Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Genius of Facebook

A recent college grad, Alice Mathias (Dartmouth '07), puts her finger on it:

Facebook did not become popular because it was a functional tool—after all, most college students live in close quarters with the majority of their Facebook friends and have no need for social networking. Instead, we log into the Web site because it’s entertaining to watch a constantly evolving narrative starring the other people in the library.

I’ve always thought of Facebook as online community theater. In costumes we customize in a backstage makeup room—the Edit Profile page, where we can add a few Favorite Books or touch up our About Me section—we deliver our lines on the very public stage of friends’ walls or photo albums. And because every time we join a network, post a link or make another friend it’s immediately made visible to others via the News Feed, every Facebook act is a soliloquy to our anonymous audience.

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