Does Facebook encourage antisocial behaviour?Facebook会促使人们形成不善社交的行为吗?


Creative Commons License Alex via Compfight

I must have a face that says “tell me”. 

At least, that’s my suspicion. Every time I speak at a conference, I end up having a fascinating conversation with a social media skeptic. 

These conversations are usually very respectful and (I hope) mutually interesting, as I’m not the babbling digital evangelist people might expect me to be.

Instead, I’m genuinely interested in the concerns people have about embracing new technology. Some of those concerns are quite legitimate – even if it’s not an issue for me personally.

The latest objection to Facebook goes like this: When a dear friend from years ago adds me on Facebook, there’s the initial effusive hi, how are you. Then, nothing except the passive awareness of each other via your stream.

For me, that’s great! You can catch up without catching up, and there’s always a conversation point.

But for the person I spoke with, it was horrifying. “It’s like they’ve moved in over the road, kept the blinds open all the time, but never speak to me. I’d rather not see them at all.”

Anyone else feel like that? Are we leaving behind some crucial social norms in favour of the semi-voyeuristic, no-effort-required Facebook timeline? 

Looking forward to your views!



Creative Commons License Alex via Compfight









5 thoughts on “Does Facebook encourage antisocial behaviour?Facebook会促使人们形成不善社交的行为吗?

  • EdS

    When I first saw this headline, I admit I didn’t think of this particular angle on Facebook being anti-social, and it is a good point. I have a number of friends on Facebook and a lot of them I touch base with rarely but still like to see what everyone’s up to. I do cop a lot of fleck from mates about the number of FB friends I have, but that being said I also use Facebook as a networking tool, not just a space for friends.

    ANyway, my original thought on whether Facebook is anti-social, and it fact this works with other social networks (or perhaps anti-social networks), is how we use it to communicate with people that might even be across the other side of the room. For example, I went to a birthday party last week – a perfect example of a social function – and in parts of the room people were talking with each other while checking their Facebook/Twitter. I went to the pub over the weekend and received a tweet which mentioned me from someone across the other side of the table.

    Yes, it’s great we have so many new ways to communicate with each other. But there does need to be a point where we stop and think ‘actually, by tweeting/Facebooking/txting someone (whether they’re in the room or not) I’m being anti-social’. It’s very easy to just whip out the iPhone and send a sneaky tweet to someone (and I am guilty of that from time to time), but social networks and portability of those networks are making us rather anti-social.

    • Simon

      Thanks Ed. To be contrarian, aren’t the sneaky tweets to someone in the same room just another way of connecting? To me, truly antisocial behaviour is not wanting to communicate with anyone.

  • Hunter

    I think antisocial behaviour is stilling with your “Friend”, no talking or interaction other than you are sitting together. But then are you are all/both online telling your friends/fans/followers about the great time you are having.

    I see it all the time and I don’t think some people know how to hold a conversation, as its easier to tell your online “friends” things. How about putting your iPhone or iPad away and try talking to your friends…

    • Simon

      Ah, I”ve seen that too. Maybe done that… or maybe not. But there certainly is something to say for being 100% present, no matter what you’re doing. Thanks Hunter.

  • Simon

    There’s a really good discussion of this going on (ironically) on Facebook! Check it out, feel free to add your opinion:


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