Me thinks Alice Mathias doth protest too much (“The Fakebook Generation”, NYT, OpEd, Oct. 6). After stripping away all the requisite “old folks don’t get Facebook” façade, what Alice really lays bare is the oft-commented on phenomenon of the coddled generation’s struggle for identity and connection.
Her argument about the dangers of Facebook users being able to see who’s been visiting their profiles is essentially this: we like to be lovingly fawned over and observed on our own personal performance stage, but are terrified that anyone might find out how much we crave relationships. Alice asserts in closing that Facebook is a form of escapism for young people. Yet the deep insecurity exposed by her own arguments suggest that for young people, Facebook is really about searching.
Perhaps what makes Alice most uncomfortable, is that the grown ups are making more public just how serious social networking is to young people like her.