Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Facebook and Philosophy: What's on Your Mind? (Popular Culture and Philosophy #50)


What happens when you use Philosophy to look at Social Media?
This, apparently is the first question which comes to mind when you look at the cover of D.E. Wittkower's (2010) essay collection Facebook and Philosophy.

The 23 essays in this collection explore wide range of issues from matters regarding Privacy, change in meaning of Friendships, rise of a new class of  bottom-up political movements and so much more (does Candy crush and Mafia war requests irritate you?).
The essays were expected to be mundane, but instead each and every one of them offers some fresh insights even though they appeared half a decade ago (2010). 

Each section in the book (and there are 5 in this one) offers intriguing insights to its readers which is balanced very well with the questions the various topics raise (It also has a break-up letter to facebook.)

For instance,
The average Facebook user has 281 friends,
 Craig Condella (2010) said. Could our relationships with those friends even possibly achieve Aristotle's highest level of friendship, united by virtue? By the sheer volume of surface-level interactions Facebook demands, Condella (2010) suggested, having so many friends "risks choking the deeper sorts of friendships which matter most" (p. 121). 

 Hmmm. A very strong proclamation indeed.

But then authors —Abrol Fairweather and Jodi Halpern (2010) argued that because Facebook brings us into the daily, lived experience of our friends, it increases our moral imagination and natural sympathy.

Meanwhile, Hamington (2010) similarly remarked that Facebook, through its chat and comment features, makes it easy for us to turn any superficial friendship relationship into "a caring one" (p. 143).

 Author Chris Bloor (2010) warned, "The world is not an entirely friendly place" (p. 150). Facebook makes it easy to share information that could hurt us.

Along the same lines, Waddick Doyle and Matthew Fraser (2010) suggested that Facebook has turned everyone into Big Brother: We populate and perpetuate our own panopticon. We feed the capitalist machine with marketable information about ourselves and our friends

While it's true that 'People only care about privacy when they learn their lesson the hard way' the statement is too abstract. The 'How?' is somewhat made clear in this book. 

This book can be read by anyone who knows the words 'Facebook'  and  'Philosophy'.

I give this book 4 Likes . Yup. Likes.

*logs out*

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