The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Level: Adult

Genre: Non Fiction

This is an adult non fiction read but is very necessary for anyone who works with teenagers. Facebook only began in 2004 and has 500 million users! It has changed our world but even more so, it has changed our students’ world.

The Facebook Effect details how Facebook began – for Harvard University students – and how it has grown to a multi billion dollar industry. One part that I found extremely interesting was that the the author implies that Mark Zuckerberg is in the advertising business. When looked at from that perspective, I  realized that this was very true and even though Mark’s goal was to network the world, it is even more true that Facebook is making huge sums of money from its advertisers. What is particularly disturbing, is that, all of our information is being collected so that advertisers can target their ads much more specifically than even Google.

The book is a worthwhile read and really describes the history of Facebook well. There were parts of the story that were too detailed for my non financial brain though. However, I certainly understood enough of the Silicone Valley “wheelings and dealings” to realize that Facebook is a very powerful force and has shaped our world in a completely new direction in just six short years.

Mark Zuckerberg was interviewed extensively in the book and he often stated that his goal was to make the world more transparent. Well, it certainly is now! I just hope that all of this information will be used for a good purpose and not for manipulating us to the extreme. My worry, of course, is that everything we have done, are doing, and will do, will be recorded forever.

Very insightful and it gives me a better understanding of the social networking world. I wish Kirkpatrick would write a teenage version of this and make it mandatory reading. Then the kids might think twice before they post so much personal information.

On that note, I must go and update my status!

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