Short article in Media Guardian on 5 March on Facebook’s use of people’s product ‘likes’: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/04/facebook-dont-like-it
It’s mainly about the using your data/privacy/big business debate, and interesting from that point of view, but for my students interested in online identity, it raises some points about that, as well as identity and products generally:
Ten minutes in the British Museum suggests some of the reasons: humans have always been identified by what they buy. Ever since Stig stepped out of his cave with a particularly on-trend club, the link between who we are and what we possess has been there.
Well, maybe.* This is probably a culturally-biased view, and it’s definitely a data-biased one. What are you going to show in the British Museum except possessions? What can you show in the British museum except possessions? What can the British Museum curators argue from the evidence available to them except that there is a link between who people are and their possessions, even if they probably guess that there’s more to it than that? I think there’s a link between who I am and how I deal with problems, respond to people I don’t know, interact with small children, what I sing along with when I’m doing the washing up… (and, OK, the possessions, too). The only bit of that future archaeologists could possibly pick up is that I might have done the washing up, since there’s no robbed-out dishwasher space in the excavation of my kitchen.
The article claims that Coke (Rihanna, too) has far more Facebook likes than Jesus of Nazareth. Even as a non-Christian, I find that depressing. Makes me feel like seeking his page out and making my vote. From what I’ve read about him, he’d be prepared to friend even a poor sinner like me. We should all do it: “according to allfacebook.com […] Jesus was in the top 10 risers last week.”
* analysis of this blog will show that ‘Well, maybe’ is the commonest phrase, probably †
† Unless it’s ‘probably’