Happy Birthday, Facebook!
For the last 10 years, Facebook has been our social media darling and is the central focus when we talk about connectivity in the digital age. While previous channels of social connectivity were around when Facebook came out, it was the social giant that seemed to get the formula for success down pat.
They were also the first with over 1 billion users and can be found in the proverbial dictionary under “social networking boom.”
So – what have we, the users, gotten out of Facebook in the last 10 years? I was able to collect a lot of different opinions on the topic by reaching out… via Facebook (and a couple of casual conversations).
Brittany Davies of Washington D.C. says that she uses social media for the purpose of keeping up to date with her family who are all located back in her home state, New York. Pregnancies announced, the goings on with siblings, and friends from college and high school are what keep her in the loop while she’s away. A devoted family person, she feels that it is Facebook that keeps her as connected as she needs to be.
And a lot of other people, in varying ways of doing so, agree that the number one reason for being apart of the site is to stay connected. Facebook is a tool for like or unlike minds to share experiences, share ideas, share opinions, and celebrate ones own life or the lives of those around them.
From my experience as an avid user of Facebook since 2006, I’ve also found this to be an incredible tool to cultivate professional and personal relationships that might be harder to do if I needed to reach each contact individually. And unlike the professional-focused LinkedIn or on Twitter, I feel like Facebook is where I can be more open with my opinions or my takeaways on whatever I post.
For some, Facebook has been a means of reuniting families (birth families of adopted individuals have been found via Facebook). For others, Facebook has been a means of revolution.
In 2010, Egyptians took to the social media channel to broadcast to the world the pain and suffering caused by Egyptian police and their government. Photos of brutally beaten, or killed, Egyptians began to appear the world over and individual Egyptians realized they were not alone and banded together.
Since then, Egypt has seen a lot of political and social restructuring as a result of the revolution. Since then, Facebook continues to be a tool for those hungry to stay connected.
For some, Facebook is a creepy, evil time suck of a website. For some it can cause social anxieties. Some use it to bolster their self-image (whether they do it right or not can only be judged on an individual basis).
As for the future? We can only wish Facebook the best. The times are changing and some would argue that the site is being severely challenged as the social Go To by the likes of Twitter. At any given time, you can read about how the executive team at Facebook is looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve, buying up companies that will help put Facebook ahead. Facebook’s mission is to keep us connected continues to show in their business and the news it makes.
And that is something worth liking.
Happy belated birthday!