Is Facebook the new religion?

in Interaction design

Today I listened to an interesting interview with AS Byatt, the Booker Prize-winning author.

She suggested that social networks, formed and nurtured in applications such as Facebook and Twitter are replacing religion as way of identifying ourselves. Facebook is being used as a mirror.

In generations past, religions were defined people and societies: what is acceptable, what the social norms are, how to behave, and so on. However, with the demise of religion (at least in the west), we’re now looking at reality as it really is. We’re left to work out how to say who we are.

While the broadcast media – press, TV, radio – help us define ourselves, increasingly social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs let us work out who we are. We ask ourselves “How do I differ from this person?”, “Is this something I would do?”, and so on.

With religion playing less and less of a role in our lives, we are coming to learn that you only exist if you tell people you are there.

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