Critical Thinking Media Competence

Facebook—Group 2

Pablo: “Hey Esco, wanna go to the party on saturday?”

Escobar: ”I do not know dude, haven’t you checked on Facebook that there were only like a couple hundred that joined the event on Facebook?!”

Pablo: “Yeah but there are over 2000 people invited and there are still three days until the party starts so I guess there are going to be a bunch of people.”

Escobar: “Well, I’ll see then. Dude you know that hot blond chick from our English Course that I always wanted to date?”

Pablo: “Yeah what about her?“

Escobar: “I checked her Facebook profile yesterday and she is finally single I am totally gonna hit on her!”

Pablo: “Do that, dude. But have you ever talked to her before or does she even know that you exist?”

Escobar: “No I have not talked to her.”

Pablo: “Well than just send her a message on Facebook.”

This is how many conversations start in the modern society. People start to prefer having a conversation by using a social media platform like Facebook rather than having a real one face to face. It is more comfortable staying at home and simply pressing some buttons on the keyboard instead of going out and if you do not want to talk to that person you simply just will not reply the message you receive.

Over the last couple of years the monthly Active Users (mAUs) have increased from 50-75 percent depending on the region. The mobile monthly active Users increased even more rapidly, over 100 percent in the last two years. The average german from the age of 14 to 27 spends 80 minutes a day on Facebook.

Youngsters and students more likely talk about things that happen in the virtual world rather than in the real one. Facebook is becoming a big part of their life. Events, videos, Vines and status updates are more important than serious topics like politics or current happenings in reality.

In general youngstars increasingly put more effort in their virtual profile on Facebook. They prioritise getting more “Facebook-Likes” rather than good grades in High school or College. This leads to an online profile that most of the times does not match with their real identity. Photoshop and instagram is becoming their “virtual makeup” to be someone else to make sure that their profile looks good when a stranger or a friend checks it or if you join a group or an event.

Of course this can lead to a positive aspect of Facebook, too, the possibility of organising all kind of events. By pressing the “Share-Button” all your friends on Facebook are able to take part in it, too.

Furthermore there is no need to announce it personally by telling it everybody (write down when and where the events are), you always can get these information on Facebook and it reminds you an hour before starting. That is a very practical but easy way of organisation and accesses many people.

The easy access on  Facebook is not limited to events. A user can follow his favourite artist, author, TV-show or newspaper in order to get the latest news. Meanwhile almost every company, artist etc. has an official site on Facebook where they share their latest results and achievements. The “Follow-button” gives the user the opportunity to get all the latest updates of the sites without checking them by pressing the button. This option allows news channels and newspapers to spread their information faster to a vast crowd. Breaking news can spread more quickly than they used to but this positive aspect includes also a hidden danger.

The user does not know whether the information is right or wrong. A large variety of news are either false or outdated. Fake newspapers are posting purposely false news in order to confuse the user. So every person on Facebook is constrained to be careful with all these information one finds on the Social network.

Another current topic is the deficient privacy in connection with internet crime. The more the profiler disclose information about his person the higher is the risk that criminals can steal and use it for criminal acts on behalf of your identity. For example certain criminal groups are stealing the profile pictures of good looking women and create fake profiles on Facebook or dating websites in order to get in some way money from naive users. Furthermore “Cybermobbing” is becoming a serious problem. The mobber does not have to front the victim face to face. He can post mean things about the victim or steal information about it and turn these information against the victim, as well.

The main reason why people use Facebook is to stay in contact with their friends and this is probably the most positive aspect of Facebook. It helps to protect friendships with people who live far away from yourself without spending money to see them, for instance people you meet while doing vacation. You can have daily conversations via Facebook and share your experiences.

In contrast to this, the biggest danger is the fact that many people create a fake-image of themselves. They are posting status updates, pictures of there food etc. every single day and there is the possibility that some of these information are wrong in order to create a good image to be more popular in school, their clique or even in the whole society.

In connection with this there is the danger that they regard their profile as their real identity which will probably be fatal for their life in future.

All in all, there are many benefits as well as disadvantages going with Facebook or the Social Media overall. People have to be careful when they use it every day because there are a lot hidden dangers in connection with social networks much people do not even know that they exist. But if people apply some rules on their own and during using Facebook they will have some advantages towards the time before.