I was thinking a few weeks ago about how intertwined Facebook is into every day life nowadays. Facebook is a company that doesn’t need to advertise, period. If you don’t have a Facebook, your friend or a member of your family does. If by some chance they don’t, unless you’re living under a rock, you have heard of the social networking site somewhere.
How many times have you heard the line, “Add me on Facebook.”? Companies advertise Facebook all the time – “Like us on Facebook!” Without people talking about and using Facebook, people wouldn’t pick up on it and make their own and conform to everyone else; companies wouldn’t bother to put pages for their company there, which is free advertisement and makes Facebook even more viral. Thus, Facebook’s survivability relies entirely on us, its users.
In her article “It’s Not About You, Facebook. It’s About Us,” Jenna Wortham brought up a good point:
“Many of us are ambivalent about our Facebook relationship. Even though we may occasionally feel that we can’t live with Facebook, we also haven’t been able to figure out how to live without it.”
People say that they are “deleting” their Facebook and that they want freedom from it, that it is invading their privacy and that we rely too much on it. How many are back within a few days? Facebook has become such an integral part of everyday life. People use it to plan events and share pictures as well as just an easy way to stay connected socially — it has changed our way of life so that we depend on it as a crutch we would have a more difficult time living without. In this decade, not having a Facebook is like not having an arm. It has become such an important tool, as if it is expected common knowledge to have a Facebook page, a link in such a popular social directory.
Wortham quoted Sherry Turkle:
“I can’t think of another piece of passive software that has gotten so embedded in the cultural conversation to this extent before. This company is reshaping how we think about ourselves and define ourselves and our digital selves.”
Not one other social media platform has ever reached as big success and to such a big audience as Facebook does. It is used professionally and personally by all ages. Its audience has transformed from solely college students to younger generations as well as our parents and grandparents.
I also think that the point that Wortham mentions at the end of the article is relevant and interesting:
Facebook’s current prominence may not last forever. Today, Mr. Frank said, Facebook seems a permanently dominant player on the Web. But, he adds, ‘There was a time where people thought that way about AOL, too.’
I remember times when I thought MySpace would never lose popularity, but Facebook swooped in and completely took over the social networking community by appealing to so many different groups of people, which is something MySpace lacked and was its eventual downfall. Facebook is indeed definitely the leading and dominant website on the Internet currently, but it is interesting to wonder about what will eventually replace it.