Facebook is not bringing people together. It is not achieving its objective.
The power of Facebook is being lost in the commoditisation of its user, it is as though we are all sitting in a great hall of discussion, incessantly being interrupted by persons coming to ask us if we want to buy such and such thing. The people’s hall of discusson requires a decorum.
We are for the most part trapped in pictures of kittens, 9 gags like websites, advertisements, selfies, articles here and there that normally validate what we already think, and “discussions” where people have collective orgasms about the vileness of the other. There is no constructive power.
Facebook can be of enormous utility. It can quite literally heal the world, by exchange, by discussion, by conciliation.
Where ladies in Saudi arabia can discuss with ladies in the United states, about their position in the household, where pakistanis can discuss with indians, where the israelis can discuss with the palestinians, the chinese with the japanese, and the world can watch, and think. We must recognise with humility the smallness of our understanding, and the vastness of our ignorance, but this shouldn’t stop us taking baby steps.
The same happens with Youtube, people say terribly vile things to each there and unnecessarily repeat essentially the same idea, simply because there is no structure to what they say, there is no patience, the interlocuteurs are not having a constructive discussion.
Quora to some extent seems to deal with the situation better, by allowing people to answer specific questions,
but it is dissapointing that the most major player, Facebook, is losing out on impact. But even Quora does not give its users a CONSTRUCTIVE power to their interaction. By constructive I do not mean that they are to be given some sort of legislative power, what I mean is that people can shift slowly to a state of greater awareness, where a debate is a sequence of ideas that converge, and we can all build together brick by brick, forming and dismantling conceptions to build edifices of common understanding on matters. The repercussions to this could be extraordinary.
People feel a sense of lost time on Facebook and Youtube because there is no opportunity to construct. We are makers and doers, before we are understanders, even in physics and mathematics, we fiddle around and see what happens. This modern obsession with truth and understanding is absurd, intellectuals, philosophers, scientists and economists must put their hands in the mud.
It is nice to look at pictures of loved ones, and it is nice to see where people go and what they eat and what they are upto. I meant this quite sincerely.
It is also nice to be able to be informed of social events, to see the love people have for their family, or the trips they take together, it is an expression of our humanity.
But, the grand cyber hall of Facebook needs to have rooms, needs to have structure, so that exchange, and interesting discussion with constructive power can happen in some rooms, and fun and joyful silliness in another room.
We do realise that nearly EVERYBODY is on Facebook, everybody with their personal thinking on each other, on others lives, on politics, on relationships, but in order for the whole world to move forward and solve problems, and discuss, we first need to pose the problems, and then try and solve them, slowly, together.
And ofcourse,to discover with joy different cultures, coming from the people, what are their thoughts on their culture, but with the condition that they put in effort, time and research into expressing themselves. What is a research paper but a sublimation and a structurisation of a small scaffolding built on a pre-existing edifice. But the ideas are always raw to begin with.
It is a pity, Facebook has so much potential.
I would again link this to a lack of culture, the makers of Facebook are certainly extraodinarily brilliant, and creative, having done what they did, but they don’t have a vision for cultural harmony and interaction. They too, like everybody else, lose
their vision to money and expansion, and control, and commoditisation.
There was a time when we would spend money to build churches and cathedrals, and palaces, and have the greatest poets come and sing their finest verses, when the wisest men would speak aloud on what they thought could be done, so that we could say, “I lived in the time of the great poet so-and-so”, I am sorry to say that I live in the time of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and Justin Bieber, who despite their merits should not hold such a strong place in the collective conscience. Mediocrity is sold as art in the name of liberty of expression and individuality. To paraphrase Pessoa, everybody has sentiment, but everybody is not an artist.
In this great Diwan-e-Aam, House of commoners, with M. Zuckerberg as emperor, we need more decorum fitting his grand stature, where we can all sit and discuss the world, properly.
M. Zuckerberg is our new emperor, we bow to him, but he must act like one.
M. Zuckerberg, O my emperor, I know you are not listening to your humble servant, but please be more ambitious and cultured, we all need you. It is by the superficial that we must reach the soul.
Also, lets the change from Facebook to Worldbook.
I end with the words of Pessoa again, poorly translated:
“The only true art is that of construction. But the modern world prevents the appearance of construction in our minds. This is why science developed. The only object presenting the qualities of construction today is a machine; the only reasoning where we find a logical sequence, is a mathematical proof. The power to create demands a point of support: the crutch of reality. Art is a science..it suffers rhythmically.”