"...services like Twitter and Facebook’s status updates, a new data source has been added to the Web— real-time indications of what is on our collective mind."
I'm trying to find a way to respond to this article that isn't so...pedestrian...or hasn't been said a million times over. But I can't. Until recently, until this election, (and maybe when I lived in Palestine), I was a cynical Facebook user. But in Palestine, Facebook did two things for me, it exposed me to the same news sources that my journalist and activist peers were using, and media sources that members of the Palestinian community were using, and forever changed my reliance and trust on news sources like The New York Times and NPR. During the last war on Gaza, I checked Twitter first every morning, and a lot of times at 4 in the morning, to tap into the collective mind that wasn't being reported on. In Aida Refugee Camp, Facebook serves as a real-time indicator of the Israeli military's presence inside the camp. Inside this camp of 5,000 people who are living on top of each other, Facebook serves as the calling from the rooftop alert system. It serves as a continually updated memorial page for the imprisoned and martyred.
After the election, I actually began to feel more connected to my mother through her FB posts. Like many people, her FB alter ego is more sharp, to the point, and urgent. What's incensing my mother about Trump or the Oklahoma religious right is in real time. Things that, in the past, she (at the age of 72) would have forgotten to tell me about two weeks later. And it's good for me. I feel more connected, more alive, more reassured, and sometimes, more depressed. In some ways, I feel more alive as a human through FB.
But at the same time, like cyborgs, it feels like...where does the web begin and where do we as humans end?