If you were on the tube in London this summer, you might have caught social media behemoth Facebook’s cheery posters, featuring friendly people doing things together, accompanied by the well-known ‘Friends’ (of the Facebook variety) and a checkmark.
It feels a little bit ironic.
Here is the big daddy of social-relations-through screens, using images of what it’s like not to be together through screens to promote their screen-friends service – which they really do prefer you to check constantly. They’re thrilled if you busy yourself with posting photos to Facebook even while you’re in those real-life gatherings. Needless to say, while you’re in that situation, living in the moment might just give you more satisfaction.
Of course Facbook’s agency had to design the ads like that. Who would be moved by a picture of someone’s Facebook page?
This may of course be a little unfair. Facebook is, after all, heaving with photographs of people having fun with other people in real life, so the link from that to the Facebook brand is not fake. Perhaps the most valuable part of the Facebook universe is that we can get an idea of what faraway friends are up to, through the photos they post – even though that can often make the ‘digital personas’ created far more positive than anyone’s life really is.
You can also use Facebook to invite people to real-life events, making it a tool for the sort of activities we see in these photos – at least if you are a FB user.