I enjoyed Valdis’ latest post about Facebook:
But I also disagree that Facebook is toast for the reasons that Valdis gives:
“Facebook, and all other online social networking sites are structured wrong. They are places where we have to go to connect and communicate. That is not how we naturally connect and interact as humans!”
I do agree with his point that:
“…we decide on the fly, who to talk to, in what voice, and how much to share. I may deal you differently tomorrow than today depending upon the current context. “
And I agree that:
“In a truly networked world we do not have to go anywhere to connect to others — we just ping from where we are at and wait for the response from where they are at.”
And I also agree that there is still something that feels artificial and a little frantic about many elements of social media.
But I don’t think that makes Facebook toast.
For one thing, Facebook has been very busy in these last two years making Facebook more ubiquitous, so that micro updates and other content posted on Facebook can appear elsewhere, and vice versa.
In addition, the millions who use Facebook frequently — and similar social media — are actually adapting their behavior and cognitive processes to the new media. So it’s a bit anachronistic to say “That is not how we connect and interact as humans!” The ways we connect change as technology and culture change. (Though if we change ourselves too much, symptoms of fatigue such as lack of focus accumulate.)
I personally don’t use Facebook very frequently, and I find it way too cluttered, and too full of micro updates and chaff. And I don’t like its privacy boorishness. And yet, I still think Facebook has good uses and I like having it around. E.g., my son and several of my friends and other family use it a lot and it is a good additional way to stay in touch.
But there are millions of people using Facebook who aren’t like me and who use the site a lot more than I do. If Facebook starts sleeping on the job, or makes a series of garish mistakes, that could cause it to quickly fade. But otherwise, I see Facebook staying on the scene for quite a while.
And yet, in agreement with Valdis’ points, I’m definitely looking forward to new social media apps that feel more real, and that more intelligently adapt to us as thinking, feeling, and reflecting humans, rather than making us adapt to them.