Dear Christian Hernandez,
I have noticed that you have listed the assumed reasons of Turkish people’s love of Facebook. I wish I had the whole transcript of your speech. However, I have to use this lousy portal page to analyze your words.
According to this news report, you have indicated that the reason behind Facebook’s popularity in Turkey is “Turks are warm people who love sharing”. The average “Friends” number of the world is 130, which is quite below the Turkish average. The reason, according to you, for that is “Turks have strong friendships”. And more conceptual interpretation of Facebook’s popularity according to your speech “may be the coffeehouse and conversation culture”.
You may be at the top of your career, but you are wrong, man. Totally wrong.
First of all, let’s put something straight: Generalizations are only valid in marketing and politics. You are making a generalization, and I am going to reply with another. However, all the readers of this post, please keep in mind that I am totally against generalizations and I am basing my arguments on the patterns I have detected during my Facebook experience. There are of course exceptions to what I state.
Why do Turks love Facebook? It is not because they “love sharing” but it is because they love dominating. Facebook is a great remedy to some people’s unstoppable desire to culturally and politically dominate. “You are not listening to quality music, listen to this.” “You are not voting correct, hear what I brag” For example, they love sharing a video on the upcoming elections while they are at the beach with their laptops. This year, the Headquarters of “No” campaign for the referendum was Cesme, a holiday paradise in Turkey. People asked for a “No” from the “educated” ones on Facebook. The “Yes” campaign also utilized Facebook—along with other, more realistic and effective media like talking to people, knocking on their doors, proposing concrete solutions. Turkish people do not share to multiply their joy, they aspire to influence, and preferably to dominate.
Secondly, yes, Facebook is popular because people like talking—but not with each other, behind others’ back! The main reason for Facebook’s popularity is the joy of gossiping. Facebook pages are not viewed alone, they are like TV shows, watched with friends and family. True story: A 50 year-old woman based her comments on another’s kids Morocco travel from the information her daughters acquired for her on Facebook. “We have seen on Facebook that you bought a new car.” “My daughter Pelin showed me that your son has a new girlfriend.” The list goes on not to a direction of that genuine coffeehouse culture—but rather to a gossip-crowded public sphere.
Also that number of friends… With this urge to dominate and gossip, people just friend you. They, at least in my case, attempt to friend me despite my continuous social and electronic rejections. There are also those who show off with the number of their friends. Some family bonds are induced to “friendship” in Facebook realm. Connected to the previous paragraph, people friend you not because they want to keep in touch but to gossip about you. Indeed, this interest is usually mutual. Therefore, we are under the inflation of friends. (Remember the Green Inflation Monster in 90s? It just came to my mind, it was a prominent figure, I miss him.)
Anyway Mr. Hernandez, now that you have seen the real reasons, you can modify this speech of yours. But never stop greasing the Turkish users. They will be your defenders when your site gets banned along with thousands of other web sites.