As usual I'm announcing it rather late, if you didn't know it's time to recognize the best blogging on or by Muslims in the Seventh Annual Brass Crescent Awards.
I'm once again a judge, for better or worse.
In addition to the established categories of
- BEST BLOG
- BEST WRITER
- BEST NON-MUSLIM BLOGGER
- BEST BLOG DESIGN
- BEST POST OR SERIES
- BEST FEMALE BLOGGER
- BEST NEW BLOG
- BEST GROUP BLOG
- FUNNIEST BLOGGER
- BEST MIDDLE EAST/AFRICAN
- BEST EUROPEAN
- BEST SOUTH ASIAN
- BESTASIAN BLOGGERS
- BEST TWEETER
- BEST RETIRED BLOG
There are now 3 new ones:
- BEST MEDIA BLOG
- BEST NON-MUSLIM TWEETER
- BEST FACEBOOK PAGE
Call me an old fogey, but I'm not a tweeter and don't want to become one, so judging people's tweets looks to be a challenge (though I suppose their brevity will make getting up to speed a lot easier).
I'm on Facebook–as are an astounding 7% of the human race (i.e., 500 million Facebookers out of an estimated world population of 6.9 billion)–but I wouldn't have thought of giving an award for the best Facebook page. That should be interesting.
Speaking of the social networking juggernaut, some headline-grabbing studies have come out recently that don't cast the Facebook lifestyle, such as it is, in the most glamorous light. One study showed that the grades of students who Facebook while studying suffered by 20%. I'm not sure this reflects on Facebook as much as multitasking in general– study after study has shown the productivity advantages of multi-tasking to be chimerical, and in the case of driving quite deadly–but the recent study correlating heavy FB usage with narcissism and emotional problems must smart a bit.
Using Facebook is the online equivalent of staring at yourself in the mirror, according to a study.
Those who spent more time updating their profile on the social networking site were more likely to be narcissists, said researchers.
Facebook provides an ideal setting for narcissists to monitor their appearance and how many ‘friends’ they have, the study said, as it allows them to thrive on ‘shallow’ relationships while avoiding genuine warmth and empathy.
People who constantly check Facebook may be lacking in self-esteem, a study found. They also tend to use the site for promoting themselves to friends or people they would like to meet, the study concluded.
Researcher Soraya Mehdizadeh from York University in Canada asked 100 students, 50 male and 50 female, aged between 18 and 25 about their Facebook habits.
They all took psychology tests to measure their levels of narcissism, which the study defined as ‘a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and an exaggerated sense of self-importance’.
Those who scored higher on the narcissism test checked their Facebook pages more often each day than those who did not.
Emphasis added. That first line is quite a zinger, and surely the very last thing Facebook marketing or its most enthusiastic users want to hear. (Wonder how many friends Mehdizadeh has in FB now.)
Not that blogging is without analagous pitfalls, of course, but Facebook, Twitter and other social media upstarts are making it seem staid, pensive and almost "old media".
Which reminds me of Friendface, the best (only?) pop culture send-up of Facebook yet. (I definitely recommend "The I.T. Crowd," a British sitcom about the hijinks of the IT department of a small company. We're eagerly awaiting its 4th season making its way onto NetFlix.)