Facebook - how is it really changing the way we interact?

Daniel Miller, Professor of anthropology at University College London, has published research into Facebook:

  • the site performs the role of a "meta-friend", a place where users log on to feel some form of engagement with a wider social life
  • traditional friendships are strengthened not weakened by on-line networking
  • transparency may actually reduce infidelity, owing to risk of detection and exposure
  • there is a loss of privacy and personal autonomy.

As to how Facebook might develop, the study group showed no sign of it becoming a medium for political discussion.  In the authors view Facebook's destiny lay as a benign social facilitator.