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Literature Review Public and Private Spheres

The advent of Facebook saw the sudden spike in the need for
constant social interaction whether individually or as a group of
different people. But that social event didnt necessarily translate for
better quality relationships with other people.
People didnt make friends in the network; instead they transferred
their actual friends from real life to the social networking site. (Marche,
2012) Nevertheless, though Facebook has been constantly keeping us
connected with each other, the amount of loneliness we are
experiencing has never been greater. (p. 62-64)
Cacioppo even likened Facebook to cars; abolishing great
distances while serving as a catalyst for isolation. Yet, we dont really
use that car properly; it is not Facebook that brought this upon us but it
is we ourselves, upon choosing to be miserable by allowing loneliness
in our lives. (p. 68) Seeing posts by other people showing how happy
they are in their lives will either ignite a fire inside of us into chasing
the same life or make us feel like worthless garbage. Other
conversations in the public sphere of Facebook (referring to wall posts,
the timeline, and Facebook groups) seem to gratify the need for
acceptance of many users, especially when people are talking in a post
where someone else might see their conversation. These actions
reportedly decrease the loneliness of the users. (p. 66)
But even though communication in the public sphere of Facebook
relieves much of the loneliness, one cannot help but accept the fact
that the shallow need to be talked to has been ever more increased.
We are becoming more pretentious, trying to show that we are happy
while were not. Marche carefully concludes his argument by saying:
a connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant and
total connection is no salvation, no ticket to a happier, better world or
a more liberated version of humanity (p.69)
The price we pay for using Facebook is quite considerable. First,
we expose ourselves to instant but shallow connections, increasing the
chance of loneliness as seen in the previous paragraph. Next, we
expose ourselves to other threats such as cyberbullying, privacy
threats such as revealing their whereabouts, disciplinary consequence
of losing track of balanced time, and many more. (Siegle, 2011) Siegle
elaborates that people use the public sphere of Facebook in order to
keep a constant form of public communication. Users, specifically the
youth, expose their private lives in public to become the spectacle for
others. (p. 15)

But the great danger of being haunted by past mistakes prevents the
users from being able to publicize everything. Peoples reputation may
get ruined or they could lose career opportunities if the scandalous
content that they posted gets in the wrong hands. (p. 17) This is where
the private sphere of Facebook comes in, which includes the direct
messaging feature and the customization of privacy where users can
customize who gets to see their post. With whom do the users share
their private content with is another discussion. But surveys have
shown that a high percentage of Facebook users were aware of the
privacy issues that abound the social networking site. It shows how
aware people really are when it comes to privacy in social networking
sites. Privacy plays a very important role not only in a persons social
life but also in a persons own safety and security. But this doesnt
necessarily mean that the users engaged in restricted behavior. The
threats in privacy dont affect the activities executed on Facebook at
all. People still reach out and engage in talking with others, adding
friends, because the benefits of social interaction are deemed to
outweigh the privacy costs. (O' Bien & Torres, 2012)

Marche, S. (2012). Facebook making us lonely. Atlantic Monthly,


309(4), 60-69. doi: 10727825
O' Bien, D., & Torres, A. M. (2012). Social networking and online
privacy: Facebook users perceptions . Irish Journal of Management,
31(2), 63-97.
Siegle, D. (2011). Facing facebook: A guide for nonteens. Gifted
Child Today, 34(2), 14-19.