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The essay by Alice Mathias entitled The Facebook Generation is a critique in which the author provides her view on the rise and role that the social networking site plays in today's communication. The author believes that Facebook has had an unfavorable outcome for today's generation when it seems to compromise the actual link to communicating across the web. The author of the essay employs a number of rhetorical appeals, including an appeal to reason, sympathy, and logic, to persuade the reader to accept the case put forth. While college students and postgraduates tend to prefer using Facebook as a strategy to create an online profile that is attractive to them, the present generation has a lowered motivation to it as it appears to make them escape from real life.
Logos is an element of rhetorical appeal that deals with the structure of the argument. It involves the approach to catch the reader’s attention is an element of an appeal to reason, denoted by the Greek concept of logos. The logical appeal is the type of rhetorical application when the rhetorician uses logics in convincing the reader to accept the idea that Facebook is changing human interaction as a whole (I.S.U. Writing Center). For example, the author notes that the Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is on a verge of structuring a social graph that can be used to understand human connections (Mathias). The statement would make the targeted audience to think institutively about the validity of the statements that the author is presenting and consider the level of impact that Facebook is having on human interaction.
Ethos involves the means which the author uses to persuade the audience. It is the style that ensures that the convincing of the audience is achieved through the appeal to character. This approach is also referred to as ethical appeal in other literature and focuses on the trustworthiness of the article content. The author tries to display the level of knowledge and research that has been undertaken to justify the claims. For instance, she argues that it is unlikely that a hacker would try and succeed in hacking Facebook (Mathias). Such an argument is meant to justify the fact the reader only needs to trust the information provided as it has been subject to intensive research. It thus means that it has been proven that it is hard to control Facebook the way it controls its users. For example, the author states that, “I’ve always thought of Facebook as online community theater” (Mathias). The use of the personal pronouns I is used to justify the credibility of the argument made.
Pathos involves the use of emotional appeal. The author considers pathos through factoring the emotions or needs. Pathos is realized through emotions and the ability of the author to present how the idea affects basic human needs (I.S.U. Writing Center). There are various statements to justify the writer’s approach as a way of convincing the reader into buying the idea. For example, the author’s argument to the reader is through employing a variety of realities when describing the manner in which users now connect on Facebook about the way people interact on social media. Humans are emotional beings and they tend to be cautious about their social setting. When an online platform is argued to be taking over human interaction, there will be swayed to believe that it is a bad idea. Thus, the audience is likely to consider that the argument is worthy from the thought that Facebook complicates human interactions. It also implies that it is not a delusional challenge but a real setback especially now that it is inevitable in the present generation.
In summary, it is critical to emphasize that the Mathias’ primary approach in convincing the reader about the problems of using Facebook is through the use of various rhetorical appeals. By factoring the reader’s appeal to logic, their ethical perspective, and the element of emotion as the criteria, the author justifies her assertions. Thus, from a critical perspective, the author succeeds in convincing the reader to believe in the argument that Facebook has had an adverse outcome on the generation that is dependent on it.
I.S.U. Writing Center. “Ethos, Pathos and Logos.” Student Success Center, 2016, www2.isu.edu/success/writing/handouts/ethos_pathos_logos.pdf. Accessed 25 March 2017.
Mathias, Alice. “The Facebook Generation.” The New York Times, 6 Oct. 2007, www.nytimes.com/2007/10/06/opinion/06mathias.html. Accessed 25 March 2017.
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