As its launch in 2004, ‘Facebook’ has made it as an enormous success story, albeit not one without controversy. Plenty of controversy. But I am not here to discuss that. I’m here to tell you a little about social networking and why it is a welcome addition to any Smart TV.
In some ways taking off through the now forgotten ‘Myspace’ and the plethora 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 Web with a clever exploitation of these three ever-reliable ideas:
1) Folks love gossiping about other people, especially secretly.
2) Folks are exceedingly fond of and poking their noses into the lives of other people.
3) People’s unquenchable self attention, which, when fuelled by Facebook, is vanity on steroids.
Facebook is a remarkable tool and one that has easily adapted itself to mobile phones, portable devices and now, even TV. Ultimately, Myspace was the cumbersome Neanderthal, who, even though being better, smarter and more powerful than Homo Sapiens, succumbed to the retreating ice age somewhat speedily, failing to adapt to the world he could no longer understand. Facebook, conversely, was the eventual Cro Magnon victor, shivering in the cave during Neanderthal’s time, he emerged on the warm plains of the modern day and, either directly or indirectly, eliminated his rival before moving within the changing technology and times, the point he might sit at his desk and update his position numerous times a day.
‘Twitter’ is an extremely limited site that acts sort of a miniature Facebook. Users take a number of words to broadcast their actions, thoughts and/or emotions to the world that frequently does not care unless its concerned that it is being cheated on. Though, whereas celebrated people on Facebook tend to not update their web pages, on Twitter the user can follow (and often communicate with) the behavior of Hollywood luminaries, celebrities, sports stars and other notable people, who tend to be surprisingly honest about their day by day lives.
Facebook and Twitter are the two big ones, but there are others, greater than I can add up that follow the same basic model but specialise in a different area (LinkedIn, for example, deals with business relationships a lot more than personal ones). Many sites 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 choice to ‘Like’ it, consequently adding it to the Facebook page (when you look closely at this page, you’ll almost definitely 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 modern online business places on this ubiquity, has Facebook, Twitter (and other social network websites) available for download. Which means you might have full (or nearly full) access to your Facebook account and update it without even going to the computer. Last night, I wanted to update my very own Facebook to say that I was watching, for what must be the hundredth time, the movie ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ I could have simply done it during a tea break in the movie itself instead of meaning to take action and eventually forgetting, as I essentially did.
In case you’re wondering how folks are doing and you want up-to-the-minute advice, Facebook is normally the place to go. Facebook the site is free to use, is the Smart TV app at time of writing and is an excellent communication tool, especially for people you do not actually know that well. Nowadays, people change their phone numbers every 0.3 of another, so Facebook remains the one reliable way to make sure you can always keep in touch. I like to think of it like a really poorly written newspaper, where the headlines are a bit sunnier, a great deal less biased and involve people I essentially give a damn about.