Is Facebook Dying?

1 11 2009

by: christow

The Good Book

I thought about this recently while browsing through the website. Facebook was transcending when it hit the web because it introduced a cool way to connect with your friends. Cell phone contacts were held for the significantly small number of people you talked and texted frequently. Everyone else, from your buddies you played kickball with in grade school to the high school classmates, you could now “talk” to without actually contacting them through the phone. AIM slowly took a backseat to the overpowering engine of Web 2.0.

Facebook was also an elusive club, college. When I first heard about Facebook, I turned it down as another trendy website (MySpace or another campus gossip site). The website was in it’s baby years still actively creating an image. During my senior year of high school (2005), Facebook opened it’s doors to the high school network, and kept them separate. All my friends at the time were departing across the country to different colleges. Facebook enabled me to stay connected with less effort (phone calls, texts, or emails); tow@fordham.edu, account created.

From my freshman year of college to my recent college graduation in May, Facebook had encompassed all aspects of my college life. My profile photo showed the world (wide web) who I was, the parties and events taking place and where, the private messages not for the public arena of a wall post, and the thousands of photos to scour through. Facebook defined the modern college experience. More people can now navigate through the site than use Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, or even how to balance a checkbook.

Now that I have graduated from college, I also graduated from Facebook. Looking through the website, I found that the site has lost a certain charm. Maybe it’s the flood of applications, the totally insignificant notifications that pop up, the time wasting video games that entertain some, the presence of your online status altered by Facebook Chat, and the irrelevant messages that front for shameless plugs. Maybe it’s the commercialization of the product, that now a 13 year old or an unwanted older family member have flooded the website. A wall post to a friend feels strikingly similar to that inconvenient AIM message to someone you don’t normally talk to.

Whether you are a fan of Twitter or not, Facebookers update their status in a familiar manner similar to the now infamous tweets. The where you ares, what you are thinkings, and what you are doings have replaced the foundation of what Facebook was originally for, maintaining the connection with other people. Instead we have opted to simply state our status to keep anyone interested informed. Facebook may have crossed the line in the area that protects our individuality, the mystery.

The big question I stand before is, did Facebook fail to evolve and remain relevant or have I grown too old for Facebook? I am starting to feel a sense of MySpaceness on Facebook that I always appreciated was kept separate. There are still the benefits of staying connected with those friends who are countries and cities away, but for the most part I find e-mails to be more effective. The problem is that e-mails were never cool and lacked the cool and innovative arena that Facebook once provided. Facebook was the it place to connect with people. Now it has become the it place to spend (or waste) time.

Kudos to Mark Zuckerburg because he is a businessman. He and his friends created one of the most innovative and game-changing inventions of our generation. For as long as he protected his cash cow, he also let the $ signs water down the site and which now ultimately have killed it.

Here is something to keep an eye on, Google Wave. If it is everything they say it is, Google Wave seeks to transform (yet again) the way we communicate through the Internet. In a nutshell, Google Wave is an indescribable process of communication that is a hybrid of email, web chat, and IM.

I appreciate and thank Facebook for being such an integral part of my college experience. You were the roommate everyone loved having around. We all talked with you, joked about you, shared our lives with you and made you apart of everything we did. We checked on you every morning, during class and even counted on you to provide us with the daily scoop on everyone. It was a great run and I couldn’t have asked anything more than what you already provided. I hope to see you evolve and continue to be apart of my life, but the more realistic side of me believes we have reached our final days. Keep on trucking and take care of the new crop of kids that will make you a huge role in their college careers.

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