Facebook Breakups and Political Theory
Who would have thought that a Wall Street Journal article about Facebook breakups would make me think of political theory? Before I get started, check out the link below about Facebook breakups. Boyfriends and girlfriends beware….it turns out that one of the peak days for breakups on Facebook is two weeks before the Christmas holiday!
Upon looking at the chart that compares the preferred methods of break up between those born before 1975 and those born after 1984, I began to wonder how new technology has affected political theory. Since the chart shows that those of younger generations would be more likely to break up over the phone or through an Instant Message, I thought, well, maybe younger generations would be more likely to use new technologies to understand political theories and create their own.
How has new technology affected political theory? Without studying statistics, it seems as though technology has allowed political theorists to distribute their ideas more efficiently. It is easier for people to see others’ ideas through the Internet, meaning that people can further develop their own ideas using ideas from others (without plagiarizing, of course). Through blogs such as this, political theorists and political theory students can add pictures and diagrams to clarify their ideas. Students and teachers can interact 24/7, as long as technological devices cooperate, making it much more convenient for the learning process to take place.
Further relating this idea to political theorists we have studied in class, I thought of Mill first. Mill would like the development of communication devices, such as Facebook. While breakups and strong opinions may be harmful to some people, Mill would argue that enhanced communication allows the progression of knowledge. People can learn from others’ opinions and ideas and therefore improve their own. Even if an idea or an opinion is wrong, people are able to form stronger personal arguments if they are able to see all opinions that exist. Also, society would ridicule those who were wrong without government influence. Mill would want the continuation of improvements in technology so that people can better understand each other and therefore better understand themselves and the world. Maybe with better understanding throughout the world, there will be fewer Facebook breakups?