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Emotional Contagion Spread Through Facebook

Soulskill posted about a month and a half ago | from the your-opinions-are-my-opinions dept.

Social Networks 127

Daniel_Stuckey sends this quote from Motherboard: It hopefully doesn't come as a surprise that your friends shape who you are. But we tend to think of that on a micro level: If your close circle of friends tends to have tattoos, wear polo shirts, or say "chill" a lot, it's quite possible that you'll emulate them over time — and they'll emulate you too. But what happens on a macro scale, when your friend circle doesn't just include the dozen people you actually hang out with regularly, but also the hundreds or thousands of acquaintances you have online? All of those feeds may seem filled with frivolities from random people (and they are!) but that steady stream of life updates — photos, rants, slang — are probably shaping you more than you think. A massive Facebook study recently published in PNAS found solid evidence of so-called emotional contagion—emotional states spreading socially, like a virus made of emoji—on the social network.

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127 comments

Turn off, tune out. (5, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260329)

Turn them off,
Tune them out.
Stay sane.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260341)

Turn them off,
Tune them out.
Stay sane.

My thoughts exactly.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (5, Insightful)

Beck_Neard (3612467) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260457)

Yup. By the way, since this is bound to crop up: this doesn't mean "don't be social." You can be a perfectly healthy social human being without broadcasting your photos and your every emotion to the world. You can also have a facebook account and still stay sane: just restrict your use of the site to 1/2 times a week.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260513)

Now if only the majority of the interactions on Facebook were not fake social posings and more about raising friending numbers or selling products. This analysis might be of real significance, rather than just a amusing and interesting analysis of digital pretence. How the pseudo self image, the on line preferred reality avatar, similar in many ways to the MMO avator, except the MMO avatar is accepted as an illusion and the Facebook avatar is a masquerade pretending to be real, spreads elements of itself to other persons online avatars so that they publicly align and are more accepted. This even when so many of them are nothing but totally faked PR characters designed to promote or attack product.

If you do not corroborate the online personae with the offline persona, than you are analysing nothing but illusion, which is reasonable, as long as you study is about that illusion rather than people's real feelings and emotions.

weekly updates (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261353)

You can also have a facebook account and still stay sane: just restrict your use of the site to 1/2 times a week.

In some ways this is why I like weekly news magazines: there's a lot of noise and turbulence if you follow daily. If you get a weekly then only the main highlights are printed and the amount of drama is reduced.

There's a lot of crap you don't have to worry about and that can just fall by the wayside.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261545)

You can also have a facebook account and still stay sane: just restrict your use of the site to 1/2 times a week.

3.5 days still seems like a lot.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262803)

You can be a perfectly healthy social human being without broadcasting your photos and your every emotion to the world.

At least until employers decide that not having access to your private life is unacceptable, the state welfare system decides the same, and you get the choice of reporting all your doings and goings or starving to death under a bridge. Assuming the bridge hasn't collapsed from lack of maintenance, of course.

Eat your heart out, East Germany.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

jeIlomizer (3670951) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262959)

You can also have a facebook account and still stay sane

Nope, because Facebook is a scumbag company and privacy is important.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (4, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260481)

About a year ago, keeping up with FB started to seem like a bit of a job, ain't nobody paying me to do it, and it has seldom if ever proved all that helpful or useful in ways that couldn't be accomplished via other, less intrusive, less annoying ways.

Those "You have 532 messages" messages keep piling up in my Some Rainy Day... mail folder, and I keep finding other things to do than to log in to read them.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260545)

Turn them off,
Tune them out.
Stay sane.

So, since you haven't turned off or tuned out, let me ask you this: why should I take the advice of a crazy person?

Re:Turn off, tune out. (4, Interesting)

physicsphairy (720718) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260617)

Or set the tone yourself by posting words of encouragement. As someone who has never quite mastered the hug or unsolicited complement or prying into what's bothering people, I find the broadcast medium of facebook a means of providing what I can. I mostly post humor (which has helped me through dark times), mix in occasional inspiration quotes from people like Emerson, Longfellow, Thoreau, Kierkegaard, some art I find beautiful, and try to be open about my struggles and the good places they have lead.

Over the years many have taken time to thank me for encouraging them (sometimes they are persons who have never interacted with me on facebook but eventually tell me in person), occasionally I receive a private message from someone who needs a friend, an ear, or advice, and other times they post something about their struggles and I am able to approach them about it. There is a lot to be said if you have the social skills to offer these things in person. But most of us are accustomed to the "Hi, how are you?" "Oh, I'm fine" routine where it is impolite to turn someone's general courtesy into a demand for their time and sympathy. The rules are different on social media, where all information is broadcast and can be ignored as easily as it is read. Why not let us introverts do something good with that?

I don't know if I can claim credit in anyway, but over the years the character of what is posted among my peers on facebook has definitely become more positive. Perhaps people have simply realized they don't enjoy the drama and the complaining. Or maybe a few of us have had an impact. But this study seems to show that having a positive impact is something you can set out to do. Pursuing that may be worth considering.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261593)

Or set the tone yourself by posting words of encouragement. As someone who has never quite mastered the hug or unsolicited complement or prying into what's bothering people, I find the broadcast medium of facebook a means of providing what I can. I mostly post humor (which has helped me through dark times), mix in occasional inspiration quotes from people like Emerson, Longfellow, Thoreau, Kierkegaard, some art I find beautiful, and try to be open about my struggles and the good places they have lead.

That's not bad in small doses, but rarely posting an original thought is pretty annoying. At this point, it seems like some of my Facebook friends can only convey thoughts by sharing somebody else's someecards.

Re: Turn off, tune out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47262239)

i approve this comment.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260629)

Unfortunately, this doesn't work. Today's under 25 crowd thinks failure to have a facebook account is automatically suspicious. What are you trying to hide? If you're not proud of broadcasting your life, then either you have a pathetic life you should be embarrassed of, or you're some kind of deviant or criminal. Law enforcement thinks so, too.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260735)

and so therefore? what? we should all rush out and get accounts so that teenagers won't think we are losers? ..so that the cops won't SWAT our dogs for traffic violations? I see little reason to appease today's generation's acceptance of the police state mentality.

You let teenagers dictate your life parameters?

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

fazig (2909523) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261423)

And so therefore what?
I'm 31 now, work as an engineer in an university lab. I'm not a nerd without a backbone, sitting in his parents basement, who is bullied by the popular kids in school. Most of my colleges and virtually all of my friends, none of them younger than 27, use Facebook. Since they all graduated in computer science or some field of information technology, they should know better about the security and privacy concern that come with using Facebook, but they use it anyway. It's simply too convenient for them as a platform for communication with local friends and people that you can't meet on a regular basis, and since "everyone" is using it why not use it yourself? After all you know when to shut up about private things...
Not using Facebook makes me the oddball among them, after all I'm the one who is still using 'antiquated' internet forums to discuss things and sites like Slashdot. Keeping up with them on the latest news takes a lot more effort from my side. I can feel the persistent peer pressure and its emotional effects. "Why can't you even register a proxy account and simply join us? You don't actually have to post anything." - is one of the common arguments. I brush it off, try to not let it affect me, like in the years where everyone had to have a World of Warcraft account, but I can't ignore the fact that it is a form of isolation when you don't do what everyone else does. The 'WoW'-phase passed, perhaps the same will happen to this Facebook thing, but currently there is no end in sight.
Now you might ask why I even want to keep up with those people? I could get another job, find new friends? Well I do have a lot in common with them, just not the usage of Facebook. Another thing is that you can't simply turn off and tune out your life. Note that my 'group' certainly is not representative for all people but it is the world I'm living in.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262275)

are we supposed to actually believe that your 'friends' at the university lab never speak to one another in person and just stare at their phones all day? and that all of your attempts to communicate verbally with these people are met with these oddly-worded rebuffs? if that's actually true (it isn't, of course), then fuck 'em.

you sound like an insecure, whiny loser. maybe that's the real problem here. people are lazy and fragile; your 'friends' are just using the facebook thing as an excuse to avoid interacting with you (maybe partly because you refused to interact with them in their preferred medium; people are weird that way.)

anyway, you don't have to be friends with your co-workers. many academics seem to have this problem. however noble your lab's mission may be, it is still just work. unless you live in some godforsaken hellhole, there will be other people with your interests somewhere around. look for them. maybe you just need a change.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260899)

Today's under 25 crowd thinks failure to have a facebook account is automatically suspicious

Maybe its already passing its time. You said 'under 25 crowd' but I suspect that it doesn't go much younger than 18 or 20.

My kids are heading into middle school and high school and neither want anything to with facebook (which I admit I've encouraged). Some of their friends do have accounts, others don't, and nobody seems to think its really cool or a big deal. For those that have them its becoming where they go to see the pictures of grandma's birthday that their mom posted. Because what teen doesn't want to see pictures of grandma turning 82.

The 20-30 crowd still seems a lot more facebook engaged though... for now at least.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260925)

Don't be silly. To the children today Facebook is that site where old people hang out and post pictures of their children.
God knows how ancient you have to be to use geocities.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261417)

God knows how ancient you have to be to use geocities.

They probably never heard of it. You'd talk about it to some of them, they'd think it's some kind of obscure biblical reference. Probably of something that came before the flood.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (3, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261199)

What are you trying to hide?

Everything. Nothing I do is anyone else's business, unless I deem it so.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261475)

Nope. Not being on facebook has never caused me any trouble. The closest might be companies that have a "facebook page" instead of a webpage, and you need facebook yourself to access it because they want a "LIKE" from you. But in such cases, I always think "their loss, not mine!" So far, there has always been enough competent competitors to such businesses. Competitors seeing that it is not wise to artifically limit their business to the (large) subset who uses facebook. They get a 5% extra market share simply from keeping their facebook page fully open, so that a facebook login isn't needed to get the information needed for a purchase. Very similiar to how online banking in the late 1990's discovered that NOT requiring the IE browser got them a 5% bigger market share. Why shoot yourself in the foot with unnecessary restrictions?

The "under 25" crowd might be addicted to facebook, but they don't see me as suspicious. They simply see me as an 'oldie'. Which I am to them anyway, being born on the day of the first successful IP packet. Law enforcement has no problem with me either, except for the occational speeding ticket. Norwegian law does not mandate facebook, or any kind of online precense at all.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260747)

Or... only add people on them who you actually like and trust, instead of a hundred people you barely know. What a revolutionary concept.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260765)

Facebook doesn't give a shit about you, they mine your ass for free, you should be getting paid for that shit. FUCK FACEBOOK, leave.

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261055)

So what do I do now? - All my friends (and enemies) are on slashdot....

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261057)

Actually most of my enemies moved to slashdot Beta, voluntarily!

Re:Turn off, tune out. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261441)

Ironically, then, my own touch of Asperger's has probably inoculated me against this particular contagion (and is likely broadly true for others).

Yes, I have an fb account because it's the only way my kids band directors communicate schedules. /sigh.

But fb is the global scale version of trivia, meaningless social interaction for its own sake, and the sort of insane Smalltalk that absolutely drives me nuts.

huh (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260335)

So given that I post lots of stuff but do not read stuff in the feed, that means I am the sole originator of lots of contagions?

Kindof badass.

huh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260351)

Actually, it means you're a narcissist and everyone ignores you 'cause you're an asshole.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260711)

My asshole puts out at least one major status update every morning, and it has dozens to hundreds of minor tweets during the day, but it never accepts any input.

Coincidence, or double entendre FTW? :-D

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261461)

So you have an angry bunghole syndrome like me? Mine keeps following me all day. It's smelly and acts rude in the public and all that crap that it posts that I have to put up with.

Re:huh (5, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260435)

So given that I post lots of stuff but do not read stuff in the feed, that means I am the sole originator of lots of contagions?.

I think in medicine, you're referred to as a "disease carrier".

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260587)

So given that I post lots of stuff but do not read stuff in the feed, that means I am the sole originator of lots of contagions?.

I think in medicine, you're referred to as a "disease carrier".

A "vector".

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261559)

So given that I post lots of stuff but do not read stuff in the feed, that means I am the sole originator of lots of contagions?.

I think in medicine, you're referred to as a "disease carrier".

Mary. Typhoid Mary.

Re:huh (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260441)

Like Typhoid Mary was "kind of badass"?

Re:huh (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261431)

Like Typhoid Mary was "kind of badass"?

If the disease I'm spreading is "Cool" then I don't want to be healthy.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260945)

If you keep posting your angle for a sufficiently long time, which is usually measured in years, and let the readers join with your journey to the truth - chosen or otherwise, you will gradually gather the merits and following required to be opinion leader. That in turn will give you the opportunity to be the originator.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261627)

Kindof the opposite.

Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260375)

Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? Can't think of the last time anyone I work with went there...

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260387)

Um...is anyone still on Slashdot? Can't think of the last time anyone I work with went there...

FTFY.

Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260423)

Anyone with a social life is on Facebook. Anyone on Slashdot is a virgin nerd with no friends still living in mommy's basement. So no, those two groups don't intercept.

Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260453)

This is gonna be modded down by some virgin nerd who is butthurt by how truthful it is. LOL.

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (2)

camperdave (969942) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260459)

Facebook? Isn't that where the police keep all the mug shots?

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260463)

So no, those two groups don't intercept.

Yeah they don't tackle!

Nice how your comment and real life do not intersect either ...

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260743)

No. People with social lives are out with their friends. They're not sitting at home on falebook.

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260843)

No. People with social lives are out with their friends. They're not sitting at home on falebook.

This is a popular claim, but disregarding that it has been proven wrong in research, the correlation is the opposite (was even a story on this on Slashdot a while back) -- it is interesting that this claim is most often coming on sites like Slashdot, with a demographic not known as the most social out there.

btw. how do people with social life hang out with real friends they have on multiple continents?

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47262217)

Gives me an excuse to travel. I've been all but Antarctica. My friends from other continents visit me too. :)

I grew up using computers and have a master's in computer engineering, but find the real world more exciting. It's about balance.

Re:Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook? (2)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260943)

Um...is anyone on Slashdot still on Facebook?

Yes.

I enjoy the occasional updates from people I can no longer meet daily, as well as some insight into the current day-to-day affairs of my home country. I don't post often, but when I do have something to say, normally several people show interest.

Facebook is no longer an unfiltered pile of Farmville requests. Especially if you take the time just once to mark your close friends and to unfollow the obsessive narcissists. Its ranking and personalization algorithms also help.

Also, it is often the easiest way to contact a person when you don't have their email or phone number ready.

Socialization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260377)

It's a common thing that very much predates social networks.

Hysteria. Mass. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260393)

Gods.
Of.
War.

First the commies. with nukes Now the muslims with vehicle bombs. What's next? Women running around nakes raping all the men?

And that's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260411)

...stupid is on a rampage.

Tribes (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260421)

This just underscores the tribal nature of human beings. We're not so different from the homo sapiens of 50,000 years ago.

Re:Tribes (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260491)

Primate predator bands who enjoy a good gossip when taking breaks from throwing shit at each other. Yep, that's us, pretty much.

Re:Tribes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260941)

Indeed, how can this be news?
It's called human behaviour... we're social beings... and adapt to our environment ( even though we'd like to think otherwise... )
Anyone has some darwinian quotes lying around, to fling across /.?

I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260425)

It would be surprising if they found otherwise. We've had many examples of things like that in the past. One that comes to mind is Diana's death and the unreasonable mass grief and hysteria that came with it. The only difference now is the scale and pervasiveness of the contagion..

Science fiction (3, Interesting)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260475)

There was an incredibly depressing book I once read that talked about something very similar, except it was a social contagion that caused hive-mind behavior (the book called it "the meme"), and the only way to "cure" it was to erase every memory the person had formed since being exposed to the meme

In the book, the entire earth is "infected" with it, and the only non-memed people lived on an isolated moon base (which is where the book takes place)

I tried to find the author or the name of the book on Google, but had no luck

Re:Science fiction (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260501)

I sure wish slashdot had an edit button.....

Anyways, The author is John Barnes, and the book was part of the "Meme Wars" series

Re:Science fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47262649)

Kaleidoscope Century by John Barnes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaleidoscope_Century has also meme wars.

Published in "PNAS"? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260495)

...Really? They decided to use that acronym?

Re:Published in "PNAS"? (1)

inflamed (1156277) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260533)

...Really? They decided to use that acronym?

It's not an acronym.

Re:Published in "PNAS"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260627)

It's not an acronym.

Yes it is: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Re:Published in "PNAS"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47262191)

It's not an acronym.

Yes it is: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Big ol' WHOOSH.

Say the acronym out loud. Now repeat it.

Now, use it in this sentence, as loudly as you can (assuming other people are around): "Man, I just can't get enough PNAS!"

Get it?

--CanHasDIY, preserving inflamed's well-deserved Funny mod

Re:Published in "PNAS"? (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262119)

...Really? They decided to use that acronym?

Apparently it's a hard journal to get published in.

parasitical (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260523)

'social' media is a parasitical emergent phenomenon. It requires people to compusively use it in order to maintain itself, and it does this by triggering the reward system for social interaction while it is really anything but social. Even IRC is more social than facebook. The only winning move is not to play.

The fact that it enables trends which normally scale to one circle of friends to go global is not a surprise.

Facebook trends spread through Facebook (1)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260553)

Big deal. Just because people on Facebook tend to post like their Facebook friends, there is no reason to conclude that they continue with that "emotional contagion" of Obama memes and cats and whatnot once they switch to another tab or turn off their computer. A Facebook study can only tell what people do on Facebook anyway.

friend circle (1)

scoticus (1303689) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260579)

"the dozen people you actually hang out with regularly" jeezus, who has time to hang out with that many people regularly? Unless work counts i guess.

friend circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261485)

Uh, you go regularly to a rural pub, where the same 20 people always are when they 'hang out', there being nowhere else to go in a small village? (Well, you sometime run into them at THE shop or THE bank as well...)

The definition of "acquaintance" has changed. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260663)

...As has the number of chars allowed in the Subject Line.

but also the hundreds or thousands of acquaintances you have online?

I have never used Twitter. I have a Facebook account to keep track of people I actually know, mostly old frieds, mybe 50 at most. I do not Facebook with people at work.

The definition of "acquaintance" seems to have changed since I grew up. To me, someone I have never met in human form, nor had any significant conversation with either in person or "on line", is not an "acquaintance".

Luddite Rube, you say? OK, as you say... Involved with professionally "IT" since 1988, high in the IT food chain at a major US Air Force Base...

Yup, I'm a Luddite Rube...

Re:The definition of "acquaintance" has changed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260875)

Funny, for how high an opinion you seem to have of yourself, it seems you would fit right in on Twitter.

Philip K Dick called it (2)

preaction (1526109) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260761)

So the "Empathy Box" from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is real? And now?

Re:Philip K Dick called it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260947)

Now we're going to test you ( turing anyone? )

Philip K Dick called it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261503)

I am not sure about the box, but we can certainly answer the title question these days. Run Android in a VM, put the device to sleep. Then grep the memory for "electric sheep". For a good answer, test a statistical significant amount of androids . . .

The Rickiest Rick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260777)

his refusal to join the Council makes "our" Rick the "Rickiest Rick there is."

Duh (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260783)

I could have told you years ago
Facebook is a disease.

I gave up on Facebook and twitter... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a month and a half ago | (#47260951)

...I avoid the "reply all" button in email, and I don't respond to writing on bathroom walls.

I still do Slashdot, Flickr, webmail, torrents, all without any concern about social dis-ease or VD from sucking a Fuckface on Twatter.

'Meme' is the word you are searching for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47260955)

You're welcome.

Let's share positive things (1)

globalflight (3698233) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261013)

I work at airasia [airasiavietnam.vn] . I think it's true. So that, we could share positive things. The world will be better.

Also in Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261197)

As a slashdotter, over time you will also absorb a general set of values, which are, for example:

- Microsoft and Windows are proprietary garbage
- Everything should be open source when possible
- We should try to get the Linux kernel running on as many devices as possible
- Ubuntu Unity, Ribbon UI and Internet Explorer are crap
- Piracy is good
- DRM is always trash
- I love IPv6 and Bitcoin

Ask yourself: which one of these you agree with? Maybe quite many -- does it feel like I just read your mind? How many of them have you acquired robotically and not questioned properly?

The True Question (1)

captjc (453680) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261283)

I spend most of my Internet time on Slashdot and Fark. The major question is: Have I become a cynical asshole because I hang out at Slashdot and Fark or do I hang out at Slashdot and Fark because I already am a cynical asshole?

Slashdot and Fark - The news forums for the discerning cynical asshole!

Re:Also in Slashdot (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261409)

1) Proprietary garbage:

While definitely proprietary, "garbage" is at best subjective in most circumstances. However, their recent ham-fisted attempts at forcibly changing the desktop-oriented use pattern of user interaction has a huge steaming pile of market and consumer useability study data behind it to assert that it was "garbage." It was only after having this smeared in their faces that Microsoft has decided to relent, after initial obstinance. IIRC, Unity's and Gnome3's developers are still being obstinate. Microsoft is governed by money, and when people dont buy their stuff, they adapt to make sure people do. FOSS projects are primarily focused on ideological factors-- and when they refuse to accept realities like these, they just become irrelevant, such as they are now, with Mate, Cinnamon, and XFCE4 totally killing them.

2) Everything should be open source when possible:

It should be. By introducing novel or useful concepts and code samples to as wide an audience as possible, the rate of adoption is not hindered by political or financial pressures/constraints. This allows the general population of the planet to make beneficial use of those advances much more quickly, improving human living conditions more expediently.

3) See above; Getting linux kernel running on as many devices as possible increases the whitepaper knowledge base that is available at large, ensuring more developers can get involved with the lowest possible obstacle to entry into the market. See for instance, work being done with neauvou. Nvidia does not want to share information about its secret sauce-- FOSS developers for linux focus energy on MAKING it work, share the results. That work enables other developers wishing to tap the shader units on nVidia cards for computational purposes without having to rely on closed source binary apis, and can get closer to the raw metal as a consequence. Likewise, getting linux kernel running everywhere enables the unlocking of many consumer products that actually house general purpose processing systems so that they can be used in more novel and inventive ways-- see point 2 again.

4) Ubuntu Unity, Ribbon UI and Internet Explorer are crap.

These are all separate and discrete arguments. Not fair claim in one bullet-ed point. Internet Explorer is not a bad browser, per-se--- rather, it does the crime that all browser makers have been making-- Ignoring the W3C and going "lal la la la la la" while they break standards, in order to implement "special features" to make their browsers stand out. Internet explorer just has the financial might of Microsoft behind it, and is a leader in this kind of offense.

Ribbon UI tries to hide useful things under multiple layers of obfuscation to free up some screen real-estate. Functionally, this is little differe3nt from the old contextual menu system, which also relied on such obfuscation. The only difference in the logical sense is the specific method of that obfuscation. Real power users use the shortcut keys. In practice however, since there is no REAL advantage to the ribbon UI, is that it imposes a new barrier to learning and use to seasoned but non-power users of the products impacted, reducing their work performance.

I have already dealt with Unity. See point 1 above.

5) Piracy is good

This is incorrect. That's like saying "Getting angry is good". More, Piracy is the inevitable consequence of abusing the market to create an artificially imposed condition that disadvantages the consumer; the consumer will fight back with piracy. Piracy is neither good nor bad-- it simply is. Like the emotion known as "anger". Many science fiction stories have been penned about the dangers of trying to eradicate "anger" from the human population. It is important, and useful, yet it is neither good nor bad in and of itself. It provides an adrenaline rush and temporarily overrides the logical parts of human elective consciousness, to facilitate fight and flight responses, and provides the fuel to power political movements to end oppressive or onerous political regimes. Likewise, piracy represents an omnipresent factor in the digital marketplace, and it's increase represents not "lost sales", as the antipiracy mantra asserts, but rather the degree of disparity that is being forcibly injected into the transactions taking place in the market place. Piracy is a reference metric, not the bane of digital commerce. Some modest anti-piracy measures are useful and sensible, but draconian ones that promote protest-piracy (*cough* UBISOFT *cough*) are not. The actions of these latter groups is poisoning the market, which is threatening non-offender providers of digital wares. Piracy is not the cause, it is a market effect, that is dependent upon the degrading of good will between vendors and consumers. Piracy is not "Good", piracy is "Useful", and currently "Required". A good deal of market ingenuity and advancement is enabled by piracy of otherwise locked down and inaccessible wares.

6) DRM is always trash

I just covered this. Minimalist DRM, much like a lock on one's front door to deter casual thieves, is useful and acceptable. Insane DRM, designed to force repurchase, is more akin to your insurance company requiring you to install a lethal security system on your house to deter theft, that often times malfunctions and attacks the home owner, to which the insurance company tells you that you must instead buy a new house.

One is acceptable, the other is not. I dont care how profitable it is for the insurance companies to be able to force people to buy multiple insurance policies on multiple houses that they dont need nor want.

7) I love IPv6 and Bitcoin

Again, two entirely discreet subjects. IPv6 addresses a real and serious problem with address space depletion in the IPv4 pool. It isnt so much that "OMG, (*joygasm*) IPv6 is the bestest protocol EVAR!"--- it's "Oh hurray! We wont run out of addresses for a very long time if we can just get people to actually buy routers and devices that will use it before we hit the fucking wall!" Totally different things.

Bitcoin is a double edged sword, and I look at it in the same capacity as barter with a difficult to manufacture artificial substance as a means of currency. It relies exclusively on the scarcity of the bitcoin itself, because it becomes more and more computationally expensive to produce the coins. However, it does not actually have a useful component to it that barter would normally have, so it is inferior to barter. (Bartered goods still have the intrinsic value of that specific item that can be exploited-- EG, you buy a pig, you can get bacon out of it. Not so with a bitcoin. You expend hundreds of watts of energy to create a high information density unique signature-- but afterwards, there is not conceivable way to extract that energy from the bitcoin. A real good was lost in order to gain a product with no REAL use, only the applied and artificial use as a medium of exchange. If the cost of manufacture of a bitcoin exceeds the value it gets as a currency, you actually lose value by its creation! The use of bitcoin as a currency wastes real resources to create artificial and less useful ones in a non-reversible fashion.) In bitcoin's defense, paper money meets the same criteria. Coinage does not however-- You still have the utility of the metal used with coinage.A coin can be un-minted, and returned to useful metal. We use paper money because there is not enough useful metal to make enough currency to satisfy market needs, and because the real needs for those metals exceeds the value of the currency. We NEED copper to make electrical wiring for buildings, homes, and businesses much more than we need pennies. This is why pennies are now no longer made of solid copper.

Bitcoin does have a small redeeming quality to make up for its intrinsic bads involved however. Its purpose for existing is to create a decentralized and unregulated market free of the corruption and manipulation seen in existing fiat* money systems. *(I dont mean that term in a derogatory sense, but in the literal definition.) If another currency system comes along with lower intrinsic badness, that can perform this same function, bitcoin becomes irrational to use.

 

Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261393)

I deleted my Facebook account years ago when they were still focused on college students. What a train wreck that has become to the world.

How to determine if you are an idiot : (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261497)

1) Do you use Facebook ? Have you ever used Facebook ?
        Are you still using Facebook ?

2) If the answer to any of the above questions is YES, you are an idiot.

It's not that *you're* a douche (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261511)

You're a node in a network of douches. It's nothing personal.

Reporting in (2)

h4x0t (1245872) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261561)

26 year old here. No facebook for 3 years.

Though, I'll admit that I am not the average consumer.

Now I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261579)

No wonder I've been playing Path of Exile so much.

It's weird... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261609)

I never wanted to get a FB account and kept saying, "no" when my friends were asking me to join it. That was years ago of course and I finally signed up for FB (about 5-6 years ago I guess) and it seems now that most of my friends hardly ever check FB. Which is REALLY annoying when you set things up (party, or some event) and ask them questions through FB but they don't respond. Since I don't have their phone number(s) and/or email addresses, it frustrates me as a "planner" type of person.

Re:It's weird... (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261961)

You're a "planner" type of person and you don't have contact information for people in your circle?

Re:It's weird... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47262261)

Pro tip: If they won't give you their numbers or even their email addresses, they aren't really your friends. If they've also ditched you on FB ...

They discovered culture! (2)

oursland (1898514) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261619)

Sounds like they discovered how cultures are developed, maintained, and grow. Next up they may study how social bonds are formed and maintained, perhaps they'll call it "friendship", but more likely they'll refer to it as some sort of "preferential social virus reinforcement."

Re:They discovered culture! (1)

Antonovich (1354565) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262591)

I was going to mod you up but decided to reply instead. While I didn't, of course, RTFA, showing that these sorts of phenomena happen in virtuo is not something that has always been accepted. For example, 15 years ago socio-linguists were still maintaining that a physical presence was necessary and TV wasn't sufficient for the spread of new expressions and pronunciations (though "priming" was thought to occur...). TV isn't social media but there are a lot of old fogeys still in academia with positively ridiculous views on the spread of behaviours, beliefs, etc. "Only with face-to-face contact" and the like. It may be obvious to many but it is not obvious to all, and not even to all in a position to affect policy and research...

Not True (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261839)

Your friends do not shape who you are. That may be true for a certain type of person but not for many others. I've had friends that were really bad people in areas that had nothing to do with how they related to me. I do know that there are some people who depend upon social contacts to make a living and that does make them vulnerable. But if your financial condition has nothing to do with people that you associate with then you don't tend to get sucked into their darker deeds or habits.

its the ads masquerading as stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47261853)

Many of my friends blindly send around the human insterest stories that are really ads underneath, or are simply sympathy click generators.
it's really the beginning of the end for facebook, they just don't know it.
 

N/A (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a month and a half ago | (#47261945)

"when your friend circle doesn't just include the dozen people you actually hang out with regularly, but also the hundreds or thousands of acquaintances you have online"

To me, these are the same people, and it's more like "tens" of people. I don't have online "friends" that aren't my friends in real life.

No surprise to teachers of Grades 6-12 (3, Interesting)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262101)

I would wager the effect noted in the study has a mode somewhere below age 22. Given the adolescent search for identity, the typical middle/high school - even college - is basically an emotional tuberculosis ward. You know, the old kind where they would try anything - open windows, giant bowls of ice and fans - to try and cool things off and stem the epidemic. Most of which doesn't work. What does work is making their media experience symmetric for consumption and production. Give them a way to express themselves in original work and you'd be stunned by the diversity of thought. Their technology of choice - mobile devices - is still heavily weighted towards content consumption. The ability to "share" - the only real innovation in the recent past - does not make them true producers, but mostly reflectors. Better and more accessible content creation on popular devices is the key. Yes, they will first mimic what they've seen in media - their spin on some favorite story - but that will be dropped after a while - and is really no different from what the pros do - the vast majority of noob filmmakers and writers are doing their spin on a genre or the dreaded mashup pitch "it's The Godfather meets Armageddon!" and then they need a second thing to do and originality rears its hydra-like heads.

or "The Sopranos meets Middle Earth" (1)

jpellino (202698) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262423)

(I"m looking at YOU George R R R R R...)

"Emotional Contagion" (1)

QuadEddie (459328) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262335)

I've decided that it's the best band name I've heard all hour.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47262721)

Every time I read stories about Facebook, Google+, or other social media, I am thankful I don't participate and wonder why the hell anybody does.

Congratulations! You just discovered old news! (2)

neminem (561346) | about a month and a half ago | (#47262941)

Richard Dawkins coined the term "meme" back in 1976... it describes exactly the same fracking concept.

Is this not just called fashion in the real life? (2)

TheSunborn (68004) | about a month and a half ago | (#47263095)

Is this not the same thing as fashion? Why is anyone surprised by the same effect, just because it's online?

Dunbar's number (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47263157)

If self-replicating ideas are memes, what are self-replicating emotional responses?

But the "scary" thing about having "thousands or hundreds of" of friends is ridiculous. Human relations don't scale that big.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number

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