I came across this article and it so much mirrors my thoughts !! So i decided to post this one !
(The Facebook Phenomenon
Posted on July 22nd, 2010 by Sarah Jones)
Facebook officially exceeded it’s 500,000,000 user milestone last night and there are some great stats flying around the press and the web about it.
Here are just a few:
If facebook were a country, it would be third largest in the world – Metro
Over a third of the UK’s population is on it – The Telegraph
More than 150 million sign in on the go – The Guardian
What does this tell us about our society today and us as individuals?
On the one hand, I find Facebook fantastic for keeping in touch with people, especially friends that live abroad. One of my colleagues recently moved to London and met up with a long lost friend who she had not seen in 20 years, and they are now inseparable – all thanks to good old book of face!
On the other hand, I know that many recruiters ‘Facebook’ candidates as soon as they receive their CV in order to see people’s true colours – and it’s amazing how revealing it can be, despite the security settings. The incriminating evidence of that wild night out can have a massive impact on your job prospects.
And just look at that – Facebook has become a verb in its own right. So how else has it changed our society and the world we live in? To what extent is our life real and how much of it is virtual? Does virtual life constitute real life? And how is this affecting our real relationships?
Is spending an approximate 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook a good use of time and and is this really healthy? I find that figure quite frightening.
While it’s great to have a platform to share information, to voice your opinion and to engage in debate, some of the content is somewhat worrying. Just look at Raoul Moat’s fan page and now I’ve heard he also has a hate page. Facebook refused to remove this as the site is a menas to debate and is being debated in the rest of the media. But where do you draw the line?
In addition, the amount of people I know that have had arguments with friends, family and loved ones due to a post on Facebook is unreal. And how many of those friends are real anyway? I would think maybe two thirds of mine. I even deleted a so-called friend in the run up to the election because of how they were mouthing off with their opinions. Yet it seems bizarre that these arguments occur online when you could actually go and talk to the person in question. What happened to sitting down and having a conversation with someone face to face? Are we losing our ability to do this?
I suppose most disputes are caused by information getting out that you don’t want certain individuals to discover. But when you publish it on a global, public site, what do you expect?
This leads onto the issue of how much information is available about you to others, and not just your connections but also companies. Advertising on Facebook – personally I don’t take notice of the ads most of the time yet how do I know that a portion of my consumer habits are not formed subliminally through these mediums. Storing cookies so it can display another relevant page is of course not a coincidence. I dread to think!
But am I going to delete my profile? No.
I can’t blame all this on Facebook. The world wide web in general has made it all too easy to leak information about yourself and one o the problems seems to be the instantness in which this information is delivered. A silly commented posted on a whim can change everything, and even if you regret it, there’s no going back.
But let’s face it, the benefits far outweigh the negatives and that’s why we’re all spending so much time on the site.
The phenomenon of Facebook truly is phenomenal.
I say well done Facebook! Just think twice before you post next time !!