One of the commercials that we watched in class on Monday, the MCI ad, tries to illustrate how the Internet is beneficial to people as a society, and how it can make our society into a sort of utopia (by their definition). They say things such as, “there is no race, no age, no race; there are only minds. The Internet: where minds, doors, and lives open up.” Sure, it’s easy to think that a utopian society would be one where physical appearance and abilities are ignored and only thoughts and ideas are cherished, but if you think about that a little deeper, there are some really horrible implications of that. What makes society so great is that everyone has a difference experience within it, people have different ideas and beliefs, backgrounds, and knowledge, and when we combine all of these things together, that’s when we all can benefit. One place that I can think of in particular that has a smorgasbord of different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions is on Facebook.
Facebook is both a utopian and dystopian arena of information. On the utopian side, it is a place where people from all over the world can connect, share information and pictures, post opinions, “like” pages that reflect on their interests, and so much more. Facebook has made our big world into a much smaller and more connected one. For a personal example, I have a friend that lives in Australia. Never would I ever be able to know what Jackson is up to on a Saturday night, or that he broke his arm, or that he was on a road trip in the US this past summer if it weren’t for Facebook to keep us so easily connected.
The dystopian aspect of Facebook would have to be how easily its become to say negative and hurtful things to people. Back when I was a kid, bullying meant you would be picked on during recess, maybe even beat up a little bit. But as I grew up, and so did the Internet, bullying transferred into the cyber sphere. I am being 100% honest when I say that I still hate the girl that Facebook messaged me a few weeks before entering my freshmen year of high school saying, “I’m going to make your life hell when you get to the east campus” (my high school was divided up into two campuses, freshmen were at the west campus, sophomores through seniors at the east campus). I cried for hours after I received that message, and it really did scare me. The girl never made my life hell, and to this day, I still refuse to accept her friend request. But anyways, back to my point: Facebook, and the Internet as a whole, gives people a screen to hide behind so that they can say nasty, means things without feeling like a “traditional” bully.
Was anyone else a victim of “cyber bullying” or was anyone a cyber bully themselves? (This is a judgment free zone, we all have pasts).
What are some other negative implications, or dystopian aspects, of Facebook?