We can find a community almost everywhere! Nature is a great example of a wide range of different communities; take beehives as one example and a herd of sheep as another… But what factors transform a community into a social network?
While pondering on the idea of social networking, over and over again, I found this thought to be interesting: Animal shelters and how similar they are to our social networking environments, especially when comparing it to Facebook!
The following table explains it all!
|Animals hunted and captured by Animal Control||Users hunted and captured by peer pressure and the desire to “fit in”.|
|Animals stay because they are trapped in a cage and need to find a home & to be fed||People stay because they are trapped in the metaphorical cage of needing to find love, friendships & entertainment|
|The cleanliness of the shelter is necessary for the well being of the animals||The user-friendly platform is necessary to attract people to subscribe to the network & use it constantly|
|One size fits all cage, made from the same material to retain all animals||Customized “cages” depending on what the user chooses his/her privacy settings to be! Example: Facebook and limited profile.|
|Building uncommon relationships between animals of different breeds. Example: Youtube clip||Initiating unusual relationships through networks such as dating sites, crossing geographical and ethnic boundaries|
|Can animal shelters reserve animal rights and not be regarded as property, or used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment?||Will the future give us more examples to how some social networking sites treat us merely as page views and marketing sheep (maaaa)?|
|There are many type of shelters such as Open door centers, animal sanctuaries and such.||Many different social networking sites are available such as dating websites, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.|
|The sad element is when no one claims or tries to adopt the animals||The sad element is when people lose hope when they finally realize that most of their online relationships are of weak ties (on thin ice), and very few are of real value!|
|Animals are injured, diseased or even die sometimes from overpopulation||Will greed or overpopulation end the era of Facebook?|
So, did Facebook really become a prison/cage? And are single users able to break this chain by simply deciding to not use Facebook? Can peer-pressure keep playing its role in trapping users into Facebook’s social maze?
I urge you to think about that!
(written by Beirut)