Facebook Takeover Equals Communication Take down
With its estimated 500 million users, Facebook has firmly secured its legacy as the lead trendsetter in the social networking arena.
Unfortunately, the immediate reach and ripple effect generated by a posting or being “liked” on Facebook has more to do with numbers and less to do with one-to-one communication and true connections.
For marketers, Facebook is a brand development dream, but the Facebook takeover has gone a long way to depersonalize the human experience and the broad distribution of personal information. For some, it has done more harm than good for interpersonal relationships.
The Facebook takeover has changed the face of public engagement and limited much of the free choice that was once such a heralded aspect of American culture.
The rise of advertisements that highlighted the benefits of Facebook and its imitators from finding missing dogs to reuniting lost loves provided the heartstring tugs that won over many followers within the viewing public.
From the involvement of social media in exposing abuses in foreign lands and Facebook banners waving among national flags during political upheavals, the Facebook takeover has had impact, but at what cost?
According to an article in Datamation.com featuring Clara Shih, author of The Facebook Era, Facebook dominates the social networking market and before Facebook, marketers had a hard and expensive time tailoring their marketing to the best projects. She stated that despite the many followers that Facebook has it is “the broader social network movement, including Twitter, LinkedIn and a growing number of social networks…… that represent a ‘cultural movement.’”
The ability to re-connect with old friends and to “e-meet” new friends is a highlight of the Facebook takeover, however, the interaction has lessened the “in-person” experience and the one-to-one communication upon which real relationships can be built.
According to Stephen Marche’s article, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” in the Atlantic, “Facebook, of course, puts the pursuit of happiness front and center in our digital life. Its capacity to redefine our very concepts of identity and personal fulfillment is much more worrisome than the data-mining and privacy practices that have aroused anxieties about the company.”
He adds, “The depth of one’s social network outside Facebook is what determines the depth of one’s social network within Facebook, not the other way around. Using social media doesn’t create new social networks; it just transfers established networks from one platform to another.
“For the most part, Facebook doesn’t destroy friendships—but it doesn’t create them, either. What Facebook has revealed about human nature—and this is not a minor revelation—is that a connection is not the same thing as a bond, and that instant and total connection is no salvation, no ticket to a happier, better world or a more liberated version of humanity.”
As with any new trend, there are the pros and cons that determine a successful venture. Its longevity is based more on the long-term positive aspects that people gain from it.
The Facebook takeover of the social network community has secured its future, but its role in taking down communication and invading privacy will make for interesting dialogue that everyone may not “like.”
Mereday is a contributing writer for Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.