Has Facebook’s Time Passed?

Filed in National, Science and Health by on April 5, 2013

Okay, I’ve never been a big Facebook user so I might be jumping the gun.  Here’s what I have noticed in the past six months – almost all of my new friend requests are coming from family and friends over 60.   What’s funny is the comments that accompany these friend requests.  Most say the same thing:  “Look who finally joined Facebook!”

Basically, I’m not the one to judge whether Facebook’s time has passed.  I have an account I glance at about once a month and while I find some of the comments/posts interesting, most are not.

Two years ago, my then 13 year old daughter deleted her Facebook account, citing its useless drama as the reason.  She did rejoin, because it was where her school posted its information on Cross Country and Track meets and practice changes.  The last time she posted anything on Facebook was on March 20, 2013.   Her previous post was on February 23, 2013.   Seems to me if Facebook is counting on her to keep them going strong they might be in trouble.

Which brings me to Facebook’s new Facebook Home.  Of course, I hadn’t heard of it – I blame LiberalGeek! – but when I looked into it all I could think is… Facebook Home looks like extra work.  But what do I know?

Luckily, I have an expert handy. It’s spring break so my almost 16 year old daughter is home with me, which means I get to interview her.  Here’s how this is going to work… I’m going to write questions and then turn this computer over to  her and she’ll type her responses.

Question: What do you think of Facebook?

I think that Facebook is alright. There isn’t really much point to it anymore due to all the other social networks out there. If I wanna know what somebody is doing I’ll probably just check Twitter or text them. I usually just check Facebook when I’m bored and trying to kill time.

Q:  How often do you use Facebook?

I use Facebook daily, but I rarely ever post. I use the “poke” feature a lot because it is fun to kid about “poke wars” with your friends and an easy conversation starter. I often tease my boyfriend that “I’m winning this poke war” or “Poke me again, I dare you. XD” as I way to start conversations. These conversations, however, take place through text messages instead of Facebook messages because I don’t really see the point of Facebook messaging… if I want to talk to somebody I would have their phone number and just call/ text them, not start a FB chat.

I also use Facebook to check on school and sports. In reality, that’s what Facebook is used the most for. People get on, check their homework and get off. That’s usually it, well except for the people who use it as their diaries but that’s a whole other story…

Q:  What other social sites do you use?

I use Twitter, but I only read about 1/8th of what people post. I know some people who are really, really, REALLY into Twitter and feel the need to tell you about every single, little detail about their lives, but I don’t really understand that obsession. No one cares that you are “Sitting in the front seat of the Lexus <3″ or that you “Have practice in a half hour. FML”  Twitter is annoying because my generation only really tweets about a couple of things: relationships, how much their parents suck, and sex.

I also use Instagram a lot. I prefer Instagram because people don’t post nearly as often and the pictures are usually more interesting than pointless tweets and Facebook. The bottom line is that my generation mostly uses social sites as a way to get attention. It’s full of people complaining about stupid stuff and girls posting pictures of themselves in bikinis. It’s fun at first, but then it just gets boring as you begin to see it for what it really is: a giant source of drama.

Q:  Do you use these other sites more than Facebook?

Eh, yeah. I guess so. Not by a lot though.

Q:  What is your primary source of keeping in contact with your friends, and why?

Texting, for sure. I don’t want the entire world to know my business (between me and the person I’m chatting with), so I’ll just say it to them in a personal message rather then post it on their Facebook wall. I also talk on the phone and Facetime with my friends, but not nearly as much as I text.

Q:  I showed you the video from Cnet of Facebook Home, what do you think of it?

At first it seemed kinda cool, but I think that it would get super annoying after a while. Also, it would be really distracting.  It’s hard enough for me to get my homework done while just texting people.(Procrastination! WOOT!)  If I’m understanding that video, I’ll now have to go through Facebook Home to get to my texts?!  Or have to take the time to exit out of Facebook Home every time I use my phone.  Yeah… that chemistry work isn’t gonna get done…

Q: Do you think Facebook’s time has passed?

Yeah, but I also think that innovation and advancements in technology can bring it back. Mark Zuckerberg is pretty good at keeping the public on their toes with changes in Facebook and the way it works. In my opinion, all it’s gonna’ take is one new, bright idea to bring about a resurgence.

Q:  I’ve just read through your answers and I have one more question… Do you think Facebook Home is that next “bright, new idea”?

No. Because it’s merely a distraction that most people will spend more time exiting out of then using.

Okay, I learned some things – mainly that the phone might have to be confiscated during homework time!  Your thoughts?

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A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

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  1. From Pine View Farm » Blog's archive » Facebook Frolics | April 5, 2013
  1. puck says:

    I don’t know what the next thing is, but it will have to be something that runs on a phone. My bet is on shorter and shorter messages. Maybe some kind of symbol language. Our language is now being shaped by the tiny devices we choose to communicate with.

    Whose idea was it that email is too slow? Probably an AOL customer. My theory is if we put Adderal in the water supply, we can all go back to regular email.

  2. pandora says:

    I’m a texter. More immediate than an email, less intrusive than a phone call.

    I also found it interesting that my daughter is using FB for info about events, and texts social interaction.

  3. Cobain says:

    I can understand why a 13 or 16 year old, whose circle of friends consist of people who live down the street or go to the same school, wouldn’t see the purpose or get much use out of Facebook.

    But remember, Facebook was started for people in college and who have graduated, not for teens. For an older person who have accumulated a lot of friends throughout life that are spread throughout the country, Facebook would be more of a catch. I wouldn’t solely use teens as a measuring stick.

    Maybe college aged kids or new graduates would be a good case study. Good read.

  4. pandora says:

    I see your point, Cobain, but if high school kids aren’t using FB now, do you see them becoming future FB users?

    Hey, I watched The Social Network! One of Zuckerberg’s concern was keeping FB cool! Is FB still cool? Granted, I’m not the one to ask, since I’m not a FB user.

    (BTW, I loved doing this post with my daughter. I really did learn a lot about her views on this subject. Very proud of her!)

  5. Frank says:

    I find Facebook’s constant mucking with its privacy settings to trick its users into running naked through the internet to be extremely creepy.

    I still have an account, but I log on only to respond to messages (I have them forwarded to me) or to chase down Second Son, who works nights and can be difficult to track down. I then log on only in a private browser tab that deletes all the persistent cookies that FB drops as soon as I close the tab. And, from time to time, I check to make sure that that happens.

    I know that the internet is a public place and try to behave accordingly, and not stripping for the Zuckerborg is part of that “accordingly.”

    I don’t expect to keep all my data secret–public place and all that–and I don’t have the patience to use TOR, but I can at least make the marketers work to profile me.

    My own sense is that FB is well on the way to AOL land. Remember that AOL was the unstoppable behemoth until, suddenly, it wasn’t.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m an emailer, not a texter. But I use a Blackberry so I have push email which means email is nearly as instantaneous as text. I’m really amazed though about how many people still use AOL. I kinda snicker when I see an AOL address and wonder if they are using an Atari computer or something.

  7. Frank says:

    I suspect that a lot of persons with AOL email addresses don’t actually *use* AOL, but have hung on to the address for convenience.

    As for texting, I do a lot of it, but most of it is stuff like “I’m hitting the road, should be there in two hours,” “Please pick up a sub* for dinner,” and “Here’s a cute picture.”

    ___________________

    *Remember, I’m in Virginia now. Except for the Wawas, they don’t understand “hoagy” (but it’s not the same, not even at the Wawas).

    There is a decent cheesesteak place (not great, but okay–the sandwiches actually look like cheesesteaks and not like horrible and abhorrent crimes against nature). The manager is from Westchester Cty. and its name is “Iggles.”

  8. Miscreant says:

    I like the casual social dynamic of Facebook, but mostly just observe. I travel a lot and have family and friends all over the globe, ranging from my daughters, nieces and nephews, an ex-wife, former employees, a couple of guys I fired decades ago, and a girl I know who skydives nude.

    Where else are you going to get all that in one place?

  9. Mark H says:

    Mis, I agree with your sentiment. Pandora, not sure if Facebook isn’t cool anymore :) but in my age group (45-55), I think a lot of us are using it to keep up with old friends, most of who don’t live here anymore. I keep track (and post) my workouts, etc on there. I don’t access it from my computer, though. I access FB from my phone or Ipad. That will be FB’s biggest challenge, finding a way to feed me ads on my phone.

    Additionally, I know a few people (myself included), who post on facebook instead of blogging. I’ve posted about new technology projects that I’ve put together that a few years ago I would have thrown up on my blog. Also use it to follow a couple of local bands that I like to listen to.

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