Facebook Me

Can you imagine living in the 1960s? Where there were no iPhones, Blackberrys, macs and desktops? Technology has made communication so convenient for us and I think without it, more than a hand full of us might go a little crazy. Technology in communication is defined as a medium through which information is transmitted between communicating parties. As advanced as technology is, there are still some constraints in communication such as time, distance in terms of coverage or reception, speed when it comes to the rate of information being transmitted, bandwidth, which is the amount of information being transmitted and synchronous which is interactivity.

Technological diffusion, which is referred to the rate at which technology is adopted by society is influenced by cost-benefit tradeoffs and functionality. We have witnessed how technology has evolved over the past few decades. Back in primary school, the trendy gadget to have was a disc-man, which has now been replaced with an itouch or ipod. This therefore demonstrates substitution in technological diffusion. Substitutes refers to the ability of one product to replace another, especially in terms of providing cost or performance advantage. Complements, on the other hand is another aspect of technological diffusion when an existing technology is combined with something else enhances the utility of both products such as the internet being accessible through the use of computers.

Facebook has taken the world by storm with a database of 800 million active users. It is evident that convergence was one of the key elements in making Facebook such a successful project. Convergence is the movement of communication technology toward common digital formats that allow for the interoperability between distinct services and applications. With Facebook, one can chats with users who are online, share videos, voice notes and data such as pictures. People in the world are no longer not left with only one form of communication, which is the telephone. Computer mediated communication is what holds us together and what keeps us in touch with one another. One might ask, what is computer mediated communication? It is defined as any form of communication using computers and computer networks, which includes e-mails, electronic conferences, newsgroups and web chats. It also allows access and interaction between people and databases all over the world.

Facebook has almost every single characteristic of computer mediated communication. Firstly, a computer is used as a medium (although now Facebook can be accessed through smart phones and ipads). Facebook has evolved from previous programs like MSN or ICQ where it was fully text-based where communicators express themselves through words, smileys and emoticons. It takes place on a virtual platform with no limitations when it comes to time zones or physical spaces. With Facebook, information can be accessed quickly at a click of a button. Skype, has also been successful in introducing face time. It makes communication effective as it can be one-to-one, one-to-many or many-to-many.

It is for a fact, that computer mediated communication has invaded almost every facet of human activities. Without Skype or Facebook, how expensive would it be to make collect calls to our friends and family overseas? With technology being so advanced, now not only can we talk to our loved ones who are miles away, better yet we can see them on our screens just as if we’re face to face! Being in the know of what your friends are up to by reading twitter posts, blog posts or Facebook statuses, we no longer have to try and phrase awkward questions in our heads in trying to pry information about who’s dating who and conversation topics.

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21 Responses to Facebook Me

  1. Foo Ye Wei says:

    Indeed, such a world that is connected via the Internet is commendable, but is it healthy for this service which, as you say, has become pretty much ubiquitous, to be under the monopoly of a few companies?

    In terms of game theory, the people at the top of the monopoly (e.g. Facebook administrators, Google information managers) have the dominant strategy of choosing to cheat the consumers and abuse their trust and confidentiality for their own gains. Is it really fair to create such a payout matrix, especially from the users’ point-of-view?

  2. Elvin says:

    An interesting read, research is clearly evident from the extensive listing of definitions and examples in the article. What are your thoughts on the banes of such an intricately connected world? Although Facebook and Skype may offer ‘free’ usage, one tends to ask the question, is anything ever actually ‘free’? They access our private information and pawn them off to the highest bidder, who then treat us as marketing tools by spamming our emails and even telephones with junk advertising that requires time to trace and delete. Furthermore, the convenience of these devices tend to discourage actual face to face conversations, and who can put a price on that? Is our current generation of children more familiar with the ‘trends’ on twitter or the latest viral sensations than the pending economic crisis?

    Although there is no doubt the technologies available to us today have greatly improved our means of communication, I ask again: what price are we paying? These giant firms are being funded by advertisers who are being funded by us- the consumers. As such, do you believe that we, the consumers of a boundless world, are paying a fair price?

  3. Commsmentator says:

    Social media,as you stated, have taken the world and all its inhabitants by storm, from the average joe to sports personalities even to politicians. All finding some use for social media in their everyday lives. However, as technology is rapidly expanding and advancing all the time. How long do you reckon FB, Twitter, Skype can last before the next big thing hits us? commentator

  4. Jia says:

    We are absolutely fortunate to have these wonderful technologies catered for us these days. But have we had it too easy?

    We communicate and interact behind a device and with all forms of computer-mediated communication, we tend to lose touch with human nature. Unlike people from the past, we do not appreciate the simplicity of a written letter and we lack sensitivity and physical sensation.

    Computer-mediated communication has undeniably made our lives very convenient with everything at our fingertips. Yet, is it making us unfeeling as well?

  5. Pauly D. says:

    Youve probably heard before how FB, twitter etc… have made companies lose money due to employees wasting their time on these things. decrease in efficiency, productivity. As much benefits or usefulness these platforms serve, some might say their a waste of time literally, what say you? do we really need it

  6. Michael says:

    Perhaps you could elaborate on your thoughts on the futures of communication? And maybe provide some of the banes of such a highly connected world?

  7. Derek Tan says:

    I cannot live a day without logging on facebook. Facebook really changed the way how people communicate, not to mention ‘stalk’ your friends!!!

  8. June Tan says:

    I sort of agree!

  9. Michael says:

    Such companies provide us with entertainment and I feel that junk mail is a small price to pay

  10. D says:

    Facebook for the win. Without facebook life is meaningless. It helps people keep in contact with one another even though people are on different continents.

  11. Binnersssss says:

    I absolutely love Facebook, as lifeless as it may seem. It has become a part of my daily routine to constantly update, check FB. I use it to upload many pictures of myself and get many likes for them especially from girls cos im so cute

  12. Slumdog says:

    Well-written piece here. As we all know, FB is making millions and we are all chasing millions. Dont we all wish at this point, we thought of something like FB earlier before Mark Zuckerberg did. Or at least give me a time machine, now thats something i could earn millions with to.

  13. khanglipp says:

    I understand and absolutely admit that almost everyone of us are guilty of logging onto facebook at every single opportunity regardless whether we are busy or not. In short, we have become slaves to it, and we reveled in it. To many, it’s just about the most perfect tool out there at the moment where we can catch a glimpse of friends whom we haven’t been contacting, how they are, what they have been doing, who their girlfriend or boyfriend is. This convenience could be a danger if obsession over it go overboard, though.

    • Agree very much with you on the last point! I think that’s why we have to set our privacy settings properly and not just no the minimal, after all, the only thing we’re doing is protecting ourselves. Though if your friend is the one stalking you then, I’d say there’s nothing much you can do. Guess that’s the price you pay for having something so convenient? Setting up such a public profile on cyber space instantly puts you at risk, whether you like it or not.

  14. iris says:

    i agree that facebook has helped connect us to many people all around the world, but is it ethical to rob us of our privacy?

    facebook knows way too much about us than we think it does. a simple log in that is required to use our accounts actually retains our personal information and uses it for other purposes, such as references to other websites, browsing or making a purchase on the internet is linked to facebook and it even suggests other items which they think we would also like to purchase. all these preferences that we have are noted down and remembered. credit card numbers are also keyed into the system, such that after the first purchase we do not need to key in personal information for the next transactions.

    all these happen without our knowledge. if people knew that these occur, will they still be willing to give away their information so readily?

  15. Alice says:

    I absolutely agree with you on the numerous benefits of communication offered by technological advances. However, I can’t help but feel technologically overloaded sometimes. When you want to take a quick break from writing a report, what do you do? Surf the internet or log onto Facebook. When you’re burnt out from a day at school or at the office, what do you do? Come home and play some online video games or message/poke/read about others lives to entertain yourself. When you’re waiting for the bus/train or at the doctor’s office, what do you do? Play games on your phone or make updates on your twitter account. I’m sure that many of us sleep with our handphones beside us. Evolution of technology has seen our PC/handphone/mac/iPad etc. become anatomically attached to us. Everyone is so wired that communicating face-to-face isn’t even necessary anymore. I do (sometimes) miss the human element that technology cannot provide. And I really don’t need to know what everyone is doing all the time. And if I want to know, I think I’d prefer to invite you for a cuppa instead 🙂

  16. stacey says:

    While the massive communication benefits of Facebook spin upon ‘being in the know’ and ‘in the loop’, it is merely a social weapon and facade. In the noblest of sense, I would rather not get bombarded by notifications or constant maniacal newsfeeds about the trivial things or on-goings of my ‘Facebook friends’, most of whom are mere acquaintances. Unfortunately, I’m about as curious as the next Facebook addict. So, while it can be extremely intrusive, Facebook satisfies the voyeuristic element in the human social capacity.

  17. LLL says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Facebook. I love it so much that when exam periods roll by, I have to deactivate my account if I wish to have productive study sessions. While I agree largely with the above benefits that communication technology advancement has brought with it, like any double-edged sword, it has its detriments too.

    Have you ever had the urge to log back into your Facebook account, even though you just checked it 5 minutes ago? Well, I have. I am a victim of technology-induced ADHD. The want to be forever connected to your friends, to see that red icon pop up to indicate that a friend has befriended/messaged/interacted with you. This manifests itself beyond the confines of the likes of Facebook – constantly checking your handphone for any signs of messages from friends (for Blackberry users, that addictive red blinking eye). Our hyper-connectedness to the world has made us obsessed with each others’ lives, indulging in an activity known as Facebook ‘stalking’ that may border on voyeuristic. The accessibility to a myriad of information has sparked our insatiable appetite for the knowledge of happenings in other people’s lives.

    Also, studies have shown that a large percentage of communication is non-verbal. This cannot be conveyed via messaging and posting on a ‘wall’, and thus cannot be completely replaced by good ol’ meetings in-person and perhaps even telephone calls (with regardes to intonation and emotion conveyed through speech).

  18. Richie says:

    Yes, I agree that facebook has made a huge impact in our lives and there has been much progress from 10 years ago, in terms of technology. But what negative consequences do you think facebook has on us? Do you think the use of facebook will change the way we see others?

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