Archive for the ‘On Technology’ Category

On everyone’s current favorite scapegoat, Facebook

In On Technology on December 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

These days, “facebook” has become fashionable. Everyone’s doing it. The “cool kids” have the most friends, and the coolest posts get the most likes, so on and so forth.

I dislike when people blame objects for their own failings, unless it’s traffic – but even then, my father explained to me that I can technically plan for traffic as well.

But anyway – you know when people say – “It was that TV show! If that hadn’t been on, I would’ve gotten my work done.” Or, “it was that ad. I wouldn’t have bought that dress otherwise.”

Um, hello? Who forced you to watch it? Who said you had to buy it? Whatever happened to the concept of self-control?

A recent post by Daniel Gulati on the Harvard Business Review made me think about how people just needed something new to blame. First internet, then email, and now Facebook.

Facebook is making us miserable by Daniel Gulati

Did the person who Mr. Daniel Gulati interviewed who almost got run over by a car ever consider that maybe it wasn’t Facebook’s fault that he was facebooking while crossing the street?

Really, people.

Did the interviewees who cannot produce quality output ever consider that maybe it was their own fault that they couldn’t focus on their tasks, and were instead Facebooking? I wonder if Mr. Gulati considered interviewing the people who use Facebook and email for positive marketing results before writing this incredibly uninformed and biased article.

I would like to ask the people who decided to Facebook chat instead of meeting up if Facebook was physically keeping them from leaving the house. I would like to point out that people around the world still communicate by snail-mail regularly. That didn’t die because of Facebook. People just find it easier and quicker to communicate via email and and Facebook.

I think that facebookers, such as myself, should accept blame for not being able to be productive human beings who interact in real-time with people instead of just meeting them virtually – if that is the case.

As for the people who are unhappy because they compare themselves to other people and feel unhappy when others are getting married, promoted, or just happier – that unhappiness is not created by Facebook. It just makes this inherent quality of jealousy in those people obvious.

I would also like to point out that if someone’s unhappy because you’re happy – they’re not really your friend – so your Facebook friend list needs reconsideration perhaps?

I will admit that increase in virtual communication adds to stress because of the proportional decrease in real time human interaction. But that is not the fault of email or Facebook. It is partially the fault of the user, and mostly the fault of our globalized world.

But I would like to stress that it is ultimately up to the user to use the technology in whichever way he or she pleases. Facebook is not the root cause of any of the problems that people face today. None. Neither is the internet, and nor is email.

I don’t understand how people fail to realize the ridiculousness of their blame. It’s like a drug addict blaming the drug’s existence for his or her addiction. Or if I started to blame the existence of shoes for my shoe collection. I await the day that people will recognize this.

Trust me. Facebook is not what makes you miserable.


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