The new British class sytem: Facebook

In today’s Telegraph (and this month’s Vogue), Conde Nast UK head Nicholas Coleridge admits that he’s trapped in the new British class system: Facebook.

I know people – adults, that is, busy people with jobs – who spend two or three hours every single day tending their virtual roster of acquaintances, “poking” people, adding applications, trawling friends’ lists of friends to find new ones to poach, or approaching complete strangers to boost their score.

The second half of 2007 has seen the renaissance in England of social competitiveness. Who has more friends on Facebook, me or you? Or, more pressing, who has the most glamorous friends on Facebook? We have turned into a nation of social-stamp collectors.

As I posted on his page on Facebook, I am relieved to both be his friend and have more than he does.

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  • The growth of Facebook, during the last six months, has been truly amazing. In the UK it has really taken off – for example – amongst political networks and political elites. It’s power is there for all to see,

    But you can also see the seeds of the demise of Facebook – I’ve no reason to believe that something else won’t be around soon.

    The open API is a great thing. Or is it? Am I the only one being plagues with zombies, virtual fish and all kinds of other nonsense that I don’t seem to able to get rid of. Yes I can choose not to play this movie quiz or so on – but I still have to trawl through a mass of rubbish that I don’t want.

    What I want is some kind of filter that saves me from all of this trash – and probably saves my interest in Facebook at the same time.

  • I love this line: “We have turned into a nation of social-stamp collectors.”

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  • Rod

    Andy “What I want is some kind of filter that saves me from all of this trash – and probably saves my interest in Facebook at the same time.”

    You have a filter, its the delete button. I’d love to discuss this more, but I have to go invite Jeff to be my friend…

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  • Rod, of course I delete things … but I don’t seem to be able to stop people sending me invitations at an alarming rate!

  • Nasser Gurang

    Pathetic….call yourself a serious media commentator but then you compare numbers of facebook ‘friends’ with Nicholas Coleridge – a man who fronts up a stable of magazines that undermine journalism by only putting to print articles that are positive for the companies that advertise within the stable. Flick through and have a look at the blatant product placement.

    It’s shocking to think this is the kind of journalism you support……

  • Silvana

    Everything’s turning digital or virtual, that’s right. It kind of reminds me to a song called Virtual Insanity…

    Facebook has more succes than Myspace(or related websites) because it does not only let people get to “choose”/”classify” their friends but also lets them to virtually interact with them as in the form of “poking”, something similar to reality. And when it comes to competitiveness, is it getting digitalized too?
    Individuals feel more ‘connected’ to the world by keeping in touch with other people, basic human nature. And perhaps with that ‘need of connection’ comes other social syndromes as status, etc.

    it was a nice post :)