Facebook Nation?

I happen to be on Facebook.

I even have a few ‘friends’ there (6 or 7, I think, or something in that vicinity) – not many, to be sure, but each and every one highly valued!  Actually, I was invited by someone I know in WA who is a Facebook nutter to play a game of scrabble with her on Facebook a few months back, so I did and since then I have enjoyed many games of scrabble, mostly with my wife, who lives in the same house that I live in, but…there you go.

Anyway, although I find myself becoming something of a ‘grumpy old man’ in relation to these techno-trends, I have to be honest and confess…yes. I am on Facebook. There. I said it.

Over the past week or so, I have been in regular contact through Facebook with 3 people I love very much – people across the country I used to work with – as we commiserated together about a mutual friend who has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. I have appreciated Facebook under these circumstances.

Imagine my surprise when reading today that there are those who seriously describe Facebook as a ‘nation’. Get this:

“Nation” seems like an exaggeration until you consider Facebook has more than 175 million users. As Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg recently pointed out, if Facebook were a country it would be the sixth most populated nation in the world. That’s not 175 million total accounts, that’s 175 million people who’ve logged on during the last 30 days. More than 15 million users update their Facebook statuses at least once each day, although only 70,000 people have signed up to the Bill of Rights group. That’s to be expected, as in every community it’s the vocal few who stand up for the rights of the many.”

Of course, the whole concept of ‘nation’ states is relatively young. I grew up in a world of nations, nationalism, nation building, national and international warfare, international law, united nations, etc., but these notions are recent human inventions. So, where do cyber-communities come into the picture? I guess it remains to be seen.


~ by Garry on February 28, 2009.

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