Changes In Communication Patterns Due To Facebook

There has been a significant change within the paradigm of the inter-human communication within the past decade due to the unprecedented evolution of social networks, of which Facebook happens to be the most prominent and successful example. While some researchers and representatives of the general public tend to underline the advantages and novelties that communication over Facebook may bring to users, others point out the obvious flaws of the virtual friendship. The purpose of this paper is to outline the main changes of communication patterns introduced or stipulated by Facebook, regardless of their moral or ethical perception, and suggest the possible measures to compensate the imbalance created.

No one would deny that Facebook has made it possible to increase the circles of friends almost infinitely. Friends from school, casual acquaintances, family members, colleagues and even complete strangers may become available to a user upon a simple contact request. An individual network may spread across industries, countries and even continents at a high pace, helping a person to enhance her or his career, spread the news, stay in touch with the dear ones. It is not uncommon for several underdeveloped corners of the world to have Facebook banned exactly because of the fact that the population may built an effective mean of information exchange that would be direct and transparent, therefore threatening the corrupted regimes.

The extent of involvement of an individual into thematic groups on Facebook and beyond is now only limited by her or his desire and initiative. People of various interests, values and backgrounds tend to successfully find each other without vesting time and resources due to this social network. The borders themselves tend to perish, and the local, isolated and biased virtual communities tend to be becoming a part of history.

There are, however, numerous threats that Facebook communication patterns may bring to the global society. The first risk would be decrease of offline, real-life communication. As the network made it easy to get in touch by merely pushing the buttons, it may be tempting to avoid the stressful routine of verbal interactions. Besides, Facebook communication patterns, despite their perks, tend to be shallow and formalistic, as they fail to represent all the complexity of traditional forms of communication.

It is possible to conclude that Facebook happens to be an important, yet not comprehensive, mean of communication for its users; the future will show how it evolves.


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