Lost your appetite for Facebook? Suffering from ‘Facebook fatigue’? You’re not alone. Join the club.
Chuckle and raise an eye brow but I am, like other people out there, a recovering Facebook addict. I was an active user and for a short time in my life, the main way I communicated was via Facebook.
600 million people world-wide log onto Facebook. Facebook is still growing and there are still people compulsively hooked. The major growth in recent months has been from Mexico and Brazil. There are still many people out there who enjoy social networking immensely.
However, there is a small but noticeable group of people making waves and fleeing. I’m proudly in the minority now. I’ve jumped to the other side. I was pro-active and embraced the benefits of the very compelling two-way communication that Facebook allows but soon like any new technology, the novelty wears thin.
100,000 Britons deactivated their accounts last month. 6 million Americans. 1.5 million Canadians said good-bye. Is the Facebook reign finally coming to an end? It’s not a huge exodus when you consider the 600 million users but make no mistake, the general consensus is – people are growing bored.
Facebook is a business. It is not your personal Facebook account. Our lives are not private to the clever clogs who run the business. Facebook uses your information to make money. And lots of money. As we were caught up in the joy and pleasure of reconnecting with old and new friends Facebook was reaping the rewards and continues to reap benefits. It is perhaps the commercialisation and corporate regulation of personal data that is now starting to dawn on many people. And we aren’t too keen.
Another odd aspect is that Facebook makes us utterly dependant on the site. There are lots of other ways of communicating and we managed perfectly fine up until five years ago.
And one other aspect that disturbs us is the constant scrutiny we are under. The stalking creeps us out. It is perhaps not healthy to display our life for all to see? It is perhaps not healthy to voice our deepest thoughts on status updates for all to judge (and yes we do judge people) and comment on? Maybe, just maybe, our private lives should be reserved for our very closest friends only? Maybe we are starting to wake up and we want our privacy back?
I still have a Facebook account but I trying to wean myself off it. However, rather sadly, I am forever enticed back for just one more hit. The problem is – everyone I know is on it. Here’s the irony of this online internet technology – I’d actually be anti-social if I didn’t log on at least once a week to find out what is going on, what events are planned and to leave a friendly comment about someone’s new baby.
Pretty outstanding how Mark Zuckerberg and his three Harvard classmates can have an idea in 2004, develop their vision and then completely alter the way we communicate with each other on a day-to-day basis.
But we should now consider this social change. Has social networking had its day? Have we lost too much of ourselves to gain the benefits that this website has gave us? And how do we learn to use Facebook as a positive ‘add on’ and a means of communicating so that we are in complete control of our own private and social life again and ultimately ensure we are not dependant on a website to communicate?