THE RYDGES POST
Ten years. It is hard to believe that Facebook is that old and that young – guess that’s part of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – space and time can differ, depending on the observer.
On one hand, it is hard to remember a world without FB, on the other hand, it only seems like yesterday that a far-flung niece befriended all and sundry online to give daily updates on how well she was faring at Farmville.
Facebook. Good or bad? It’s one of the water cooler topics of conversations... if people still have face-to-face conversations at work. There are more than 50 shades of grey to that question and answer. Facebook reflects society and, in society, there are people of different ages and gender with different hobbies, careers, likes and dislikes. And there are good and bad people. Facebook can be home to bullies and beautiful people, to students and stalkers, to retirees and racists. After all, this is a community of 1.23 billion people! That’s too large a figure for me to comprehend but to put it in perspective, over 30 million Facebook accounts belong to dead people.
Apparently the average number of friends among adult Facebook users is 338. Guess I’m not average – it must be wonderful to be that popular! In real terms it means lots of birthday wishes, not that many birthday presents and probably about five of them will turn up at your funeral.
Historically, Facebook has to be up there with the invention of flight, television and supermarket filo pastry (sorry, cheap one for viewers of MKR there). Like many other major inventions it has changed the way we live but, like many other ‘inventions’, it was a lucky tweak on where others were already fiddling and experimenting. If Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t come along, would My Space have 1.23 billion users or would someone else have stepped up to the plate with their version of Facebook?
The future for Facebook? Unclear, but it is probably too big to disappear. There are a lot of people who would not be able to live without it. Youth users will probably dwindle as they look for something new, shiny, exclusive and ‘better’. Chances are it won’t be Instagram or Snapchat etc – the young gen users are still hovering, waiting for the Next Big Thing. Their parents and grandparents are now neatly tucked away as users on Facebook, so there’s every chance the oldies won’t need any more technology or social media in their lives. Yes… easy to see Facebook being just a family and friends forum – a place to catch up and share a few photos. It is also easy to see how advertisers will pay to reach those users.
And the commercial uses for Facebook? Businesses have mixed results with their Facebook ventures. The consumer only has a certain amount of time and most don’t want to invite advertising into that time and space but, as Albert might have said, “it’s all relative”. Rydges Facebook, for example, has a community with 37,484 ‘likes’. Visitors can share their Rydges experiences and images and, in return, can access deals and specials. Facebook has to work both ways. In case you are wondering, the Facebook page has the most ‘likes’ in the world (110 million +), with Rihanna not far behind.
Anyway – here’s another theory of relativity – some relatives can be much closer from a distance! Well done, Facebook – give yourself a jolly good birthday poke!