Facebook Making us Lonely/Facebook is not Making us Lonely/The Intimacy of Anonymity/One Name to Rule Them All: Facebook’s Identity Problem Response

These four articles all share Facebook and other social media as their main theme.  In reading Facebook Making us Lonely, I was fascinated by the statistics.  They stated that in 1950, American households with only one person were less than 10 percent.  In 2010, that number increased to 27 percent.  The article tells the reader this statistic to show how much more lonely we have become, but I do not necessarily think this statistic shows that.  If we look at the average household from the 1950’s, we will probably find children, a husband who goes to work everyday, and a wife who stays home and takes care of the children while maintaining the house.  It is difficult for me to believe that every woman was happy in this position.  As time has progressed, I think more women have been able to free themselves from this unfulfilling position, resulting in a larger increase of the population living by themselves.  Maybe they do still feel lonely because they do not have anyone to share their home with, but they probably felt the same or worse before.

I was already skeptical of this first article (Facebook Making us Lonely) while reading it, and the article Facebook is not Making us Lonely seemed to back up some of my criticisms of the first article.  In Facebook is not Making us Lonely, the author brings up a statistic mentioned in Facebook Making us Lonely.  The statistic is as follows:  “A 2010 AARP survey found that 35 percent of adults older than 45 were chronically lonely, as opposed to 20 percent of a similar group only a decade earlier.”  However, in Facebook is not Making us Lonely, the author points out that the vast majority of avid Facebook users are younger generations.  So while this statistic may be true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook is the reason for loneliness.   If they wanted to prove that Facebook was causing loneliness, they should have turned to the generation of more frequent Facebook users.  One of the other important refutations the article Facebook is not Making us Lonely against the article Facebook Making us Lonely is the argument about how neighbors never knock on each others doors anymore because now they call.  Facebook is not Making us Lonely points out that this is false, and that neighbors will call, and then knock on each others doors.  Based on my own experience, I find this to be completely true.  We call our neighbors to see when/if they are available to join us for lunch, visit with us, etc.  and then we see them.

In the article The Intimacy of Anonymity, I thought it was interesting to read about how our online posts differ when people either know or don’t know who we are.  The article uses the Whisper and Secret apps to show that when people don’t know who we are, that is when we expose what we are actually feeling and we offer a more authentic version of ourselves.  This is most likely because we will feel vulnerable if we exposed who we truly are.  While expressing your feelings is great, I am not particularly a fan of anonymity.  If you want to express yourself privately there are other ways of doing so, like in a journal.  The reason I am against anonymity is because it does not hold people accountable for their racist, sexist, offensive behaviors.  Since there is no way to trace it back, anonymity allows these negative behaviors to persist without ramifications.  And, obviously, when you’re talking to anonymous people there is a greater chance you could be talking with people who go anonymous for unspeakable reasons.

While reading One Name to Rule Them All:  Facebook’s Identity Problem I was very confused as to why Facebook polices people’s names the way they do.  I think that as long as somebody’s name does not include anything offensive, it should be all good to go.  I do however wish that the article would have showed the names that were being policed so that way the reader can make a more accurate assessment about weather or not they agree with Facebooks policy which disapproves of their names.  Facebooks “Real Name Policy” is said to protect its users against harassment, trolling, racism, and misogyny, but I think that Facebook should be cracking down on other cases to prevent these issues, not forcing drag queens to change their names.  The article mentions how for most people, filling out our names is such a basic task that requires little to no thought for most of us.  Reading this made me realize how privileged I am that I have never had to deal with any injustices such as this.

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