27 August 2010
Day 153: The Facebook Effect
In one big sloppy makeout fest with Facebook, Kirkpatrick insinuates that "some" think Facebook will make us more honest people. The thinking behind it that people who live their lives more publicly will be forced to be more honest and to behave within moral norms. Here's the exact quote:
"Some claim, for example, that because of Facebook young people today have a harder time cheating on their boyfriends or girlfriends." Page 210-211.
Uh, yeah, no. If anything I think Facebook just makes duplicitous people more ingenious in their duplicity. Let's continue on with the example of cheating, since that was so conveniently presented to us. Rather than simply cheating on two different people, a person could either find someone who is close to the boyfriend/girlfriend (or who just doesn't care) and cheat with them, or just have one night stands. The first is probably more evil because it involves two people who know that the cheater is in a supposedly involved relationship. It is doubly evil if it someone who is close to the cheated participates because there's twice the duplicity. If the cheating partner is only using the friend, well, s/he's a total jerk.
I have a problem with the theory of living publicly creating more moral citizens. I think most people who cheat or do other questionable things do it partly for the thrill, this probably applies more to serial cheaters. And let's not forget that politicians and other famous people have done ridiculously inappropriate things and you can't get much more public than that.
Besides, do we really want something like Facebook policing our moral behavior? Granted, religion and law are all based on what is considered "right" by the current beliefs held by the populace. But we all know how the internet makes with the stupid, and the idea of Facebook law is a scary, scary thing. Think mob rule, but the mob is a bunch of 17-year-olds.
This review at TechCrunch compares Kirkpatrick and Facebook to a Twilight romance. Sounds about right to me.