I remember just a few months ago how people around me were discussing social platforms like Facebook. Especially facebook. There were mainly two different parties. The ones who thought it is ok to use Facebook because they could see positive aspects like staying in touch with a lot of friends at the same time and being up to date about their lifes etc.. The other fraction often saw for example a flaw in the quality of information people were giving. There were plenty more points I could line up but I don’t want to repeat or warm up the old discussion here. For me it is more important to point out a change that has been going on for a while now but for some reason hasn’t been pointed out in my surrounding. In my experience Facebook has developed in many positive ways. I remember not long ago it was kind of like a no-go to post too personal information. Maybe because it had the feeling of placing your inside on the town halls black board. Especially since you had no influence of who acutally would be able to read this information or not. I was facing this question myself when someone really close to me died. I had to question myself if this could be misinterpreted by others. But I decided in the end that I had the need to share this moment in my life and I wanted to share it with someone who cared. It is normal to write about someones death in the newspapers where everyone can read it. But it was not that normal and accepted to do so in a platform that kept me in touch with people I care about. Pretty strange in my opinion. So I made the decision to ignore the normal way of post-behaviour and to write about my loss. What happened gave me such a positive feedback on what I had done! Plenty of messages, posts and replies from people I love and who wanted to give me support and strenght. This was worth more than 5000 of condolence cards from people I don’t even know. I might have been more sensitive for these kind of messages after this experience but I still have the feeling that messages about someones state and feelings have been more accepted and used in the past months. I am really glad about this development. But not only the personal feelings found their way into the “system”. It has become a platform for statements and movements! People unite through facebook, twitter and Co. to follow a cause or believe. It’s a way to reach thousands and millions of people with your messages. Topics that mainly got ignored in the past or barely got any reaction at all if someone posted it on his or her wall have become quite normal and accepted now. People inform eachother about political situations and their point of view concerning it. When Egypt fought for their rights and a better future the government understood that one of the greatest danger for reuniting and gathering people together was the internet. People were sharing videos, pictures and texts about the situation in Egypt every minute. A flood the government couldn’t stop since it already had passed all borders and lines. Of course people will be and already are trying to manipulate platforms like Facebook to spread their own information and make their profit out of it. And in a way they will be always successfull since there are plenty of people who will fall for them. But it’s a natural process. Like viruses will evolve to survive. And we will find a way to minimize their influence and damage like we already are spreading news to protect ourselves from loss of privacy and other things. Even Facebook itself understood the need of their users to set up lines so everyone can decide what to to share with who, since the spread information became more personal but the created network is moving into outer circles someone don’t want to included in everything they are doing and thinking.
Sure there are still risks with using social networks and someone still might share useless information about what they had for breakfast but the good thing is you can always ignore all this and focus on the “new wave” which is filled with policital statements, groups of same interests, people opening themselves for you and a lot more.