Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Facebook or MySpace? Does it Really Matter?
As I was reading "The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online" I was surprised by how fearful the author seemed to be. She says things like "white flight should send warning signals" and "we should be truly alarmed" by people switching from MySpace to Facebook. Truly alarmed? I really can't believe this woman is serious. She says that she is worried that these "social divisions" will cause underpriviledged and minority people to be unheard by their representatives because they're not on Facebook. That's quite a stretch. Most people that are on Facebook talk don't talk to their state representatives at all and if users of MySpace want to contact their representatives they can do that by joining Facebook, by email, through their webpage, a phone call, or maybe they could even write a letter.
Why does it matter if someone uses Facebook or MySpace? Maybe they choose one over the other because it fits their personality better. People spend time in places they like. Most people I know have a favorite restaurant or club. They may even go to these places with their friends. As Danah says, "(people) go where their friends go" and, based on my experience, people are usually friends with people they work with, go to school with, or live near. Quite often those people are similar to ourselves. I don't feel this is cause for "alarm".
Danah doesn't make much sense to me. Even though she says that it matters whether people use Facebook or MySpace I don't believe her. She doesn't make a strong case for why the division of people on these websites is bad and she doesn't say anything about people who don't use these sites at all. She speaks with too much fear and she comes across as a weak person. Ultimately she is just not believable.
* I had to do this blog post on only the Danah Boyd article because I couldn't access the other two.