Facebook and Sustainability: I like it!

Interested in tracking your home energy consumption?  There’s an “App” for that. Or there will be in early 2012. Facebook has developed an application that will allow 800 million users to access home energy usage information provided by their utility company. It should be interesting to see how many people will actually use this application, and what actions they will take because of it. Perhaps if people actually saw how much energy they consumed, they will cut back. Could this simple application renounce America’s title as the number one energy consumer in the world? Or will Facebook be the reason why we use so much energy in the first place?

sources: forbes.com



  1. Most of the time people browse Facebook, mindlessly looking at the same post by people who they barely know anymore. Facebook is helping us substitute real face to face relationships with short witticism sent electronically.

    Americans have gone from saying hello while walking on the street, to calling someone and saying : ‘Hey I saw you on the street yesterday.’ , then not even using our voice by texting, now a more dynamic form of widely broadcasting to your birthday wishes ‘close’ fb friends threw a happy bday and thats it!

    1. Dear Facebook friend Alex,

      Don’t be jealous that my status updates are so witty, and I’m going to disagree with you. First of all people always have this kind of ‘hostility’ to new technology. They thought it when the phone came out, and no I don’t mean cell phones. People thought telephones were ruining family life. I think FB actually facilitates connections and not dull them out as “[substitutions] to real face to face relationships”. It creates connections with people that would have otherwise been lost through distance and time. It also brings people together! With that nifty events feature. Communication is connectivity. It doesn’t actually affect the nature of social networks.

      “After analyzing thousands of photos, the scientists found that, on average, each student had 6.6 close friends in their online network. In other words, nothing has really changed; even the most fervent Facebook users still maintain only a limited circle of intimates.” (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/11/is-facebook-ruining-human-friendships/)

      So before I may have only been connected to only 10 people (I like to think I’m above average). Because of Facebook I’m connected to hundreds, but it doesn’t degrade the quality of my friendship with those 10 people who are still my close friends.

      Take our friendship for example! I consider you to be one of my close friends, even after you’ve moved to St. Louis and I to the great Omaha. I’m not sure how our friendship would be different without phones, but we actually have very little interaction on Facebook itself. Also consider how our friendship was when we lived in the same city. I doubt I would have let you pass me on the street only to tell you it happened on Facebook. I am absolutely sure that I would run across Academic Plaza just to hit you on the shoulder and say, “what’s up!”

      I think as far as the circles of friends a person has, Facebook doesn’t really affect the people you would hang out with if it wasn’t invented. What I think it does affect as far as the whole “mindlessly looking at the same post by people who they barely know anymore” scenario, is that we’re substituting the time that could be used for reading, exercising, school work, etc. I (and as most people I know) would always choose hanging out with friends in person over clicking through pictures of someone I only moderately knew.

  2. […] allows people to compare themselves to their neighbors, and in turn inspires change. (Tyler recently posted an article  about an app that essentially is the same […]

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