Thursday, 11 November 2010

on facebook revelations

Usually Facebook is the place for a kind of (not all that important, but important to you) social back-biting. But today things have escalated and it has become the place for political tension.

Yesterday a student protest* ended in a riot (and perhaps I use the term 'riot' loosely) which ended in a perpetuation of the student stereotype. It wasn't big, it wasn't clever and, most of all, it has not helped our cause. But Facebook has become the place for people to vent their anger; to allege themselves to the cause or to detach themselves completely, either in apathy, in dejected disbelief or in understanding of the government. No longer are we placing in view our social standings - our lists of friends, our photographic memories, our marital statuses - but now we are also shouting to the world our political viewpoint. And as to this, I am in two minds. I am all for debate and a polite battling of opinions, but I am not sure Facebook, often rowdy, is the facility for this.

*In England the subject of university tuition fees is always, always hit with contention. In our last General Election, the Liberal Democrat candidate (now half the coalition government) signed and promised a pledge to 'cap' tuition fees. This gave students and prospective students hope which, because of increasingly large applicant numbers and an impending deficit, has been dashed. Perhaps students wouldn't be quite so angry if they thought they got their money's worth of academic contact at the price of university now. Yesterday's demo - or 'demolition' as the Student Union dubbed it - was a fairly peaceful protest until a few ruined it in a rowdy handling of Government property.

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