Facebook is taking yet another step toward becoming more Twitter-like by allowing Facebook profile owners to tag non-friends in the comment threads of their public posts. This update brings Facebook profile users one step closer to becoming their own idealized, public brands, and arrives upon the heels of the Facebook Subscribe button, which allows Facebook users subscribe to public posts.
To illustrate, here’s a Facebook post that I’ve made completely public. Anyone can see it, and so anyone can comment on it or subscribe to my public posts.
Growing up on Facebook
In the timeline of Facebook personhood, we’re still infants experiencing the Lacanian mirror stage, in which the external image of the body, reflected in a mirror, produces a psychic response that gives the infant a mental representation of the ideal “I.” It never becomes the ideal, yet will strive to become that throughout its life.
In its infancy, Facebook was an entirely private social network whose social contract was about “balanced following”. You and I had to mutually agree to become friends in order to “see” each other.
As the levels of privacy began to melt away, Facebook encouraged its users to “grow up” by making more personal information public.
Tagging non-friends in the comments of public posts brings us one step closer to full Facebook “personhood,” the idealized “I,” and the public, online brand.