How Facebook Has Altered the Social and Cultural Landscapes of Communication

How Facebook Has Altered the Social and Cultural Landscapes of Communication

Communication innovation has undoubtedly revolutionized the transfer and sharing of information. In recent years, advances in technology have led to the establishment of numerous social networks that have simplified communication. Consequently, online systems have been established as the primary tools of connecting, interacting and communicating. This has given the users of the online social interaction sites unprecedented freedom to interact, share information, and keep in touch and network. As a result, the world has become a global village, and people intertwined through global connections.

All over the world, the increased use of social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook have become a significant component of people’s lives. Facebook has become a way of life for people since almost every person on the planet is connected to this social networking site. Facebook has particularly been viewed as the world’s most popular SNS, due to its ability of enhancing communication and connections between friends. This essay will explore the impact of Facebook as a social and networking platform on social and cultural landscapes of international communication.

The invention of Facebook as the most popular SNS on the internet has permanently changed the mode of interaction and socialization among its users. Since it provides a forum for communication, sharing of information, building and maintaining on-going relationships, Facebook has become a part of daily life for a majority of its users. As a result, Facebook has transformed social and cultural aspects of the society. However, it should be noted that Facebook is a human invention. Therefore, it is prone to various drawbacks like internet safety, limits of exposure and identity crisis. This assertion makes one pose, and asks whether Facebook as a networking platform has transformed the social and cultural landscapes of international communication.

Since it was launched in February 2004 by its founder Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has become a social platform, which enables people to communicate and stay in touch all over the world. It has become a tool of self-expression, because the users are able to update their status as a part of the democratic process. Facebook allows users to be exposed and meet new people, new ideas, new opinions, news and current events. It also provides its users with a platform to sell their merchandise. Besides, people are given the liberty to access personal information, photos of families and friends, and a chance to make new acquaintances outside of the user’s circle of friends.

Facebook is regarded as a social movement, which has formative influence where members learn the vision of the movement, adopt the skills and dispositions needed to be active members of the movement. Facebook also serves as an educative forum, whereby members of the social movement engage each other in purposeful activities. This helps in influencing their mode of learning and interpreting the world. Members also develop skills needed to amend the meanings and realities that the members come across through the course of their interactions.

As a result, people end up learning and gaining new information that may result in self-rewarding benefits such as employment connections. Moreover, recent studies have shown that accessing Facebook promotes different forms of social capital. This includes forming social bonds with friends and neighbors, which in turn promotes psychological well-being of a person that builds self esteem and achieves satisfaction in life. In addition, Facebook enhances a person’s reflection and understanding of society, thus contributing to a better neighborhood relations and community at large.

Facebook is incorporated with interactive features, which allow its users to connect via laptops, personal computers and mobile phones by simply installing the Facebook application. Facebook enables family members and relatives located in various parts of the world to view each other’s photos. They are able to update their statuses, work life experiences and personal celebrations, hence making it easy for others to know about their welfare. The social platform is regarded as an efficient communication tool through which people can exchange ideas. Users of Facebook can also entertain themselves by accessing the interactive games found on the website.

Facebook has also transformed the culture of communication. However, many researchers have questioned the ‘false’ sense of privacy associated with the use of facebook among its users. They argue that lack of social responsibility and feeling of anonymity makes users abuse Facebook principles by posting embarrassing and denigrating content over the internet. Many Facebook users engage in egregious online behavior, such as defamation of character and slander, leading to serious consequences. For instance, the misuse of Facebook among students has led to serious acts such as expulsion from college, denial to intern programs, jobs during holiday breaks and even denial of admission to independent universities.

The concept of ‘virtual community’ as an interaction forum is one of the key positive aspects associated with Facebook. Virtual comminutes play a significant role in enhancing relationships through the wealth of information found on the internet. Additionally, such community relationships promote information sharing by bringing together people with similar interests, whereby they exchange ideas and learn from each other. The use of Facebook has enhanced the desire for community building, whereby users are able to share photos, send messages between friends, keep up-to-date about current activities of their friends and even comment on each other’s walls.

Through the digital space, Facebook has achieved the objective of enriching people’s lives by the formation of real world relationships. Through the use of Facebook, students can form a college global group which enables sharing of knowledge, ideas and information by past, current and future members. In addition, students can share news, social events, and enable current members to communicate and develop relationships with the community and alumni members. This shows that Facebook has transformed the culture of communication by making it easier and available just with the click of a button.

Colleges and universities have widely utilized by Facebook as a vital resource for preparing students for academic life. This feature enables high school students to create groups whereby information regarding incoming students to the university can easily be accessed, and also accommodates the formation of professional student groups. These groups provide exceptionally resourceful information regarding registration dates, guide students through setting up email accounts and also provide vital guides and tips which help international students in adjusting to the university environment. Students are enhancing and making campus life more exciting by using the “marketplace” feature of Facebook. Through the marketplace application, students can sell or exchange books using ISBN. In addition, this feature assists students in looking for a roommate by checking whether they share mutual friends, enhancing the virtue of trust among students and making campus life more fascinating.

As Facebook continues to grow, it carries on drawing on the legitimacy that comes from the size and scope of the movement. As it was mentioned earlier, it was merely designed for college students. However, it is now being used by people of all ages and fellows from all walks of life such as children, parents and grandparents. Facebook is used in more than 35 languages, in 170 countries and territories. However, the use of Facebook establishes and maintains social capital, by way of openly sharing information and making connections that are responsible for continued growth of the movement. For instance, statistics indicate that on a typical hour in December 2010 seeing a bouncing 900000 status updates, 1,5 million wall posts and uploading of more than 1,6 million photos by the users. Drawing from the prevalent use of Facebook and the widespread engagement, approximately half of the users of Facebook are online in Facebook every day in every continent on the globe.

Today, it has become the norm to be on Facebook, hence the shift in the culture of communication. When one is not a member with a user profile on the site, they are said to be missing out on a special thing because seemingly everyone is doing it. Therefore, the society tends to label those not on Facebook as backdated. This is regarded as a lower social status for ignoring the reality of the Facebook community. It is for this reason that people who are already on Facebook send invitations to all their friends to join the hype of connecting and sharing with both old and new friends.

Facebook also plays an integrative role in regard to international communication. This is especially relevant for exchange, foreign or international students. The use of Facebook promotes the principle of exclusivity. This makes students feel comfortable by connecting and forming relationships with international students. Additionally, Facebook acts as a learning tool whereby students are able to see each other’s profile and even take courses together. However, Celsi & Wolfinbarger dispute the assertion by Stutzman and offers a contrary view that, Facebook is “strictly a social and fun space and lacks the academic maturity associated with other cites like wiki.” They instead advocate for the use of webCT or email as a more academic mode of contacting students.

Today, the overwhelming use of Facebook has intertwined people’s social, personal and cultural life. In spite of the eminent risks associated with the use of Facebook, research shows that it has a tremendous future role to play in transforming communication. The ability to communicate, interact, share ideas and develop relationships among peers through Facebook creates a positive impact on their social life. This is supported by research conducted at Michigan State University which found out self esteem was high among people who used Facebook, as opposed to non-users.

As a communication innovation, Facebook relies on the expansive international community. This fosters the continuation of the company’s vision of uniting and connecting people all over the globe. In addition, Facebook helps in embracing socialization, through information technology in networking and connecting people around the globe. Since, Facebook has positioned itself as a social and networking platform, it represents a strong and vibrant worldwide spread community. Although the level of democratic discourse used in Facebook is questionable, the shared values, beliefs, and common practices enhance communal bonding thus positively influencing the society.

In conclusion, Facebook as a social networking site has proved that the internet has the potential to transform communication, create social awareness and encourage corporate responsibility. The use of technology brings about instant connectivity to people all over the globe. As a result of its distinctive features, Facebook has become extremely appealing to millions of users in the world. As a communication innovation, Facebook relies on the expansive community whose connection and sharing it fosters. The Facebook community is continuously evolving, with the public participating actively in shaping its character through developing its content by language and symbols that characterize its operations. Up to this end, I believe that the use of Facebook has transformed the social and cultural landscapes of international communication.

About the author:
Ava Hilly is the youngest manager at the writing company. Also, she is a part-time writer at essay world. You should read her reviews of books and films. It's a masterpiece. Ava is a modern art lover and she can talk about the importance of street art for hours. Ava enjoys sharing her spare time with friends by examining coffee houses all around the city. 

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