Since its beginning in 2004, ‘Facebook’ has become an enormous success story, albeit not one without controversy. Plenty of controversy. But I’m not here to talk about that. I am here to tell you a little about social networking and why it’s a welcome addition to any Smart TV.
In some ways coming out from the now forgotten ‘Myspace’ and also the excess of imitators it left in its wake, Facebook emerged as champion of those social networks, (until the next one comes along, that is). Facebook has occupied the Internet with a clever exploitation of those three ever-reliable ideas:
1) Folks love talking about other people, particularly anonymously.
2) Folks are inordinately keen on and poking their noses into the lives of others.
3) People’s unquenchable self interest, which, when fuelled by Facebook, is narcissism on steroids.
Facebook is the remarkable tool and one which has quickly adapted itself to mobile phones, portable tablets and now, even TV. In the end, Myspace was the cumbersome Neanderthal, who, even though being popular, smarter and stronger than Homo Sapiens, succumbed to that retreating ice age somewhat rapidly, failing to adapt to a world he could no longer understand. Facebook, conversely, was the eventual Cro Magnon victor, trembling in the cave throughout Neanderthal’s time, he emerged over on the warm plains of that modern-day and, either directly or indirectly, eradicated his rival before moving within the shifting technology and times, the point he might sit at his writing table and update his position several times a day.
‘Twitter’ is an extremely limited site that acts sort of a miniature Facebook. Users take a number of words to announce their dealings, thoughts and/or emotions to a world that frequently does not care unless its concerned that it is being cheated on. However, whereas famous people on Facebook tend not to update their web pages, on Twitter an individual can follow (and often communicate with) the behavior of Hollywood luminaries, celebrities, sports stars and other notable people, who are often surprisingly candid about their daily lives.
Facebook and Twitter are the two big ones, but there’s others, a lot more than I can count that follow a similar simple model but specialise in a different area (LinkedIn, for instance, deals with business interactions a lot more than personal ones). Many websites co-exist with Facebook now, feeding off their scraps like remoras on the back of a Tiger Shark. With most online content, there’s even an option to ‘Like’ it, thus adding it to the Facebook page (when you look closely at this page, you will almost certainly find one, which serves to highlight just how all-encompassing Facebook’s presence is.
Smart TV, recognising the ubiquity of such websites and the emphasis that current online business places on this ubiquity, has Facebook, Twitter (and other social network websites) readily available for download. Which means you can have full (or nearly full) access to your Facebook account and update it without even going to a PC. Last night, I wanted to update my own Facebook to say that I was watching, for what should be the hundredth time, the movie ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ I might have easily done it during a tea break in the movie itself rather than desiring to do it after which eventually forgetting, as I actually did.
In case you’re wondering how people are doing and you want up-to-the-minute information, Facebook is usually the place to go. Facebook the site is free to use, could be the Smart TV app at time of writing and is a wonderful comms tool, especially for people you don’t essentially know that well. These days, people change their mobile numbers every point three of a second, so Facebook remains the one reliable way to ensure you can always keep in touch. I like to think of it as a really poorly written newspaper, where the headlines are a bit sunnier, a great deal less biased and contain people I essentially give a damn about.