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Submission + - Why Facebook Is Stressing You Out

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Megan Garber writes that the more friends you have on Facebook — or, perhaps more accurately, the more "friends" you have on Facebook — the more stressed you're likely to be about actually having them because the wider your Facebook network, the more likely it is that something you say or do on the site will end up offending one of that network's members. The stress comes from the kind of personal versioning that is common in analog life — the fact that you (probably) behave slightly differently when you're with your mom than you do when you're with your boss, or with your boyfriend, or with your dentist. A study of over 300 Facebook users found that on average people are Facebook friends with seven different social circles. The most common group was friends who were known from offline environments (97 percent added them as friends online), followed by extended family (81 percent), siblings (80 percent), friends of friends (69 percent), and colleagues (65 percent). Those are, in the sociological sense, very different groups — groups that carry different (and unspoken-because-obvious) behavioral expectations. Per the study's survey "adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety." “Facebook's power, and its curse, is this holistic treatment of personhood,” writes Garber. “All the careful tailoring we do to ourselves (and to our selves) — to be, say, professional in one context and whimsical in the other — dissolves in the simmering singularity of the Facebook timeline.”"

Submission + - Could crowd-sourced democracy be made to work? (google.com) 1

maccallr writes: The Occupy Movement is getting everyone talking about how to fix the world's economic (and social, environmental...) problems. It is even trialling new forms of "open" democracy. Trouble is, it's easy to criticise the physical occupiers for being unrepresentative of the general population — and much of their debating time is spent on practical rather than policy issues. Well-meaning but naive occupiers could be susceptible to exploitation by the political establishment and vested interests. In the UK, virtual occupiers are using Google Moderator to propose and debate policy in the comfort of their homes (where, presumably, it is easier to find out stuff you didn't know). Could something like this be done on a massive scale (national or global) to reach consensus on what needs to be done? How do you maximise participation by "normal folk" on complex issues? What level of participation could be considered quorate? How do you deal with block votes? What can we learn from e-petitions and Iceland's crowd-sourced constitution? Is the "Occupy" branding appropriate? What other pitfalls are there? Or are existing models of democracy and dictatorship fit for purpose?

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