The Fakebook Generation: Rhetorical Analysis

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In her blog “ The Fakebook Generation,” later to be published in the New York Times on October 6, 2007, Alice Mathias enters the topic of the most used social networking service worldwide, Facebook. Mathias debates on Facebook’s claim of being a forum for “genuine personal and professional connections” (438) and tries to influence her readers to ask themselves if the website really promotes human relationships. Alice Mathias, a 2007 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire has wrote several more columns before, in which one of them was even awarded the Waterhouse Research Award. The author illustrates in her blog the power and impact Facebook had on the population by convincing to be “a place of human connectivity,” but states her idea of Facebook missing its real reason of enriching human connectivity. Mathias goes on how Facebook became more as an “online community theater” (438) than a functional service tool. She provided examples like people who announce relationships with Chinese food in their status in order to make others laugh instead of providing useful updates. Her argument goes on claiming how Facebook has made us more wary of real human confrontation, and how the network’s audience has become afraid of being caught in the act of avoiding confrontation. Mathias supports this when she uses the example of one of her friends loosing it when she heard of a hacker application for Facebook that would expose who’s been searching who, making everyone know of a love interest she had been “stalking.” Mathias argues how we have managed to fear real interaction by cowering behind online. She concludes stating that Facebook is another form of escapism and make believe, and brings closure hoping on a future where the younger generation stops treating Facebook as a “circus ring” (439). Mathias uses her blog in order to demonstrate the great impact social networks, such as Facebook, have over the population, especially the younger generation. As she...
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