Freedom on Facebook leads to a more open, honest society


“Life is good,” “Life sucks,” pictures of people passed out, pictures of you eating an ice cream cone, pictures of you hiding behind some creepy guy to point at him and ironically tag him later as being creepy, links to Lil B’s “Wonton Soup,” joining arbitrary groups like one that “represents” your area code; Facebook.

From time to time I sit on my homepage scrolling down my newsfeed picking out everything I think is stupid for my own entertainment, which in retrospect is also stupid. But isn’t that what makes Facebook great: a mass connection of individuals, sharing their every thought, interest, cause, etc. throughout the day?

Even though it might not always be (and most of the time it isn’t) a free, intelligent marketplace of ideas and expression, it is one of the only places that isn’t regulated to fit a certain mold, where ideas aren’t shared for the sake of profit or agenda, but simply just because.

Facebook presents itself as a convenient and attractive forum for our democracy. Becoming exposed to other people’s walks of life by “friending” them creates a more conscious society.

I could say I’m open to all walks of life and know someone who is Muslim, but without Facebook I wouldn’t know that they loved to play Texas Hold ‘em. Or I might say I know a friend who is gay, but without Facebook, would I know that they are more into sports than I am?

Hiding elements of your personal life for the comfort of others seems to take away from why a lot of us join Facebook in the first place; to share yourself with other people, to connect.

“What about when searching for jobs, though,” you ask? Well, if you want a profile that shows off your professionalism, why don’t you join a network like LinkedIn or CareeRealism that are designated for that specific purpose?

Maybe you’re not concerned about an employer seeing your page, but rather a friend’s mom or some aunt. Maybe they have an image of you as a golden child who gets good grades, volunteers, and can bake delicious cookies, but then see a picture of you smoking a joint. “Oh no! Timmy’s now a thug who carries a gun and steals old ladies’ purses.”

Sure, their first reaction is probably something like this, but as they continue to see you, hear of your success and accomplishments, a wheel starts turning that says, “Hey, maybe a joint from time to time isn’t all that bad.”

Now I’m not arguing for getting high necessarily; my point is to say that as people become more understanding, our society advances. Whereas posting a Slipknot song would’ve been demonized in the 40s, these are the types of things that Facebook introduces us to and lets us decide whether to accept or reject them.

Once that is taken away from us, we take a step back into a smaller world, our heads, our assumptions, and our ignorance.