Thursday, November 1, 2012


In the article “Facebook Nation,” Andrews interestingly compares Facebook to a newly established nation attracting freedom-seeking, curious settlers.  750 million curious settlers, to be more precise.  This intriguing thought of Facebook as the third largest nation in the world—led by Mark Zuckerberg as head of state—seems strange, but Andrews draws on several points that may tug at readers’ minds and allow them to see the realm of Facebook in a new light.  Influencing users—and even nonusers—in more ways than imaginable, Facebook and other sources of social media are impacting various aspects of people’s lives in both positive and negative ways.  For this post, I will focus on a few positive aspects discussed by Andrews. 

The collaboration of Zuckerberg and British Prime Minister David Cameron may seem like an unlikely match considering the two figures seem to have little more in common than do a dog and a horse.  However, this inclusion of social media in high-priority political issues has not only kick-started a fresh spin on politics, but has also signaled a trend focusing on the necessity and importance of social media in daily life which has spread like wildfire among the masses. 

Facebook has become an environment where planning, participation in, and discussion of politics, current issues, and movements are welcome and encouraged.  Social networks, in this sense, have become a public sphere in which public opinion may be formed, and where citizens in not only the U.S., but in countries all over the world, may engage in critical rational debate.  Elaborating further, art, music, political issues, and countless other topics are not only discussed, but also shaped and redefined in social media “nations.”  Consequently, more power is placed in the hands of the people; currently taking place is a transformation, participation, and connection like never before.  More direct interaction is occurring between the people and the government due to social media.  Thus, opinions and input seem to matter more in a world where people are easily downsized to a speck living on a bigger speck; individuals are collectively working together with social media as a tool, to make their voices heard.  “It’s harder to put out thousands of revolutionary fires burning across the Web,” (p.2) Andrews writes.

Social networks can also expand opportunities for increased knowledge and success among the masses.  Social media, like Facebook, serve as a form of news outlet that is surprisingly often efficient and reliable, not to mention fast.  A personal example would be the bomb threat that occurred this past Tuesday.  I was informed of this situation on Facebook long before I was notified by any other source.  Facebook and Youtube, among other social media sites, may also spark a career or even lead to fame.  As Andrews suggests, “social networking is no longer just a pastime; it’s a way of life.” (p.3)


  1. Saige, thank you for balancing our class discussion of Andrews and Facebook (which was primarily negative) with some of the positive contributions of social media. I still think there's an important difference between "direct interaction" between the people and the government and what we see when Zuckerberg and Cameron meet, or even when the British people collectively investigate their MPs' expenses. Does social media actually enable direct interaction, or is it more the mobilization of constituencies, and more effective policing of the state or federal function?

    1. I agree with Alenda to a certain extent because though I see how discussions occur on Facebook I still believe that those who participate in those discussions are politically active anyways, but one thing that does concern me is that many times these things can lead to misinformation and communication. I also think the immediate disbursement of information on FB leads people to be lazy about looking up the real information and a lot of times is miscommunicated.
      For example I was texting my friend during election day and he told me Obama had won because he saw it on Facebook; however, at that time the victory had not been official and people were mostly making assumptions; although these were correct, my friend didn't verify he just believed what he read and that happens to a lot of people who are active on this site.