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Technology Analysis - Facebook

Analytical Essay

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Technology Analysis - Facebook

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Technology Analysis - Facebook

Facebook is a social media platform that was launched on the 5th of February, 2004.  It was invented by Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, the Harvard University students, and roommates. Zuckerberg came up with the Facemash website in 2003 and this marked the beginning of his great invention. At its initial stage, Facebook’s network was locally limited within the Harvard University but later spread to other parts of Boston. The stability of the network was gained in 2005 when the name ‘The Facebook’ changed to ‘facebook.com’ after purchasing the domain for $200,000 (Brugger, 2015). By 2006, the founders made the access to the platform available to everyone above the age of 13 (Bakshy et al., 2015). The company progressively gained popularity, and in 2009, it was ranked the world’s most used social network. Since then, Facebook has tremendously gained popularity; statistics recorded over 2.13 billion monthly active users (Brugger, 2015). It is being used for socializing, marketing, blogging, conducting researches, and for general communication. Facebook has also proved to be a global learning aid. This paper aims to research Facebook’s relation to such concepts as “the global village,” “medium is the message”, and “silent orality” by presenting functionality and impact of Facebook on the contemporary world.

The world has been conceptualized into a small village in which nothing can happen without being noticed despite the differences in geographical locations.  For instance, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” is one of the tweets that changed Justine Sacco’s life (Ronson, 2015). Though she had tweeted while at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the tweet propagated to the whole world and within few moments, she became the most trending individual on Facebook. The tweet aired by Justine with a single click was criticized by thousands of people from diverse backgrounds. This indicates the ability of social media to spread a message from any location to billions of people in diverse regions. Social networks hold immeasurable power, as Justine lost her career and prior public recognition. Anderson and Wolff (2010) reinstated the influence of Facebook on integrating the world when they indicated that people have shifted from World Wide Web to more closed platforms. The dire need to access social media platform and socialize has led to some aspects of technology being outwitted.

The concept of ‘medium is message’ implies that the qualities of the communication medium have as powerful effects as the information it transmits (Bakshy et al., 2015). Facebook is a perfect channel for passing information as its functionality is always at its best. Therefore, it provides and transmits the required quality of information as intended by the sender. Ronson (2015) confirmed that this was exactly the case with respect to the scenario when Adria Richard overheard of a dongle joke by a particular man at Santa Clara, California. Since Richard wanted her tweet to convey profound message concerning the ridiculous joke, she decided to take a photo of the man. After the photo was posted with a caption “Not cool. Jokes about.  .  . ‘Big’ dongles right behind me” on Twitter, the message spread like wildfire to thousands of individuals across the globe (Ronson, 2015). Although Richard then apologized, the man was immediately fired from his job. It was obvious that the quote could not have made significant impact without the pictorial content. Facebook users add pictures to their posts in an even greater context to convey authentic messages. Facebook also utilizes audio + visual content (in video clips, for instance) to transmit the originality of given information (Brugger, 2015). This ensures that the receiver acquires an adequate representation of a given incidence even if he or she was not present at the scene. The reliability of Facebook explains why a multitude of people prefers it compared to other social media platforms.

Silent orality is yet another powerful concept that improves Facebook’s efficiency and usability by featuring Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and Short Messages Services (SMS) (Soffer, 2010). Facebook incorporates CMS and SMS techniques especially in the interpersonal communication. Facebook is a computer-based network, and thus it operates from CMC. Soffer (2010) asserted that there are diverse types of orality such as residual manuscript orality, secondary orality, and digital orality. It is also important to note that the writings always emanate from spoken texts as they are inseparable. Chats are extremely common in the contemporary world and are extensively used in various environments (Soffer, 2010). A person can silently send and receive messages without causing noise and disruptions. The continued communication ensures that messages are passed across the globe within the shortest time possible. The current world can rarely forego the silent orality.

Facebook has indeed shrunk the world into a global village by interconnecting various individuals from diverse backgrounds. Social media constantly contribute to unity and harmony as the users learn to understand each other. The concept of ‘medium in message’ precisely fits Facebook as it is one of the convenient and reliable channels of communication.  The social platform further utilizes silent orality for improving the experience it offers to its users. Without Facebook, the world would be encapsulated with ignorance and life would be no better than it currently is.

References

Anderson, A., & Wolff, M. (2010). The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet. Wired Magazine.

Bakshy, E., Messing, S., & Academic, L. A. (2015). Exposure to Ideologically Diverse News and Opinions on Facebook. Science, 384(6239), 1130-1132. Retrieved from https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=8y9rr0AAAAJ&hl=en

Brugger, N. (2015). A Brief History of Facebook as a Media Text: The Development of an Empty Structure. First Monday, 20(5). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1461444816643787

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew up Justine Sacco’s Life. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html.

Soffer, O. (2010). Silent Orality: Toward a Conceptualization of the Digital Oral Features in CMC and SMS Texts. Communication Theory, 20(4), 387 - 404.

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