Facebook users click to connect cheerfully....Philip Fernando
Facebook has reached 500 million users and growing. Its meteorite rise entwined a collective web culture that has blossomed. Eloquently put, millions on-line are telling each other “we felt blessed meeting you.”
Born : May 14, 1984 (age 26)
Occupation : Co-founder, CEO & President of Facebook
Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook posted more than 30 billion photographs, links to Web sites and news articles to be shared through the site. Every month its members spent roughly 700 billion minutes there, a favourite ‘place’ to hangout for those wearing their interests on their sleeves. No whispered scenarios here-everything is in the open.
The first movie on Facebook titled ‘Social Network’ would be in the theatres on October 1. The founders reportedly had several meetings negotiating strategies trying to get their input unscathed.
Birthdays, weddings, graduations, promotions, anniversaries and such personal events are gobbled up like hot cakes by online users every minute. Photos and personal info are exchanged and the chitchats generated an inexorable swap of pleasantries about family doings.
Over 1.7 million Sri Lankans use the Internet and over a third joined the Facebook. In Canada, USA and Scandinavian countries over 40 percent are avid members of the site.
Facebook has commanded serious attention - social values are being shaped in many ways as people exchange ideas. The climb from a few hundred, mostly in Harvard dormitories initially to half a billion had energized others like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Microsoft to woo web users frenziedly.
Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his ex-Harvard friends have changed people’s perspectives with a pro-active devotedness to make them share more information with each other.
It is a cultural force shaping our collective ethos. Even if you have no desire to ever set up a profile in the Facebook, you can’t ignore it and you are now oddly defined in the negative and left out of the zeitgeist-the German term for the world of normal happenings.
Collective consciousness was a term coined by the French sociologist Emile Durkheim hundred years ago to refer to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society.
Many called it collective conscience as a superior translation in part due to the busy association of the word ‘consciousness’ with both Marxist and Freudian thought. It undoubtedly connoted a concept preeminently embedded in sentiments and representations close to the heart.
Sri Lankans are familiar with the concept of consciousness expressed as a way of sharing, something that seemed second nature to most of them.
Those in the West are striving to a grasp consciousness in the context of representations of arguments, circumstances and feelings. Some try to provide almost a sexual connotation to consciousness.
Some have called Facebook an attempt to reinvent full blown consciousness as depicted by appreciation of friendship, charm, marriage, separation, fidelity, even licentious behaviour in order to depict life’s diversity in all its traits.
Behind that is the use of situations, scenes, images and ideas as vehicles towards reaching the higher understanding of human nature: the self and society. It is the sharing of the new language of body that employs a full exposure of body and mind.
Physicality in 3D
Exchanging photos and personal news indicate closeness or physicality which transcends mere conversation through a telephone call. Most users are enamoured by the ability to be expressive. Facebook has overcome the vicissitudes of web-connections by cutting through the complex alignments.
Net users are notoriously fickle and the web’s short history showed that sites that were once prospering have either since died (Geocities), lost their luster (Yahoo) or faded into irrelevance (Friendster). Facebook has reached a high level and even if it had reached a plateau it would not disappear soon.
The changes in perspectives take their course slowly creating a new world with power of minds and hearts.
It is followed with a passion and joy that encompass kind words, smiles and prayer: social activism via websites marked by random acts of kindness expressing ourselves through special ways, gifts and talents.
Some have philosophized that it was slow work but gained momentum when meticulously pursued like the formation of mountains, not even visible at first glance. And yet with it entire tectonic plates knitted together to form a wholesome landscape - a growing mass of inter-social habitat. .
Could the Facebook lose it in one sweep? There are competitors in college dorms knocking out computer code with a vengeance. Some sites have appeared: OneSocialWeb, the Appleseed Project and WebFinger, the same way the Facebook began.
From the abode they called home, people seemed poised to become the coordinators of social networking - where their social profile lives wherever they want it to (as your e-mail does) and can interact with any other profile around the net, on their own terms.
While it sounds far-fetched, studies suggested that people are as happy with the Facebook as they are with their morning cup of tea, even if they do find it similarly indispensable, that is no surprise.