, of course had made the impact. But for how long and how it competes with my space.
-Jesus Potter Harry Christ-

Guest's picture

Guest

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

For small but important and influential groups the

For small but important and influential groups the social networks are the only game in town. Most are scattered to an extent that frequent face time is impossible, yet the intellectual interaction is necessary to the maintenance of the group.
Facebook is the village green: Hi, good to see you again, did you see the linked article? Passing this gossip along from Mary, she sounds like your kind of people. You might want to consider her as a friend. Chris is an up and coming leader of the group, you might want to be a one way friend. His posts are useful and informative and it is easy to skip the two way friend garbage.
The blogs are the meeting places where the work for the group gets done. Where the mores of the group are sorted out, and the learning and teaching takes place.
An open question is Web 2.0 social networking groups. For specific one issue groups they seem to work well. Churches, parks, arts groups seem to be using them effectively for community building and tribal cohesiveness. Whether they will work for a more diffuse tribe with little face time remains to be seen. I suspect they will, but the evolution will be slow.

Guest's picture

Guest

Thursday, April 14, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

I think there can be no doubt that cyber socializi

I think there can be no doubt that cyber socializing in the form of Facebook, online gaming, online chat, skyping and so, plays a major part of the social life of many young people today. Besides being a very practical way of interacting with others, it helps satisfy a person's natural need for a sense of belonging, instant acceptance, curiosity and egotism too.
As a creative form of escapism it certainly beats hours mindlessly watching TV or hanging around on the street. The platforms will come and go in terms of popularity, but virtual socializing is here to stay for sure.

Guest's picture

Guest

Sunday, April 17, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

There's long been a debate if social networking su

There's long been a debate if social networking suits extroverts or introverts better. Because such "relationships" can be long distance, some think social networking is perfect for introverts, since we could avoid personal contact and build "personalities" online. I don't agree, because I find that facebook and other social networks replicate on the internet the pattern of sociability we?re uncomfortable with. It's superficial, a lot of ?chit-chat?, boasting about family and "friends" or social events. If you?re a private person, if you?re modest, introspective, don?t care about gossip, don?t have a lot of friends or an extended family, why on earth would you have a profile on such a place? You would stand out, which a person with an introverted temperament can?t stand. Plus it would be tiresome having to respond to comments every day, from people you hardly know anything about (and might want to keep it that way...), regarding subjects you might have little interest in. However, if you don't respond, you're perceived as being rude and it can create tensions with people you might have to deal with in the real world, as your facebook acquaintances are not all from other parts of the world. In fact, I believe most "friends" people have online are everyday relationships, more or less intimate. So, this type of format is nothing but a nuisance I think, that?s why I haven?t joined any social network.
There has yet to be created a social network that can suit people like me. One where we could really meet people, instead of being on an online ?shop window?.

Guest's picture

Guest

Thursday, April 28, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

That is really great. Philosophers should also tak

That is really great. Philosophers should also take their account with the wide used of social medias today.

Guest's picture

Guest

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

Social media is a very crucial part of business th

Social media is a very crucial part of business these days. It connects many people differentcultures,traditions and countries within short time.We plan to thrive and grow thanks to social media.

Robert's picture

Robert

Monday, July 11, 2011 -- 5:00 PM

Social network seems to be the in thing. I would m

Social network seems to be the in thing. I would much rather be outside meeting people and talking to them.

 
 
 

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