Seven-year-olds display their identity
I just read Skype is Dead, and the first thing that came to mind was Facebook (FB).
When I thought about that past events that lead up to the death of FB, I immediately looked around to see if I was the only one with this opinion. Sure enough, there are others who are at least considering the notion: Facebook is dead, Facebook is dead, Is Facebook dead? I also realize that you don’t have to look far to find those who still think FB is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Regardless, here’s but one more opinion to consider.
I find myself asking, “Why I am?” Besides looking for an excuse to link to a cool song, I ask the question to make a point: we all have purpose. We demonstrate purpose through our identity; the different roles we play depend on a particular situation (e.g., mother, son, wife, professor, friend, etc.). FB creates a space for us to be a friend, family member, professor, etc., but what FB does not do well is to provide a space for our entire self.
Most of the FB pages that I’ve seen have been based on some topic of interest, say a course, business, etc. that are separated into different pages. If conversations are not spread out over different pages, they occur within profiles where only friends can see what is being posted. In my FB page, I have friends, family, colleagues, and students who all have access to what I post. But when I’m a friend, father, son, husband, colleague, teacher, etc., I take on a different role, and as a result, what I end up doing when I’m in FB is limiting myself, or posting to FB information that I won’t mind everyone seeing. For instance, there are comments that I won’t share with a close friend if I know that in doing so could cause a problem with a student, family member, or colleague. In other words, I’m not being myself.
I feel I grow (i.e., learn) through relationships that contribute to my overall identity. I can’t build relationships by having the same conversation from a sample of everyone I know. As if I were to gather everyone I know (i.e., friends, colleagues, students, family members, and acquaintances) into a conference room and attempt to talk about one particular topic…can you imagine? Most would be running for the door, never to return! FB is like trying to build relationships by having the same conversation with virtually everyone you are connected with.
What are your thoughts? Is FB dead?