Critically evaluate the stated intentions of Facebook using theoryfrom cyber psychology
Critically evaluate the stated intentions of Facebook using theoryfrom cyber psychology
The advent of technology has come along with numerous changesincluding the way people interact. Long before the advent of thelandline telephones, leave alone the mobile phones, people would onlyinteract face to face. By that time, the process of sharinginformation and staying connected to other people was limited.However, this was to be alleviated albeit partly, by the advent ofthe mobile phones. Mobile phones increased connectivity andinformation sharing amongst the people. It is, however, evident thatthe inception of the social media as a result of the increasedinternet use and mobile use, was the greatest and still remains oneof the most significant ways through which people interact and shareinformation (Liebert, 2008). Amongst the social media platform,Facebook remains the leading platform where people connect, shareinformation and express their feelings freely. It is critical to notethat in regard to cyberpsychology, these interaction between man andthe machine or the internet and virtual reality in this case, astremendous effects on the social and psychological aspect of humanbeings (Bargh & McKenna, 2007). Facebook is no exception and itsuse and application has had tremendous effects of the social andpsychological aspects of its users. In the analysis of the intentionsof Facebook in this paper, the aspect of cyberpsychology will beincorporated put into perspective the various issues that Facebookseems to ignore (Gordo-López & Parker, 2012).
There is no doubt that Facebook is a household name across theglobe. Started in 2004 by its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook hashad mission and philosophy, which it endeavors to fulfil. Accordingto Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook was born out of necessity (Wittkower,2010). There was a gap in the way people interacted, connected andshared information. At the Facebook website, it is clearly statedthat the mission of the social site is to give people the ability tokeep the world both open and connected. That is, people would stayconnected to their families, friends and even other country men.Furthermore, the social site’s mission was to enable people expresstheir opinion and share their feelings without fear and with theclick of a button. Facebook also had the mission of informationsharing where people would get to know what is happening around themand across the world. Equally, people would have the opportunity toshare information with other people across the world.
In a letter addressed to investors, he founder of Facebook, MarkZuckerberg gave out the philosophy of Facebook. The founder assertsthat Facebook was born to serve a social mission. It was started toprovide a convenient and easy platform through which people wouldsend and receive information, as well as share it. Facebook intendsto change and revolutionize the society through the way information Ishared and the way people connect (Zuckerberg, 2012). According tothe contents of the letter, Facebook seeks to ensure that people canshare and express their feelings with other people and in turn thiswould transform the society through changes in the core societyinstitutions and industries. It can be viewed from this aspect thatFacebook’s mission was meant to improve the social lives of thepeople. That is the philosophy of Facebook according to its founder(Zuckerberg, 2012).
In the theory of cyberpsychology, the interaction between man andcomputers, as well as the internet and technology in general, hasshaped the way modern lifestyles are. Interaction of man technologycontinue to change the way people interact with each other, as wellas their perception of the world which seems to be at the user’sfingertips. This effect of how people interact and relate to eachother is manifest in the letter by Facebook founder to investors(Wallace, 2010). According to the letter, Facebook seeks tostrengthen the way that people relate to one another, discover freshideas and understand the world better through these interactions(Zuckerberg, 2012). The social site founder points out that thisstarts as a relationship between two people, which later expands toinclude thousands of people. These strengthened relationships aremeant to ensure that people connect with one another and share whatthey want. According to the philosophy of Facebook, this would ensurethat such people will eventually have long term relationships whichin turn will bring joy and happiness to the society (Karlan &Appel, 2011). This is an effect to the social psychological aspect ofthe individuals, which is well covered in the discipline of cyberpsychology.
The philosophy of sharing information is a core one at Facebook.According to the founder in his letter to investors, sharing ofinformation amongst family and friends on this platform cultivatesthe culture of openness. This leads to the culture where peopleunderstand each other better, as well as their lives’ perspectives.This philosophy is aimed at ensuring that people are exposed tovarying forms perspectives to life, as well as to develop strongrelationships amongst the people (Zuckerberg, 2012). When suchconnections and relationships are developed, Facebook asserts thatthere will be a drift in the way information is spread and consumed.In other words, Facebook believes that information will no longer bespread and consumed through the contemporary method where it is a topown structure but rather it will be bottom to top or peer to pee formof information sharing structure. Furthermore, the philosophy ofFacebook is to give its users the freedom to choose what to say ornot to say. This is a fundamental aspect in the discipline ofcyberpsychology where one of the key effects of technology on humansocial and psychology aspects is offering the freedom of expression(Zuckerberg, 2012).
The letter also puts forward another perspective of the philosophyof the social site. Human interaction with the social networking sitewill bring about an improvement in the economy and enhance how peopleconnect with business and the economy. As it has been discussedabove, Facebook enables people to freely share information regardinginteresting topics that matter to them. In this regard, it is evidentthat people will gather numerous opinions in regard to certainproducts and service from the circle of their friends whom theytrust. This will be critical in decision making in regard to theparticular product. It also provides information in regard to thebest products and service in the market, hence improving the qualityof life (Whitty & Young, 2013). Facebook as a platform realizedthat there are products and services that are social by design andthat such products tend to be extremely engaging in the socialnetwork. This has seen numerous businesses end up coming up withquality products and even more social designed products such asgames, music and news. The platform’s philosophy is also to enablebusinesses across the world to interact with their customers directly(Zuckerberg, 2012). Such businesses have the opportunity to addressthe grievances of their customers. In this regard, the theory ofcyberpsychology is evident in the way the internet and social mediaaffect the social interaction between the people and businessentities. Technology is seen in regard as having an impact on thequality of life of individuals.
The philosophy of Facebook of sharing information continues to havetremendous effects on the lives of the people. In the letter to theinvestors, the founder asserts that Facebook was intended to providean effective platform through which the members of the public caninteract with the government and other social institutions. In thisregard, Facebook envisioned that people would be able to bring abouta transparent dialogue with the government, which in turn wouldensure accountability of officials and empowerment of the people(Zuckerberg, 2012). Furthermore, Mark continues to assert that theinteraction between the people and the government directly wouldensure that the numerous social problems are resolved. It is evidentthat this would have a tremendous impact on the social lives of thepeople (Charalabidis & Koussouris, 2012).
Technology such as the one adopted by Facebook for social networkingwill also enable people to voice their concerns to the governmentdirectly. This will give people a voice direct to their governments,an aspect has been historically impossible. Facebook envisions a timewhen such voices will be enormous and the government will be unableto ignore them but to respond to the needs of the people (Zuckerberg,2012). It is also within the philosophy of Facebook that as socialnetworking advances, there will be an advent of service that aresocial by design aimed at addressing some of the greatest worldproblems. The services may seek to address issues such asunemployment, education and healthcare. It is evident from the letterthat Facebook was not started as a business, but it had a socialmission of connecting people across the globe. Cyberpsychology hasalso been viewed largely as the social and psychological effects thattechnology or the interaction between man and the computer, as wellas the internet and virtual networks has had.
Whereas Facebook founder and the mission of Facebook as a wholeseems to address the various social and psychological problems facingmankind, it is evident that it fails to address the issues of CyberCrime and Online Deviance. These are critical issues in the world oftechnology and the internet especially the social networks such asFacebook. This is a critical issue in the social and psychologicalperspective to address while dealing with the topic of socialnetworking (Weintraub, 2011). It is evident that the topiccyber-crime and online deviance has taken root in the social mediasuch as Facebook. Therefore, it is critical for the Facebookmanagement to address this critical social and psychological aspects.In the theory of cyberpsychology, the issue of cyber-crime and onlinedeviance are critically addressed.
Cyber-crime has been on the rise in the recent past since theinception of the internet. It is vital to note that criminals use thespeed, anonymity and convenience offered by the internet to committheir criminal activities without fear. It is a fact a vast majorityof Facebook users must have come across links on their pages askingthem to click a link to claim a prize which they have won. This linkredirects the user to pages where the criminals ask for credit cardnumbers to facilitate your prize money processing. This is a form ofcyber-crime that is extremely manifest on Facebook. It is thereforealmost unbelievable that Facebook would ignore such a topic in itsmission and intent with the social platform (Townsend, 2005).Numerous people have reported being victims of these criminals andhave had tremendous psychological effects such as depression and dueto the loss their suffered. Cyber-crime can also take the form ofsexploitation of children where children or minors on Facebook arelured to sexual activities by adults. The effects of sexualexploitation to minors are evident. They range from school drop outs,psychological disorders to early pregnancies (Norman, 2008). Theseexperiences are believed to have adverse social and psychologicaleffects to the minors on Facebook who are groomed and exploitedsexually.
It has also become evident that there has been numerous attacks onother people’s computers through the internet using social networksas platforms such as Facebook. The attacks on the computers mightaffect the hardware or the software. These attacks come in the formof malware, virus, botnets and network intrusions. More often thannot, messages are sent on Facebook users, asking them to followcertain links which seem extremely appealing. As a consequence ofclicking such a link, the user’s computer is infected with virusesor malware immediately (Brenner, 2010). This is a serious cyber-crimeproblem, which Facebook has refused to address, yet it affects itsusers directly. When a user’s computer is affected andmalfunctions, such users may suffer from psychological stress anddepression. In the theory of cyber-psychology, this is a majorproblem and one of the numerous effects of human interaction with theworld of technology, internet and the virtual world.
The introduction of chat option by Facebook has had great benefits,as well as immense shortcomings. Cyber bullying and cyber harassmentare forms of cyber-crime that form a critical part of cyberpsychology(Krohn et al., 2009). Minors are bullied, abused and threatened bytheir fellow minors. This may occur through the chat option onFacebook. Such minors experience social and psychological distressand affect their performance at school. The comment section has beenan avenue through which cyber bullying take place. This has been asource of depression and stress for numerous minors where they areabused, ridiculed and critiqued for their opinions. On the otherhand, adults on Facebook are also harassed and tormented throughabuses, death threats and mistreatment (Sauter, 2012). It is clearthat there has been various cases of death threats reported which aremade on Facebook through the chat messaging option. It is alsoapparently clear that adults are also abused and mistreated by theirpeers or enemies on Facebook. This effects of technology on humansocial and psychological aspects have had immense mental andemotional effects. Adults who are harassed on the social media mayend up being depressed and undergo immense stressful moments.
The issue of cyber bullying and cyber harassment has not beenmentioned anywhere in the intent of Facebook (Berndt, 2011). This isa real threat to the success of the Social media and therefore itmust addressed and users assured how they will or are beingprotected. Online deviance is another cyberpsychology aspect thatFacebook has failed address (Riva & Galimberti, 2009). More oftenthan not, users of Facebook have gone beyond the acceptable onlinenorms to post comments and images that are unacceptable. Forinstance, there has been cases where comments that are raciallyabusive have been posted on Facebook. Furthermore, image that aresemi-nude and others which are meant to be censored are exposed onFacebook openly. Although Facebook had the option of reporting suchviolations of the online social norm, the fact is such measures havenot been effective to the extent of eliminating the vice (Caviglioneet al, 2013). The comments made and the images posted that arecontrary to the general online norms may cause tremendous social andpsychology effects such as stress and depression.
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