Towards a closed society…is it what we want?

Vanina Delobelle

Towards a closed society…is it what we want?
These last days my head is swinging between the idea of closed network and the idea of open network. I see all these plugins in all the sites where we plug Facebook friends here and Facebook friends there and Facebook friends for ever.

Therefore, we are with our friends everywhere and we never get to know much of other people than our friends. This does not really go towards much of openness. Of course, we say that recommendations coming from people we know have more value than others. I would say that studies show so and it is a fact that nobody can really challenge anymore. However, in this new world where we want to stick our friends for all contexts, what kind of door do we leave open to discovery and to novelty?

Seeing my friends everywhere will start to bore me quickly, especially because my friends will never be able to be expert in everything. Moreover, if we consider the Dunbar number and certainly the fact that the true recommendation are coming from less than 30 people on average, all this does not make much sense. My 30 friends cannot have reviewed all the products in the world, read all the books, played all the games or tried on all the clothes. We are in a reality that is no longer meaningful.

Again, let’s compare the online network with what happens in real life. If I go to the mall with my girlfriend, I might ask her opinion about this dress. If I now buy a book, if she never read it, she will have no opinion, I might ask others. If I buy a TV, not sure what my girlfriend who is not very techy will know about which TV is better than the other. I’d rather ask the seller to get more information about the TV. So now why would it be different online? Why my friends would be better at everything? My friends might have opinions on certain things but they are certainly not my reference when it comes to buying most of the products. b[I do care about experts who know what they are talking about and who can recommend me the best product for me.


Also I will never stop saying that my friends on Facebook are not relevant for everything. I might be partying with them or talking about kids during the week-end but it does not mean that I rely on my friends for everything. I have my opinions, I might consult them but it does not mean that I do all what my friends recommend. They will influence…certainly but in order to forge my opinion, I look at many more sources.

Do we want a closed society? Is the real life closed? No! So why would we want to make the internet become so? I am afraid that lately the notions of networks and especially the understanding companies have of the networks is guiding us to a closer system. Being with friends all the time without welcoming foreigners is preventing from moving forward. Richness comes from diversity and openness.


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