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Jared Schroeder: Koobecaf Assignment
Jared Schroeder Anthropology MW 9:30a.m. Koobecaf Paper Koobecaf (Facebook) Assignment. The culture that we live in is very individualistic. It allows you to express yourself in ways that fit your personality, beliefs, or feelings. With the introduction of Facebook in the world recently, the sense of individuality was yet again increased in American culture. The model of culture in this sense was altered and moved around in terms of Facebook. Each part of it has since experienced some sort of change and has changed American culture quite drastically to say the least. Now whether this change is for the better or for worse is more or less a personal opinion. However, in the end there is no denying that Facebook is changing American culture. The very infrastructure of American culture is most definitely changing with the increased use of Facebook. The market economy in America is a great example of this. Here in America we are able to set up businesses and virtually sell anything to make a little bit of money here and there. Facebook furthers this capitalist mentality through its institution of the ‘MarketPlace’ that is available. To some extent I think eBay can be credited for this clever addition to the social tool, but it is a very common tool that is used. I’ve seen just about everything for sale in the MarketPlace, from cars, to sports tickets, to even CD’s and things of the sort. My personal experience with the MarketPlace has come with the guys I live with. Some of them don’t have season football tickets and often times they look on the MarketPlace for tickets and can sometimes get them for pretty cheap prices. But also by looking on the MarketPlace, the guys meet and communicate with some people that they possibly never would have had the chance to come in contact with. This leads to another culture change in America in terms of communication, more specifically involving the social structure in the model of culture. Facebook is making remarkable changes in the social structure of American culture. As mentioned previously, it is now allowing different people from all across the nation and the entire globe to come into contact with one another. Communication in the social structure has greatly increased due to Facebook. For example, I am able to keep in close contact with one of my best friends from high school who now lives in Memphis. Also, in terms of the social structure, Facebook (like American culture) allows you to display personal individuality. Individualism is huge in American culture and is why a lot of people seek refuge here. There are so many different combinations of things that you can put on your Profile to show who you really are or what you’re all about, your likes, dislikes, tastes, and beliefs. Personally, I have a lot of country music information and a few tid-bits about myself and what I hope to find in the future. However Facebook also allows you to post things that might be false or misleading, especially for the Facebook stalkers who search to meet new people simply just by searching and looking at pictures. I have had several experiences in which someone has said, “He/she looks completely different than her profile picture,” or, “Oh he/she’s in a relationship so I wouldn’t even bother talking to him.” This aspect of Facebook is a negative because I believe that it is weakening communication and relationships through such things as gossip and rumors. All this in mind we still must tie in the superstructure, which is oh so very much related to both the infrastructure and social structure of American culture. With the changes to both the social structure and infrastructure, there absolutely has to be something changed within the superstructure. The most important core belief that I think we have in American culture is our individuality and independence. Facebook has certainly changed these values drastically in terms of our superstructure. It allows us to post virtually whatever is on our mind at any given time with the implementation of the ‘status update’ tool. For some this is a good tool, but in my opinion it must be used sparingly. The importance of your status has a great impact of what people think of you, or so I’ve seen. All different kinds of people can read your status and perceive whatever messages and more importantly the metamessages that may or may not be implied through just a simple little status bar. People can develop different opinions and ideas of who you are through Facebook, and sadly enough some of it couldn’t be farther from the truth. But the technologically based culture in our infrastructure today is allowing Facebook to increase the core value of individuality throughout our social structure, while at the same time it is making communication easier but less personal. Once again we’ve seen that one change in part of the model of culture has caused a changed in the entire thing. Facebook is changing lives throughout this country as well as countries throughout the entire world. Some of these changes have been for the worse and yet some have been for the better. As a final note, more or less Facebook has once again shown the interconnectedness of the three parts of the model of culture to its finest extent. But thinking harder on the subject, is Facebook actually changing the culture in which we live? Or is it the people using this social tool actually making the changes themselves and giving credit to a technological advancement? That’s the question that we’re all left with, and it’s up for us as individuals to decide the answer. Whichever answer we come up with though will most certainly spark more changes in the ever precarious model of culture.
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