Tales from Facebook
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Facebook is now used by nearly 500 million people throughout the world, many of whom spend several hours a day on this site. Once the preserve of youth, the largest increase in usage today is amongst the older sections of the population. Yet until now there has been no major study of the impact of these social networking sites upon the lives of their users. This book demonstrates that it can be profound. The tales in this book reveal how Facebook can become the means by which people find and cultivate relationships, but can also be instrumental in breaking up marriage. They reveal how Facebook can bring back the lives of people isolated in their homes by illness or age, by shyness or failure, but equally Facebook can devastate privacy and create scandal. We discover why some people believe that the truth of another person lies more in what you see online than face-to-face. We also see how Facebook has become a vehicle for business, the church, sex and memorialisation.
After a century in which we have assumed social networking and community to be in decline, Facebook has suddenly hugely expanded our social relationships, challenging the central assumptions of social science. It demonstrates one of the main tenets of anthropology - that individuals have always been social networking sites. This book examines in detail how Facebook transforms the lives of particular individuals, but it also presents a general theory of Facebook as culture and considers the likely consequences of social networking in the future.
not the dish. It is more like an ingredient that balances the other ﬂavours to give you the best overall mix. In turn, it links with other ingredients in cooking up one’s social media. For example, a couple starting to get into a more dating-like relationship will complement Facebook with the spice of texting which is more dyadic and personal and, if you were to see their texting, sometimes pretty hot. When Alana talks about the group being together between midnight and three in the morning, she
FarmVille has become one of Facebook’s greatest achievements despite, not because of, these intentions. Nor is it fair to despise FarmVille just by associating it with a legacy of political betrayal of Trinidadian agriculture. After all, why should anyone expect Arvind, or anyone else, to work in the ﬁelds? Agricultural labour is desperately tedious. When the wind creates waves rippling down the bright green stalks of the sugar cane in the ﬁelds to the south, it can be a breathtaking site. But
but it is on the beach and it is beguiling. After a while, it becomes apparent why these do not contradict her disdain. They have nothing in common with the almost disarming vulgarity of the Facebook landscape of Trini females, with its thousands of images of low-cut, high-cut, beach-cut, boldfaced sexuality. Ajani could never be vulgar; she simply has too much artistry and too much that defends her body from overexposure. For Ajani, it is not that she intends to look sexy; it is that eroticism
possible that Facebook alters the balance between the visual and verbal in personal communication. Certainly in Trinidad there is increasing focus on photographs as against text. But this is extremely hard to interpret. It is entirely possible that it merely reﬂects a deﬁciency in previous media, rather than any push by the technology of Facebook itself towards the visual. In other words, given the choice, Trinidadians would always have privileged the visual over the verbal. It’s just that when
Facebook, we should be wary of any assumption that these technological developments are necessarily a consistent movement in any one direction. What is clear is that new developments will be as swift as they are unpredictable. But the key consequence of Facebook – the expansion and transformation of social relations, which has been the subject of this book – is likely to remain. And the task of trying to understand its consequences for the ﬁve hundred million people who already use it has only