Since being launched in 2004, Facebook is a phenomenon which has not only gripped the general public, but also many companies around the world. With a reported 845 million users in December 2011, Facebook allows users to connect with friends and family and learn about what is happening around the world, a sentiment highlighted in the Facebook mission which centres Facebook’s purpose around providing its’ users with the ability to easily stay in touch with their, friends, family and colleagues and share content (whether that be text, video or photo) with them. In fact, the Facebook mission statement so strongly reflects the behaviour of its users that by making the world “more open and connected” it has become the primary method for some users of staying in touch and conversing with friends, family, colleagues and random people who they have met once, added on Facebook, and become “official Facebook friends”. So this begs the question;
What if there was no Facebook?
The sceptical amongst us (and, without trying to generalise, probably the older generation) would argue that nothing would happen. They would state that we would carry on our everyday lives, do the same things and the extraction of Facebook from our lives would be merely a ripple in a very large ocean.
Some people, mainly die-hard Facebook users (and, again without trying to generalise, probably the slightly younger generation) would argue that the ramifications would be biblical. If Facebook didn’t exist, some users might struggle to put together a decent conversation upon meeting new people. Okay, that last sentence might be a bit extreme but imagine the confusion when someone they have just met gets angry when they starting peeking through their holiday pictures and writing on the wall of their house.
Admittedly (and hopefully), these people are few and far between, but people like this do exist. Social media has affected our lives, largely down to the general public’s desire to want to know and learn more, which in turn means that these platforms will only continue to grow. Facebook is a prime example of this as it encapsulates everything that ‘being social’ is about so the short, and probably more sensible, answer to “What if there was no Facebook?” is that something new would take its place. Social media is the next evolution of communication between people and as people also naturally evolve, their methods of communication will evolve too.
Gerry Jons shares his interest on Social Network Sites on behalf of Foob Inc