Global Now / Week 6

Human Connection?

Name: Rowan Smith-Spanier

Section: Cope

Headline: Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users

Date: by Geoffrey A. Fowler 10/04/2012

Source: The Wall Street Jornal

ImageFacebook has multiplied exponentially in active users since it was first conceived, finally reaching 1 billion mark in September, making it the fastest growing site in internets developing history.  Despite this staggering figure, as a business Facebook has failed its investors in procuring revenue from its massive user base and executives are struggling to create a profit while maintaing Mark Zucherber’s initial pledge to preserve Facebook as a free site.   As a social phenomenon, Facebook epitomizes the crossing and converging landscapes of technology, finance, media, ethnicities and ideas outline by Appadurai.  However, as also mentioned in the article, certain cultural barriers exist that still separate and change the flow of these landscapes for instance out of the 2.5 billion people on the internet, a large portion not connected through Facebook live in countries such as China that are restricted to access by government censors.  This social network also excludes the 4.5 billion people without access to internet creating another separate community of the technologically and financially privileged.  Creator Mark Zuckerberg compared his social network to other inventions that have brought humans together from bridges and airplanes to games and even chairs and hopes that“… one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.”  It troubles me that we are loosing the profound distinction between actual human connection and the simulated interactions between humans that are mediated and filtered through technology.  

Global Issue: Social Interactions mediated by technology

Primary Design Lens: Social Design

Secondary Design Lens: Financial Profit through Free Internet Sites( what is being sold?)



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