Is Facebook soon to become a thing of the past?
Social media has grown tremendously over the last decade or so. Everyone who’s anyone partakes in some form of social media networking. You can stay connected with your friends and family, or reconnect with a long lost friend or loved one. You can even (and some might say you should) promote your business or trade on your social media sites. But for whatever purpose you use social sites for, you should be aware, that social media carries with it some not so desirable consequences.
In particular, the king of social media networking, Facebook, has received a stint of negative publicity over the last couple of years. In spite of that, it’s reported that Facebook has grown to having approximately 2 billion users, which is a respectable number by anyone’s measure.
Is Facebook the next MySpace? Here today, gone tomorrow?
Do you think the “new guys” will be taking over anytime soon? If you ask this question to 10 different people, you’re likely to get 10 different responses. So let’s start out by addressing a few things, before attempting to make your hypothesis.
The good, the bad, and the ugly
From Facebook addictions, to Facebook (unbeknownst to its users) conducting psychological tests by manipulating users comments and posts. To meddlesome girlfriends or boyfriends and an incline in divorce rates – all of which has been attributed to Facebook – and oh, and we mustn’t forget about the supposed ties that Facebook is rumored to hold with the US Government National Spy Program (Prism). For Facebook users, it’s not all been healthy social connections with fun and games.
When browsing search engines, you can easily find and read stories of positive family reunions that were made possible by Facebook. Likewise, and perhaps due to the number of people that are actively using Facebook, you can find a slew of bad stories, suggesting Facebook caused someone, somewhere, to suffer a horrible outcome that changed their life for the worst. True, no other social media site has been cited to have caused more divorces, along with personal and professional quarrels than Facebook.
Facebook: a lover’s scorn
According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, overall, 1 in 5 divorces can be linked to Facebook. This survey was taken in 2010, so one can only assume, that those numbers have increased, as the number of Facebook users has too increased. But in reality, it’s not really Facebook causing the divorces is it? Is it not the users that are dabbling where they should not be dabbling?
Granted, it’s sure a heck of a lot easier to find that special someone from your past, and one thing can lead to another rather quickly, when making that “innocent” connection. But the reality is, although Facebook may be a vessel, it’s one of many vessels. If your partner is cheating on you with someone they met, or with someone they reconnected with on Facebook, they probably would have done so, if not already have done so, at some point in your relationship using one or another cheating vessels (e.g. harmless flirtation with a co-workers that turns into meeting up for a drink, sending old flames an email, text messaging, misuse of other social sites, and the ole fashion phone call here and there).
The good news is, that at least with Facebook, it’s all recorded online, sometimes in writing or sometimes by a posted “pic”, and thus much easier to catch someone red-handed. Remember, no one deletes everything all of the time. They’ll slip up and until then, you get to be that meddling partner that catches them in the act.
Pollings suggest that Facebook can lead to depression and isolation
A study conducted by two German Universities found that after visiting Facebook, people were suddenly dissatisfied with their lives. The study implied that after the Facebook user logged on and reviewed photos of their “friends” having the time of their lives on vacation, they were discontent with their life, and envious of the “better life” their friends seemed to have.
The study also indicated that the number of “Happy Birthdays” that one received was another sore spot. If they didn’t receive as many as their “friend” received on their birthday, again, discontentment and envy set in. Likes and dislikes was another factor, and of course, comparing the number of “friends” they had was another. If they did not have as many as they noticed others may have, they questioned their worthiness, which led to the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
On the other hand, some people believe that the sharing of ones photos and statuses, is intended to make others feel lesser in comparison, which would mean, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but that Facebook is just another method used by some people as a means of showing off or for self-validation. “Yes! My life looks better online than my friend’s life!”
In response to Facebook’s negative publicity, specifically relating to Facebook using 689, 000 of its user’s posts and comments to conduct a mental mind experiment, which a spokesperson for Facebook called a “physiological test”, “99 days of freedom” calls out to Facebook users citing, “In response to Facebook’s controversial mood experiment involving some 700,000 unwitting users, we present you 99 Days of Freedom; an online study on how life without Facebook impacts user happiness.” To date, nearly 30,000 of Facebook users have joined in protest. For more information, or perhaps to join up in protest, visit their website at: http://99daysoffreedom.com/.
When sharing your thoughts, feelings, and commentary on Facebook, how much is too much?
Facebook allows you to upload your videos and/or photos instantly, with just the push of a button. You can share your location, what’s on your mind, your mood, etc. In essence, you are sharing your life. People know who you are, where you are, what you like, what you don’t like, who you love, who you used to love, but how much information is too much information?
If you stop and think about it for a moment, do you really want anyone and everyone to know everything about you, not to mention where to find you? When you post a comment, remember you are not just “posting” you are forever publishing that comment (or picture/video) for the world to see. So when you post, post responsibly.
Although Facebook is still going strong, can it outlast the social media newcomers?
When considering some of the negative media that Facebook has been receiving over the last couple of years, is Facebook on its way out? Facebook may still hold the number one spot on the digital media connection block, but there are many newbie’s on the rise. Twitter is creeping up on Facebook, coming in at number two, and Google+, which launched its version of social media connection and networking in 2011, comes in at number three. But who arrived on the digital block first, was it Facebook?
When I mention “Social Media”, the first site that comes to your mind is probably Facebook, and thereafter comes Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and so on. You’re not alone, in fact, many users, both old and young, think that Facebook was the founder of our new socialized online world. Well, nope, sorry, not even close. Not so long ago, Facebook was just another new kid. Soon after making its debut, Facebook quickly gained popularity in the late 2000’s. By 2008, Facebook was no longer the new kid on the digital block. Taking out all of its so-called competitors, Facebook became the only kid on the digital block, or at least the only one that we can remember, but that’s what counts, right?
Out with the old and in with the new
Before Facebook there was MySpace, and before MySpace, there was Sixdegree.com. Although these sites left their mark on the digital world, laying out the groundwork for its predecessor (Facebook), these “old” sites are now a thing of the past. They were once the newest and greatest thing, and now they are nothing. Not even a thought is placed on the contributions these sites made. I cannot help but to wonder, what happened, why didn’t these sites workout, and is Facebook the next craze that will soon be on its way out?
With MySpace you could “pimp your page”, add a cool song to your profile, and of course, network and communicate with other users all across the globe. Although Facebook has many nice features, it offers nowhere near as many esthetically pleasing customization features. Likewise, the same goes for twitter, nice features, but not as many customization options. So why the triumph? Maybe it’s because MySpace offered just a bit too much, in terms of customizing? Seriously, could you really see your grandmother “pimping out” her page and adding the motorcycle song to her profile? Probably not. However, many of us do have our grandmothers, whom are active Facebook users, posting on our Facebook page, liking our statuses, and cooing over our pictures.
Another scenario that I’ll propose, was Facebook’s triumph more so due to our nature of tossing out the old for the new? When we see “Grand Opening” signs on billboard advertisements, or simply the word “new” on a bag of potato chips to indicate a new flavor, we are enticed. Persuaded by the newest thing, we forget about ole trusty, as we rave about the newest hype. If this is the case, well, then Facebook should be quite concerned.
So, how’s it going to end?
In my opinion, it’s not twitter that will take down Facebook, it’s not even the negative polls, nor is it the blame tosses, “Oh, that awful Facebook, how it ruined my life forever”. I believe that Facebook will, in fact, lose their number one social media website spot, and eventually come to an end. Their end however, I believe will be attributed (once again) to a popularity takeover by a newcomer. What comes around goes around I suppose.
And the newbie rising star is….
Google+ offers users a “one stop shop” networking experience. Its email, Skype, Facebook, twitter, tumbler, YouTube, and Pinterest all in one, figuratively speaking. With Google+, you can add apps to customize your account to your heart’s content, but there is also a simplicity to the social site. You can read up on the news, sporting and social events, and make voice or video calls, without the annoying lag that sometimes accompanies Skype (based on my experience). Whether you use it stickily for keeping up with your friends and family, or for business and marketing purposes, Google+ offers user friendly features, with something for everyone.
Do you agree or disagree that the King of social media, facebook, is about to fall? Who do you favor for the next social media takeover?