NowSourcing’s own Jay Vasse recently did an article about the decline in Facebook users. The popular site lost around 6 million users in the month of May. Though, overall, Facebook is still growing and the drop is most likely based on seasonal factors and the fact that over half the population is on Facebook, and sometimes the numbers fall before skyrocketing – it is something to think about. What if Facebook really did fizzle out?
If you were born before 1994 you can probably remember a life without Facebook – what did we do all day? I did an experiment on myself last week to see how many times I actually check Facebook in a day. This was very difficult because I was conscious of it, but the desire to check your newsfeed or update your status does not lie. I became a little angry at myself when I reached close to 50 within the first 3 hours of my work day. That means I checked Facebook around 17 times in an hour and if I stayed on for one minute – I was on for just under an hour of the three hours. Of course my numbers are a bit higher because I work in social media, so Facebook really is a part of my job… but for the most part, I had the desire to see what was going on with my friends and to possibly update a status.
More than likely if there was no Facebook, I would have been more productive in that hour, found something else unproductive to do or been bored. Here’s the thing about this site, it is the epitome of entertainment. It offers: music, videos, funny images, disturbing images, all of your friends and enemies, and the chance to talk about yourself, and build whatever identity you want. It also is the new birthplace of drama and conflict.
It’s no secret that Facebook can make or break relationships, however this is usually due to one’s own stupidity or sheer jealousy, nonetheless, Facebook is a legal form of stalking, and most of us are guilty of it. It’s just too easy. The blog, AllFacebook published a post last year called The Utimate Guide To Facebook Breakups. It goes through the steps of how people conduct themselves on Facebook after a breakup – you are no longer friends, you need to start posting pics of yourself having fun with someone more attractive, and so on. Cyber Psychology and Behavior did a study in 2009 showing that certain information given on Facebook is given for a reason and there is a distinct connection with relationship status, religion, and status updates. It suggests that there is a psychological process to what people display and don’t display. When someone displays their religion they are seeking a mate who shares these same ideas, when someone displays that they are single, rather than opting to keep their relationship status private, they are looking for some connection through the network. They also looked at the differences in male and female profiles to see how each gender represented themselves. Males are less likely to mention their significant other on their profile page; a female’s page tends to revolve around her significant other. This explains why women tend to think it isn’t official until it’s on Facebook, and men simply do not understand this mentality.
Facebook has allowed us to share our lives, beliefs, and problems with everyone we know and more. We create an identity online that may or may not be true but it is how we want to be seen. We also follow lives on Facebook, people we haven’t seen for years, we know everything about them and we keep saying “we need to get together”. A life without Facebook would never speak to this person or they would actually get together. I challenge everyone to make a list of people they keep up with on a regular basis solely through Facebook – would you ever speak to these people again if you did not have this outlet?
Without Facebook, people would actually have to have conversations with each other about interests, family, hobbies, what they did that day… instead they can just login to your life. A life without Facebook would be a life that actually takes effort to know anything about, and you would actually have to play tennis, not just put it as one of your activities/interests.