Commons Connect

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6 Degrees of Facebook

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To quit or not to quit, that was the question… 30,000 users, that was the answer.

Whom among the Commons folk? Well, I know for sure Matt Gold (@admin) after reading his blog post “Why I Left Facebook“. Giving links to great resources, Matt forgoes the basic Facebook=Bad conversation and instead explains why he personally felt the need to leave Facebook. I couldn’t agree more about not wanting my child’s pictures being used without permission — not cool Zuckerburg!

I also know Boone B. Gorges (@boonebgorges) quit after reading his post “The Meat of Facebook“. Boone thinks that Facebook should be regulated in the same respect that the government regulates the meat industry.

“The government is justified in protecting its citizens at their most vulnerable (you might even say this is the primary reason for government).”

Despite the company’s humble roots, they have grown to be what anyone would call a “big business” — with an estimated net worth of nearly 4 billion dollars. We all know happens when big business is not regulated,  cough cough… BP… cough.  After Zuckerburg recently admitted at the D8 Conference: “When I was 18 or 19 years old, I did a lot of stupid things“, he reveals Facebook’s ultimate mission statement — via hoodie!!

While I like the recent steps he took to simplify privacy settings and the concept of the new insignia, what the H is it doing on the inside of his hoodie?? More importantly couldn’t this be done on any other platform? Yes. Well, not really. Definitely, but not immediately. I’m sure Facebook with not be the last place to connect people online. Myspace used to be the place where everyone had to be, and now it’s primarily used to promote bands. When the time comes, Facebook will also have relinquish it’s throne (and grip).

When that time does come (or if they do something uber creepy), I will be more than ready to jump ship like @lwaltzer. While I agree with everything Luke said in his blog post, “I Can’t Quit You Facebook“, from his reasoning behind not quitting to his thoughts on Twitter, the following quote really stood out to me:

“Many, but not all, are to the left of center, and most are to the right of me.”

I have (what some of you might alright know) a diverse set of friends on Facebook, most of whom are to the right of me. As someone who views web 2.0 platforms as a means of promoting social justice, I find that Facebook is a great forum for political (yet civil) discourse.

Some may argue that facebook and politics should never mix, somewhat like beer and politics. As someone with experience in the service industry, I certainly appreciated when these rules were adhered to by inebriated customers! In regards to Facebook, however; I would have to disagree. Of course (as with everything), there is a line. There have been many groups and individuals on Facebook that have crossed this line, but I’d like to consider myself a cut above (or a world apart) from these types of individuals.

So I posted an update on my Facebook profile about considering leaving and shortly after I saw that my cousin joined the group 1 Million Against the Mosque at Ground Zero!, which prompted me to post this religious AND political update…


With over 40 comments I thought the discussion was finally over, but it continues 5 days later. This thread, along with my other cousin’s comment, “@Sarah M M: thank you for posting this, and putting up with all the abuse. This is why you shouldn’t give up on facebook” made me realize I still had a vested interest in Facebook! In this thread alone I learned that one of my high school friends served as the New York State chairman of the Patriot Party, worked as an Arabic linguist for the Marines, and helped work search and rescue on the north side of the pile near the Winter Garden on 9/12. He also points out in one of his comments:

“Most of the other people I talk to who were actually there just want peace and reconciliation.”

Sure, most people won’t sway from their political or religious opinions, but if that thread was able to make one person think about the issue from another perspective then I’m more than OK with that. If you need three reasons why I am still on Facebook:

1. Community

2. Betty White Hosting SNL

3. This (thanks @wrhernandez!)

While I certainly didn’t quit Facebook on May 31st, plenty of others did… did you?

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