Virtual Communities/Social Media Possible Reactions by Brubaker and Hayes to the History of the Telephone One of the pointsthat Brubaker and Hayes would raise in regard to Fischer’s argument would concern how a technological advancement can have a different use from the one intended by its promoters. Although developers of the telephone did not intend it to be used for social interactions but rather for emergencies and critical issues, this initial purpose changed with time with the telephone being used mainly for social interactions. This case is similar with Facebook and Craigslist Missed Connections that instead of providing information about their users’ lives in reality, they tend to be used to “present result in a world in which information is not a mirror of pre-given reality (Brubaker &. Hayes 2).”
Brubaker and Hayes would further support Fischer argument and use illustrations from this article to emphasize on the need for constant evaluation and improvement of social interaction sites. Fischer points that with time, most telephone companies were compelled by consumer demands to advertise telephones as tools for social interaction. This had resulted from increased desire for most consumers to use telephone for social interactions rather than for critical issues such as emergencies and business operations. This can be related with the current desire for Facebook and Craigslist Missed Connections to have features that will enable two or more people to share an account (Brubaker &. Hayes 9). While these features may be expected to be available with time, the fact that they are not currently present illustrates the evolution of social interactions and the need for technology developers to constantly evaluate consumer demands.
Possible reactions by Fischer to Facebook and Craigslist Missed Connections
Fischer could note the fact that although development of the telephone as a tool for social interaction was greatly due to a shift from flat rates to measured rates, this has not been the case with the increased social activities on social sites such as Facebook and Craigslist (Fischer 49). This can be pointed as a major difference between the telephone and social sites such as Facebook and Craigslist. Increased advertisements by telephone companies led to greater awareness among the public on the advantages of the telephone. On the other hand, Facebook and Craigslist have benefited from the rapid growth of the IT sector and availability of devices to access these sites.
In addition, Fischer could note the fact that development of the telephone, unlike Facebook and Craigslist, was hindered by economic factors which made it difficult for rapid growth of this tool. This was because “there was no profit in sociability at first” (Fischer 52). Telephone companies argued that people were not supposed to use telephones for ‘gossips’ as this was seen as an extra expense on the service provider. In this sense, telephone sociability was greatly discouraged and its development almost stagnated. It was not until the introduction of measured rates that telephone sociability was encouraged. This, however, has not been the case with Facebook and Craigslist. These sites were developed purposely for social interactions unlike the telephone that has evolved with time to become a tool for social interaction.
Fischer, Claude. ‘Touch Someone’: The Telephone Industry Discovers Sociability. Maryland, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Print.
Brubaker, Jed &. Hayes, Gillian. Infrastructure and Socio-technical Representation. California, CA: University of California. Print.