Facebook Decides You Are A Person

Business / Editorial / Tech
Courtesy of Wired

I think today a lot of people feel like the government and corporations don’t actually consider them people, but a number, a statistic, or a dollar sign. Little thought goes into the individual which they serve, but instead you are thought of as a generalization or part of the collective whole. Being an individual today is hard. With the powerful ability to connect ideas and a consistent bombardment of media, it could be argued that originality is almost dead. The place many fight for their individuality is Facebook. Of course when you post to social media, you aren’t thinking ‘Oh man, I need to fight to be considered an individual’ but then again you don’t go posting the exact same thing as the person below you, either.

So if Facebook is a cyberspace where we all try and contribute our individuality, wouldn’t it be nice if Facebook actually recognized this? Well, yes it would, and they actually are. Instead of referring to you as a ‘user’ they are now going to use the word ‘person.’ Now you may not feel this is a huge change, and you’d be right, but it’s the little things that matter. It’s like the difference between referring to your friend or coworker as ‘it’ and referring to them as ‘him’ or ‘her.’ Little change, big difference.

Calling us ‘people’ isn’t the only step that Facebook is taking to relate to us either. They have empathy classes that are designed to help engineers understand that the projects they are working on will eventually be used by people…like real life people…in real life. This may sound like a no-brainer for us outsiders, but if you are an engineer working on some very specific code, ‘who will benefit from this’ is probably the last thing you are concerned with.

This is good news, though. Facebook is a radically progressive company and in some cases, the public isn’t quite comfortable with how radically progressive they actually are. Facebook’s vision for the future extends far and wide, but this step towards the acknowledgement of the individual demonstrates that Facebook still cares about you and recognizes the fact that the single most important factor in their success is your use of their service.

What do you think of this fundamental change in Facebook’s philosophy? How big do you think it really is? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

  Source: Business Insider
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