Critical Thinking Media Competence

Facebook—Group 1

Facebook has changed our everyday life for the last 10 years. Someone who has no user account on Facebook is so rare to find such as gold at the Klondike today. It’s obvious that a social network with over one billion members has effects on our daily activities even if you are the rarely case, to haven’t an account. On the one hand one can say that it’s definitely an advantage to be a member because you can communicate all over the world without any costs. Furthermore you can get news e.g. of the university, school or something like that. On the other hand it can be very annoying since you have many unimportant comments that you can’t switch off for example: “I'm gonna take a shower now”. Really, this wastes time. The problem is that you are reading it with the other news on the start page.

How does this affect our everyday life or even more critically considered: our lifetime? A simple calculation: Suppose, you spend only 10 minutes on Facebook every day. 365x10=3650 minutes. 3650:60=60,83 hours. 60,83:24≈2,5 days per year. 60 minutes on Facebook a day: 15 days a year. 10 years: 150 days in one piece! You can calculate it with your own stats.

As this calculation is made, shows the following example: You wake up, checking the messages from Facebook: 3 minutes. Oh, someone is asking something: Answer, 4 minutes. Going to university: Checking the daily news in my group: Reading, reading … nothing important, but spent 5 more minutes. Finally break: checking my group’s news one more time. New stuff now, reading again… 5 minutes. Back at home, boredom! Playing some Facebook games and chatting at the same time: 23 minutes. Before going to bed, one last Facebook check: 5 minutes. Everything in summary: 45 minutes a day! 11 days in that year.

All in all it’s obvious that this isn’t always true, but in many cases it is! Summarizing the above investigations one can say that you should not spend more time as it is really necessary e.g. to check the group news of your fellow students. In spite of everything, everyone can decide for themselves only.

In the following, I will analyse some current posts on Facebook during the World Cup in Brasil which are targeting the issue of “ Facebook survey“, known as part of our “ Critical Thinking“ lecture.

At first, there is the story of the Ivorian Geoffroy Serey. During the national anthem of Ivory Coast before the match against Columbia, million of people at home were wondering about Serey crying. Soon afterwards, several “serious“ medias published on their Facebook side the dramatic and touching story of Serey, being informed of his fathers death only few hours before kick-off and  being not able to handle these overwhelming emotions. Furthermore, other celebrities and even FIFA offered their condolences. After the match, Serey denied these rumours. He was just touched by the anthem.

The second post was quite fun to the social media community. “Please do not film us, our wives think we are fishing in West Wales“ is a banner saying held by some guys during a World Cup Match. So said on Facebook, being shared by thousand of user. But these guys visited a rugby match months ago in South Africa.

To summarize, medias on Facebook try to gain attention in form of shares and likes. They need  publicity and they focus on our interests – sports, fun, drama. Facebook and co. get these informations by web-analytics, an ever-expanding branch, and if we won't protect our privacy in future, fake-news will dominate because their are fulfilling our “needs“. According to this, protection means to challenge the question whether publishing informations about my sex, my sexual orientation, my favorite books, movies or music, interest of sport on Facebook is really necessary.

Furthermore, both examples are showing, that there is no critical thinking by users. Serey's story was not a staged statement but it illustrates that even public institutions are not checking the substance of published posts or tweets via social media.

In this part of this text I will talk about the urge to post every little thing of their lives on Facebook. Many people, and not just teenagers, use Facebook every day. At first no bad situation, but what if these people become an addiction to Facebook?

Facebook is not longer a platform for people to communicate with their friends or just play some games. In this time, Facebook get used to improve our lives. You post everything that happens at your day, for example “I just see a funny movie”, but some people post news that are not the truth, because they want to show their friends that their lives are better than theirs. A good example is that someone post a comment like “Today I had a 5 star dinner.”, although you just ate at a KFC or something like that. A reason for that could be the lack of self-confidence. Furthermore, you live in your own dream world and it could happen that you loose grip to your real life.

Another dangerous point is that other people could use private information of posted yourself, to make fun of you or to embarrass you. In relation to our “critical thinking” lecture, one has to ask himself if you want to publish these information that everybody could read about your whole life. At the moment there are not enough securities for saving own information.

To sum up I would say that Facebook will become more and more important in our lives, but one have to find the right balance between posting things or not. There are enough other ways to show your friends what happens in your life. Moreover, the real life is more interesting than the “Facebook life” and it is our task to live it as good as possible!