Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

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brainbomb
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Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#1 Post by brainbomb » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:29 pm

As a result of Facebook? Has social media improved our individual finances, happiness, mental health, marriages, work productivity, or individual civil liberty?

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#2 Post by Octavious » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:33 am

Yes
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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#3 Post by Octavious » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:47 am

Or, for those of you who appreciate a more nuanced answer...

Yes... and no...

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#4 Post by Jamiet99uk » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:50 am

Octavious wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:47 am
Or, for those of you who appreciate a more nuanced answer...

Yes... and no...
Have you considered the not inconsiderable merits of answering "perhaps", or even going so far as "maybe"?

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#5 Post by Octavious » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:26 am

Such an answer is, perchance, conceivable.

And yet... and yet...

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#6 Post by orathaic » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:17 am

Facebook is an amazing failure of community building. As a business dedicated to serving advertisers needs, collecting big data in huge depth about people's preferences and comodifying them, Facebook is an amazing success.

However they have monetize quantity of 'social' interactions, not quality. This has done immeasurable good (allowing communities to form who are geographically distant) and harm (facilitating hate groups to reinforce their own beliefs) but I can't hold it responsible for the ways humans choose to use the platform.

On the other hand, if you wanted a 1984 style dystopia where big brother zucker is always listening, Facebook managed it without forcing a single person! Has this big data improved the quality of life or quality of advertise? I don't think so. It has certainly pushed the boundaries of privacy.

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#7 Post by brainbomb » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:28 pm

Its strange how people are on it, use it, cant escape it, like a drug
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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#8 Post by Octavious » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:22 pm

More that they are on it, use it, and continue to use it because it's so fundamentally useful... like a car. And, also like a car, when you have a twat using the thing it can cause a lot of damage. But that doesn't mean we'd all be better off without them or riding donkeys / using Friends Reunited instead.

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#9 Post by peterlund » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:16 pm

My history on the internet started early in late 80's. I was amazed by the early Usenet newsgroup discussions and around 1990 I spent way too many hours in quite meaningless discussions with random people on the internet. Well I was single at the time and had all the time in the world to spend. But soon I lost interest.

Later facebook appeared. With my Usenet newsgroup experience in the back of my mind, I immediatly deemed fb as a waste of time when I heard about it. And my feelings were very much confirmed when I heard that my sister, brother, wife, father and mother started to use that shit. Now I would never ever start using it.

And wtf are all these people doing there? Putting up pictures and stories showing off how happy they are so that others so called "friends" do not realize how miserable they actually are. Showing up a nice but fake facade is all that counts.

A real friend is someone you actually meet in real life, someone you swing a beer and eat some food together with.

No fb has not changed my life and that I am grateful of. I use e-mail, whatsup, and even read a bit on twitter (much crap there though). All systems where messaging is the focus, not pictures and facades.

And yes I think that the world would be much better if fb did not exist. We would have lot fewer "zombies" out there wasting too much of their miserable lives on the junk fb promotes and encourages. Without fb we would have a much more interesting world with a lot more real human face to face interaction going on.

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#10 Post by orathaic » Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:52 pm

Octavious wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:22 pm
More that they are on it, use it, and continue to use it because it's so fundamentally useful... like a car. And, also like a car, when you have a twat using the thing it can cause a lot of damage. But that doesn't mean we'd all be better off without them or riding donkeys / using Friends Reunited instead.
Can I just clarify one distinction here.

You pay for a car, the manufacturer profits from it and competes to produce the best car/driving experience (whatever that may mean in a given market). And the utility of the car is reduced the more cars there are on the road (because traffic).

Facebook is different. It is free to use, and the utility goes up the more people who use it. They generate the value (and content) for free for everyone else. And the company providing the platform doesn't really care, they have no serious competitors (apart from maybe Twitter) and they have no vested interest in improving the experience for the users (ie the quality of that experience/connection).

It isn't the vacuousness of some users (some people were always so inclined) or the fakeness that makes Facebook a problem, it is the lack of competition. You can't create your own social network and make friend requests of Facebook users, like with open protocols (email being the most successful I suspect). Facebook has, by virtue of its userbase, become the monopoly of social networking sites. And I hope they get split up.

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#11 Post by Randomizer » Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:41 am

It's not that Facebook or any other social media site is a monopoly and can't face a competitor. It's that they use their size to sell user information and advertising without any regard to the content as long as it's profitable for them. Users complaints are ignored until publicity forces change.

In the last two presidential elections, Facebook sold advertising space to anyone that would pay them enough without caring about false content and the source. They used personal information to allow for targeted campaigns to users. Google and Twitter were only slightly better, but still allowed for use in violation of their posted policies. They use the argument that their size makes it impossible to police content.

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#12 Post by Octavious » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:15 pm

The difficulty with the competition aspect is that it's not obvious how competition would work. Ultimately Facebook is a community noticeboard for the modern age, and no community has ever had competing notice boards. They only work effectively if everyone has access to the one.

What would you prefer to the current system? A publicly owned Facebook, perhaps? Maybe something akin to the British rail franchise system where the bare bones of the network are government owned with competition from companies providing differing user interfaces?

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#13 Post by orathaic » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:26 am

The issue with monopolistic behaviour in social media is that the value of the network increases the more users it has (just like telephone networks, or Internet servers - one telephone is useless if there is nobody to call, but the more people who join the network the more utility it has).

The way that previous networks have dealt with this is to allow access across networks. We can have different mobile service providers, but so long as mine allows incoming calls from your network both benefit from the increased numbers.

That is the openness of a network (and why net neutrality is important), Facebook is closed. If you have ever had someone share a link to some Facebook content and facebook replied with 'you must login to view this content', then you've seen how closed it is.

The alternative is an open network, it is entirely possible to create a widely distributed network with multiple host server which are interoperability. Anyone able to setup their own host following the same open protocols. That is, I believe better than a state/publically owned model.

So far all such attempts have failed to gain momentum.

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Re: Is our world safer, happier, or more productive....

#14 Post by orathaic » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:29 pm


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