[Air-L] facebook, twitter and annoyances

Dr. Rasha Abdulla rasha at aucegypt.edu
Sat Oct 31 16:42:27 PDT 2009

This is developing into an "interesting" converstion, at least to me.

I think one aspect that we should think about (which might explain a bit of
what we enjoy when) is the "uses and gratifications" of logging onto
Facebook at a particular time. The way you use Facebook (or any other Web
site), or the functions that the Web site does for you will be a factor in
what you find "interesting" or "uninteresting" at any given time. For
example, if you're on Facebook primarily to find out what's happening in
your community or what might not be available via your mainstream media
(such as is the case for some here in Egypt), you will find that you add
people you might not know personally but who at times act as credible news
sources or who we know as "Internet activists." If these people start
talking about what they had for dinner, you might not appreciate that
because that's not what you had in mind or wanted from these people, even
though it's certainly their right to do so. On the other hand, if your
account is strictly comprised of people who are actually friends or
acquiantances in real life, you might be more tolerant of personal status
updates, in fact, you might want to know who is feeling happy or sad or
bored, or who ate what for dinner.... If you want to know what cultural
activities your friends are going to, that becomes your interest and
anything else more "serious" or more "trivial" becomes less interesting. It
all depends on what you are looking for at a given moment in time.

But since people are not there just to fulfill your needs, most of the time
you have to take the "interesting" (to you) with the less interesting,
unless all of a person's posts become uninteresting to you. For example,
I've taken off one person from my Friends list because all he was doing was
promoting certain products that I was not interested in. That person's use
of Facebook shifted into an obviously marketing tool, and consequently my
interest in his status updates and postings declined. Since he wasn't a real
"friend," I simply took him off the list. It all depends on what how you use
the site, and what you expect out of it.

Best regards to all.
Rasha A. Abdulla, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Graduate Director
Journalism and Mass Communication
The American University in Cairo

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