twelve years ago, inventing Facebook, mark zuckerberg I hardly imagined that it was there that we would sit from morning to evening, make appointments, lead projects, fall in love and part. Virtual communication (just think how archaic this formulation sounds now) has been integrated into our everyday life as an infusion. Together with him, the inevitable questions arose that frighten adults, as adolescents - with video games: what will become of live communication? Should we limit our presence on social networks - both for ourselves and those around us? What will our children say about their funny photos posted on public display without their knowledge? Is it possible, in the end, to like your friend's foe? Social networks dictate new rules, but what they are - we, it seems, have not figured out yet.
Some values, however, do not change: a person is still a social being, and communication is one of his basic needs, which was relevant both in the era of epistolary novels and in the days of the Instagram feed. At the same time, thanks to social networks, communication mechanisms have changed irrevocably. Firstly, their assortment and functionality is growing every year: you will not surprise anyone not only with Tinder, but even with a dating site for animals. All the metamorphoses that occur with social networks testify only to their incredible vitality, and our sharp reaction to any changes in the algorithms for issuing Facebook, for example, is about our strong connection with them.
Many sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers and ethicists are trying to understand how the same Facebook affects our communication and behavior, what has changed and what to do next. There is even a separate discipline for this - digital sociology, digital sociology. It's no longer a secret for scientists that social media is an essential part of communication today, so they devote their careers to studying how people behave on 4chan or Reddit. Digital sociology is rapidly gaining momentum - you can even read about it in the book of the same name. In short, the world of social networks is very similar to the "normal" one - with one exception: everything is always in sight.
Most often, it is customary to talk about social networks in a slightly hysterical key "what happened to us": everything was better before. The communication of the past, as befits a nostalgic outlook on life, is shrouded in an aura of romance, when people were not late for meetings, called on the phone, and April took them outside to drink. You can go further: the phone ruined everything, because of it people have forgotten how to write, it's time to revive the epistolary genre. But what is there, a letter is another way to avoid personal communication, it is better to solve all issues face to face.
It is possible to continue this crazy chain to the point of complete absurdity, but it is clear that this is only one, the most superficial view of the problem. The past cannot be returned: our communication, especially over the last century with a tail, has developed and transformed so rapidly that this process cannot be stopped. Just like the train at full speed that has changed human travel, travel and migration. By the way, they also tried to ban the trains of romance of Victorian England at the time of their appearance - they feared that the world, as they know it, would change irrevocably.
We are faced with a fascinating task: to form new rules of communication, to establish a new etiquette in the world of social media
In fact, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tinder have become our new realities, with which, whether we like it or not, we need to put up with, and even better - work. The problem is not that this should be done, but that we simply do not understand how. So far, all of us are like blind defenseless kittens who learn the world by trial and error and for whom these very mistakes are especially painful. On the other hand, we are faced with a delightfully exciting task: to form new rules of communication, establish a new etiquette in the world of social media.It is in many ways similar to the universal principles of "real" communication: do not disclose other people's information without consent (outing), do not incite for fun (trolling), do not engage in cyberbullying, just like bullying outside the Internet, and so on.
Social media makes it easier than ever to form and maintain relationships, whether they are friendly or romantic, but keeping them secret is much more difficult. Likes have become a new universal incentive, to the point where you can develop an addiction to constant approval. The reverse side of the constant connection or illusion of this connection with the world around leads even to painful conditions, primarily associated with low self-esteem. As with any multifaceted phenomenon, the benefits of social media are as much as they are harmful: while helping with the establishment of communication, trust, finding our place in the world, social media simultaneously inclines us to less physical activity and stimulates negative emotions like jealousy.
Facebook, the king of all social networks, is usually accused of encouraging exhibitionism, even at such socially important moments as the #I'm not afraid to tell. Everything that falls into it really appears in plain sight, even if it is a field of close friends and acquaintances. In Russia, the social network has also become an important socio-political field of action: for many, it is not just a place for photographs of a family, but a platform for official statements, a place for establishing working ties. We are building a prism through which we would like to be perceived - without noticing, however, many small things that the mechanics of the social network oblige us to do. Thus, likes become not just a passing approval, but a choice of a party to the conflict, and the reaction to a post or its absence becomes an equally loud political statement.
The fact that social networks inevitably confront us with what would have previously remained hidden can be perceived as a disaster. Indeed, this is the amount of information that we sometimes are not able to process (do you need these photos of someone else's dog in the country?), Sometimes painful (how about photos of exes?), Which is embedded in one information stream with reposts world news, invitations to five more parties on Saturday and news of who ate what, what he thought and where he went. This is no longer a stereotype about "emigration to the Internet", this is a collision with real life - just skillfully filtered, and not quite by you. Instead of speculating and fantasizing, you know at least relatively certain: this dog lives better than you, and the exes are doing well. Of course, we see only part of reality. But this in its own way can play into the hands: in this way we are forced to face its uncontrollable and unpredictable version, finding ourselves face to face with our fears and problems.
We are forced to face an uncontrolled version of reality, finding ourselves face to face with our fears and problems
Facebook is great because it offers many pictures of the world. Adapting to each of us (let's leave it out of the brackets, how well it turns out), he forms millions of individual points of view. Sometimes, however, belief in the very images that we create on the Internet can lead too far. In fact, social media is a great excuse to rethink your own and others' boundaries. The public expression of our opinions shows how little we catch ourselves thinking about our actions in principle, it's just that social networks make everything more noticeable. It's not that we don't have the right to make a mistake - everyone has it, and we shouldn't forget about that either. But we must remember that on the Internet someone is always wrong and there will always be at least someone who will point it out. In a sense, the world has become more transparent, and this is neither good nor bad.
We all turned out to be participants in a global social experiment. Each of our actions in social networks becomes a contribution to the treasury of a huge database, analyzing which you can draw many interesting conclusions about yourself and others.Social networks not only allow, but also oblige to think about where the border between the personal and the public lies - and how each of us has the right to outline our own and respect someone else's. In many ways, this is still terra incognita, stepping on which one should not rush to conclusions, as in "real" life. Because it's high time to reconsider the terminology: Facebook, Tinder and Instagram are real life in 2016.
Images: Natalia Merzlyakova - stock.adobe.com, guteksk7 - stock.adobe.com