Personal messages – A new replacement for social networks

Personal messages – A new replacement for social networks

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Facebook knows everything about us. In any case, he knows a lot about the personal life of users.

In any case, he knows a lot about the personal life of users. Now more and more people are refraining from this time-consuming craving for publicity and the habit of regularly posting on their Facebook page and Instagram. All communication is now in personal correspondence. While the phenomenon is only gaining momentum, and against the backdrop of millions of users of these resources, it is not particularly striking.

But Facebook seemed to notice. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that the company’s executive director, Mark Zuckerberg, plans to integrate Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging applications on the servers. This will allow chatters in various Facebook apps to get a unified messaging platform. On the one hand, this step can be viewed as the actions of “Big Brother”: try to abandon Facebook and it will do its best to get you back. But there are other reasons.

Our personal connections with the Facebook social network are quite extensive, we use Instagram and WhatsApp applications. But since last year, Apple Messages and Slack personal messaging services are gaining popularity. Photo sharing now more often goes through personal correspondence, WhatsApp or closed photo albums.

Personal messages

Of course, in these applications there is nothing new. Personal messages and letters exist just as much as the Internet itself. When we suddenly have new opportunities and the world around seems uncontrollable, our consciousness can sometimes limit their use until we feel comfortable again. In the early 2010s, there was a social network Path, its users could add to their page a limited number of friends. This principle was based on the theory of Dunbar that an ordinary person can comfortably communicate with no more than 150 people. Perhaps the theory is not mistaken.

“I think many people have come across this,” says Margaret Morris, a clinical psychologist and author of the book Left to Our Own Devices (“Left for our gadgets”). – When you place something in a public space, the question arises: why do you need it? But when this is done in closed correspondence, the question is different: “Why am I telling you about the events of my life? I think that it will be interesting to you and we will be able to make friends. Altruistic motifs are much more noticeable in personal messages. ”

Of course, “altruism” in this case applies only to friends who are correspondence, and not to owners of social networks or instant messengers. Facebook wants to create a universal messaging platform. This is partly due to the desire to earn on our activity, whether it is the publication of our records somewhere in the news feed or in a small chat window. And there is a big difference between the so-called private messages and what Morris calls “privacy with a capital letter.”

“There are two types of confidential information. The first is what relatives or colleagues know, says Morris. – The second type of information is personal data that is available to Facebook.

Reportedly, Facebook plans to use end-to-end encryption in all of its messaging applications after they are merged into one system. Journalist Lily Newman writes that privacy advocates already see obvious problems in accomplishing this task.

But besides the confidentiality itself, which for many people is the most important thing in social networks, there is also a psychology of confidentiality: it is about sharing news about our personal life and corresponding with other people. Social networks make it possible to connect completely outsiders and have turned this very concept – “connections” – upside down.

Morris believes that posting notes on Facebook on the news is a desire to be in society, while personal correspondence is a search for adjustment to a person. This is a way of coming together between two people. “But,” she notes, “some people take screenshots of personal correspondence, and then, having failed in trying to get close to someone, post them in their news feed (after having deleted all first and last names). The opponent is accused of unwillingness to communicate, and the screenshot with the correspondence is the proof of his guilt. ”

Social networks are no longer just a news channel, an instant messenger application, chat or SMS, but all in one platform.

Personal communication in a public space is not something that you want to do all the time, but still sometimes there is a desire to tell the world about yourself. Of course, you should not be removed from the “Twitter” or “Instagram”. To some extent, social networks give a sense of community that is hard to find in small group chats. On these resources it is easy to make new acquaintances and anonymously discuss some things in the thematic communities. For many people, large groups in social networks is the only way to find help and advice on health, family, work, life problems.

But right now, “personal” messages are a way to share your life with loved ones, a good way to get a more pleasant chat than posting to Facebook.

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