A thought on Facebook or other social networks that try to monetize my friends

If there is one thing money can’t buy, it’s friends. I mean true friends.

Ask any of the 600 Facebook friends you’ve got to help you when you’re moving to a new flat. Now ask a real friend. And if he or she comes up with some issues like, ‘I got a bad back ache today, sorry’ offer them money to help you. Will this make your relationship better or worse?

As soon as money is involved in a friendly turn, like helping one with something, friendship suffers from that. As friendship is for free, it’s a system completely not based on monetizing relations.

(Actually there are a lot of communities or even cultures out there that run perfectly well without being based on money transfer. I’m not speaking of currencies that – like gold – equal the actual value of the good being traded, and therefore display just an abstract idea of the good being traded, but money that was invented to actually control such trading. Money that could be gambled e.g. on a stock market.)

If there is something that everybody needs and want, and is there for free (in economic terms) where is the point of monetizing this? But exactly this is what Facebook or now Ping tries to do.

Now if you ask any kid out there what Facebook is for, they will tell you it’s about to make or stay in touch with friends. No it isn’t – it is about monetizing your social network, to gain revenue from your very own private life.

Social networks managed to not only monetize your social environment, but make you belief that maintaining your friendships and relations is their actual purpose.

This is no argument not to use social networks, but to stay in control about your social positions in a way that we understand what social networks are for and how we can use them for our purposes.

Maybe the best would be to defined everybody that helped you on your last relocation. And give them a call.

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