Monday, 19 March 2012


Facebook does not create these problems highlighted below, but is itself a powerful extension of things that western capitalism promotes generally: individualism, shallowness when it comes to social relations, but shallowness dressed up in fake hyper-friendships and interactivity.

Seeing that facebook and other 'social-media' online have play such a massive role in communication between people, and advertising which is fundamental capitalism, is is surprising that not more study has been done on the negative aspects on facebook. One could look at it another way and say exactly because facebook and twitter is so important to western capitalism, intelligence agencies etc, this is precisely why western academic institutions are unlikely to look into what the negative fall out of social media is.

The problems arising from the so-called social media are many.  Problems of bullying for children and school and in the workplace or generally bullying in society are exacerbated by these websites, and there is little recourse for the victims.

On a more wider philosophical and moral level, these forums are designed to dehumanise us, in the sense that when was it established that we all must be hyped up maniacs, using abbreviations of swear words and hyperbolic crazy-talk to convey a point? If you dont agree, do a simple experiment on your's and your friends facebook pages: do a post about something and comment on the posting with some calm and measured comment. The a few days or weeks later do the same post but this time with your comments that have a lot of over excited text and swear words. More often than not the first style of post will get next to no attention, whereas the second will get considerably a lot more attention. 

For young people who may not be naturally exhibiting attributes of an intensely hectic social swearing hyped up nutter, they are being pressured into being and acting in a manner that is not them, and frankly for most people is just not a human way of behaving. The general nature of these social media is to encourage 'bitching' and confrontation, and leaves out the possibility of developing a social network that encourages people to return to more calmer, respectful, patient ways of being, and being with each other.

This is all related to a wider issue of the kind of culture, or anti-culture, which is being promoted by empire. Because if people re-connected to the struggle of collective humanity, if people connected to the path set out by the ancestors for us, then we would naturally reject the immorality of western capitalism, and embrace alternatives that seek to develop our humanity and resist the brutality of empire.

The imperialist system has a deep and profound hold on us, and seeks to smash our souls. This oppression is all around us and requires constant reflection and criticism. Defend yourselves. Self defence is no offence, and dont give two **** for what anyone else thinks of you defending yourself, your ancestors and the future of your great geat grandchildren.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Facebook's 'dark side': study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism

Psychology paper finds Facebook and other social media offer platform for obsessions with self-image and shallow friendships


Researchers have established a direct link between the number of friends you have on Facebook and the degree to which you are a "socially disruptive" narcissist, confirming the conclusions of many social media sceptics.

People who score highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire had more friends on Facebook, tagged themselves more often and updated their newsfeeds more regularly.

The research comes amid increasing evidence that young people are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships.

The latest study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, also found that narcissists responded more aggressively to derogatory comments made about them on the social networking site's public walls and changed their profile pictures more often.

A number of previous studies have linked narcissism with Facebook use, but this is some of the first evidence of a direct relationship between Facebook friends and the most "toxic" elements of narcissistic personality disorder.

Researchers at Western Illinois University studied the Facebook habits of 294 students, aged between 18 and 65, and measured two "socially disruptive" elements of narcissism – grandiose exhibitionism (GE) and entitlement/exploitativeness (EE).

GE includes ''self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibitionistic tendencies" and people who score high on this aspect of narcissism need to be constantly at the centre of attention. They often say shocking things and inappropriately self-disclose because they cannot stand to be ignored or waste a chance of self-promotion.

The EE aspect includes "a sense of deserving respect and a willingness to manipulate and take advantage of others".

The research revealed that the higher someone scored on aspects of GE, the greater the number of friends they had on Facebook, with some amassing more than 800.

Those scoring highly on EE and GG were also more likely to accept friend requests from strangers and seek social support, but less likely to provide it, according to the research.

Carol Craig, a social scientist and chief executive of the Centre for Confidence and Well-being, said young people in Britain were becoming increasingly narcissistic and Facebook provided a platform for the disorder.

"The way that children are being educated is focussing more and more on the importance of self esteem – on how you are seen in the eyes of others. This method of teaching has been imported from the US and is 'all about me'.

"Facebook provides a platform for people to self-promote by changing profile pictures and showing how many hundreds of friends you have. I know of some who have more than 1,000."

Dr Viv Vignoles, senior lecturer in social psychology at Sussex University, said there was "clear evidence" from studies in America that college students were becoming increasingly narcissistic.

But he added: "Whether the same is true of non-college students or of young people in other countries, such as the UK, remains an open question, as far as I know.

"Without understanding the causes underlying the historical change in US college students, we do not know whether these causes are factors that are relatively specific to American culture, such as the political focus on increasing self-esteem in the late 80s and early 90s or whether they are factors that are more general, for example new technologies such as mobile phones and Facebook."

Vignoles said the correlational nature of the latest study meant it was difficult to be certain whether individual differences in narcissism led to certain patterns of Facebook behaviour, whether patterns of Facebook behaviour led to individual differences in narcissism, or a bit of both.

Christopher Carpenter, who ran the study, said: "In general, the 'dark side' of Facebook requires more research in order to better understand Facebook's socially beneficial and harmful aspects in order to enhance the former and curtail the latter.

"If Facebook is to be a place where people go to repair their damaged ego and seek social support, it is vitally important to discover the potentially negative communication one might find on Facebook and the kinds of people likely to engage in them. Ideally, people will engage in pro-social Facebooking rather than anti-social me-booking."

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