Sunday, October 17, 2021

Commentary: Facebook’s recent outage and scandals remind us of this love-hate relationship

DETROIT, Michigan: When Facebook was down for most of the day on Oct 4, did you miss it, were you relieved or some of both?

Social scientists have compiled an expansive body of research that shows how people have come to develop a love-hate relationship with the social media giant with nearly 3 billion users.

Many users have felt their relationship with the platform devolve into a messy co-dependency, mired by ambiguity and mistrust. For others, reliance on the platform is taken for granted, if occasionally appreciated in moments of pandemic isolation.

And then there are the revelations that the company has been lying about applying its rules differently to important people, knowingly harming teen girls and having a big vaccine misinformation problem. Adding insult to injury, Facebook locked its keys in its car and didn’t show up for over five hours.

In short, Facebook is a hot mess.

All this leads to an extremely high-maintenance relationship, leaving users to wonder whether they should just move on with healthier friends. But it wasn’t always like this.


At its launch, Facebook was one of the most authentic social networking partners. Existing online networks, like MySpace, had influential parent companies that chaperoned their platforms, pestering users with ads and gimmicks.

But Facebook promised something different: a genuine connection. It was an unexploited social space to live your best life.

Still today, a friendship with Facebook comes with plenty of perks. Most importantly, it is the friend who brings everyone together. Participating in this community is shown to strengthen relationships between close friends and casual acquaintances.

Individuals can bond over community causes, shared identities and amusing videos. Facebook has been credited for helping organise coalitions that took down dictators and raised millions of dollars to fight disease.

This article originally appeared on the CNA
Source link Author on date 2021-10-08 22:00:22


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