pointerZuckerberg and the Imaginary Cosmopolitan

Most of Facebook’s interactions are local interactions, either between members of a community or people we already know in real life. The connections which span continents are estimated to be around 12% and 16% of the total.

Ethan Zuckerman thinks that Facebook is being led astray by its grand vision of connecting the world together, when really it should be focusing in enabling deeper local connections:

The most challenging problems Facebook faces are not those of ensuring that all humanity is connected. The challenge is to manage the connections we already have. Facebook’s tendency to connect us most tightly with those who share our perspectives and views is part of the web of forces leading to polarization and the breakdown of civility in politics in the US and elsewhere. The tendency to pay attention to the struggles and difficulties of our friends distances us from struggles in other communities, even as networks make it more possible for us to connect with those directly effected. Before we take the next step in human evolution, we need to look closely at the downsides of the connectivity we’ve already achieved.