In a controlled experiment, Facebook clandestinely altered the news feeds of 700,000 users. People who received slightly happier news posted positive updates, while people who received sadder news posted sad updates. What does this mean?
Facebook can control your emotional state.
In the 2010 Presidential elections, Facebook divided 61 million Americans into three test groups. Each group was shown a different, nonpartisan get-out-the-vote message, or no message at all. The results showed that certain messages could significantly increase the inclination of someone to vote. What does this mean?
Facebook can control elections.
I’ve not been prescient about much in life. For instance, many years ago, someone in finance told me I should look into buying Google stock. This was not long after the internet bubble exploded. I, like a lot of people, had gotten burned. My exact words to him were:
“Do I look stupid to you? No more internet stocks for me. Ever.”
At that time, Google was $32/share. Google closed on Friday at $593.08/share. I believe it actually split at one point.
In 2008, a friend said that I had a knack for pollinating my emails with short, clever quips. He suggested I sign up for a Twitter account. He said it’d be a excellent venue to to showcase this supposed talent I have. I signed up, posted for about three weeks and quit. “This is stupid and boring,” I thought. “This’ll never go anywhere.”
When it comes to Facebook, I smelled a rat from the start. I couldn’t figure out Facebook’s business model. What do they have to sell? What’s their product? It turns out the thing they have in abundance is personal data. Personal data is power and they can use it any way they wish. It’s in your User Agreement. I also felt there was an addictive quality to it not unlike gambling. And I know all about gambling.
I badly miscalculated Google and Twitter, but I think I was right about Facebook. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. But I’ve heard that I might be able to increase my blog audience with a Facebook page. Is that true? Well, that’s worth considering…
I stumbled across this model shoot while walking through Madison Square Park. Isn’t it weird? They’re just children!
I think they were from South America. Maybe Brazil. It sounded like they were speaking Portuguese. They were consummate professionals, from what I can tell. I can assure you they are wearing clothes that are too expensive for me to buy for my kids. Plus, this stuff is so season-specific, and they grow so fast at that age, that they could probably only wear each outfit a few times until they outgrew them.
I don’t know how I feel about this. I think the parents are exploitative. I mean–what’s the message here? Also, I’m envious that I can’t provide this stuff for my daughters. Not that it matters to them. They couldn’t care less. It’s all in my head. And now, here in my blog.