On Facebook’s Internet, We’re All, Like, Valley Girls
If you follow me on Twitter, you are probably aware that I’m not the biggest fan of the idea of Facebook taking over the internet for a multitude of reasons. The main way in which they are attempting to do this is through the “Like” button – a button that can sit on websites and allow users to inform their social network that they, well, like the webpage. One has to wonder, however, if such an overly simplistic and monotone way to share information makes a dumber web.
There is nothing wrong about saying that you like something, per se, but one must wonder how smart a web can be that merely “likes” things. On Facebook’s Internet how do you share content that you downright despise, or (even worse) content that you simply are not sure about. As of now I don’t see any way. Compare this to Twitter where I can share a link and in 140 characters attach a range of emotions, feelings, thoughts, and ideas regarding it. In fact, Twitter is an extension of the Google form of ranking the web, where the hyperlinks are a bit longer and shared in real time.
Even worse, on an existential level, this is perpetuated by the fact that not only are you sharing things that you like, you are sharing them with things that you want to be perceived as liking by your friends, “the other”. You only share things that you think your friends would approve of you liking. How parochial is Facebook’s Inernet?
When this news first hit, Chris Dixon, tweeted that we may be leaving the Golden Age of web when it was ruled by Google, the benevolent dictator, and entering the new regime dominated by Facebook. I think we may be leaving the Golden Age of the web as a university and entering the web as high school, where we’re all, like, Valley Girls.