Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Kakonomics of Facebook

This is an add-on to the previous post I have written in reply to the EDGE annual question. The best example that comes to my mind to illustrate a typical kakonomical interaction (or LL-exchange) is Facebook . Why do people tell you during the day that they have plenty of things to do, not a minute for a sandwich together, so many papers to finish etc, and then you find them on Facebook all the night without the least guilty feeling? Because on Facebook we are LLing together: They like you to waste time by writing comments and adding YouTube videos because they are doing exactly the same and this makes them feel less guilty in wasting their own time. Facebook friends are L-friends: They are partners in producing the very low outcome of entire evenings in front of the computer without writing a line of what you should write. The worst betrayal by such a good L-friend is to take the High quality (H) rhetoric seriously (I have many commitments and things to do), let you down and go to work while you're hanging around YouTube to find the most stupid possible video to share with them....

Facebook and other similar examples (Twitter, etc) are examples of the economy of the new millennium, the hidden face of human preferences we would like to hide in the H public space, but we love to share with people whom we are sure they are committed to the same L standards.

The pleasure of the immediate reply to one of your comments to a friend's new post is to discover that he or she is complying in L, we're wasting time together, we don't feel guilty and tomorrow we won't be ashamed to tell each other that we're terribly busy....A perfect L-world!


---gallizio said...

ciao gloria
are you sure that twitter and facebook share the same LL exchange paradigm? Have you got a twitter account? Twitter is by far the best way to aggregate and share informations (news too, I mean). The level of quality depends above all on the quality of your networks (it's not only garbage in / garbage out).

martin barber said...

I am just wondering how the concept of down-time fits in with kakonomics. In that disease where people are tired all the time, part of the recovery programme is to book in down-time every day. Couldn't mediocrity be a form of down-time? I am interested in those sorts of decisions we take which ensure failure, hoisting ourselves on our own petards, as if too much permanent excellence in our lives would spoil something, interfere with some balance. What do you think?

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