Facebook is one of the best known app of our time that has significantly impacted our lives in so many ways. Ever since Mark Zuckerberg conceived the idea to launch Facebook from a dormitory room in Harvard, the internet landscape has changed a lot.
Thanks to the hundreds and thousands of ideas taking shape across the globe and finding its way to the internet. Services like LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp etc. have taken this digital age by storm, aiming to create a much better world. Have these services been really successful for mankind? The world is now much different than what it was a decade or two back, but is it really better than before ?
In this post I thought of dissecting the Good vs the Bad in terms of impact of Social media as a whole and Facebook in particular to our social lives.
- The Economy : We were always sure that internet has the power to impact the economy in a significant way – advertisement, information, services, fulfillment, reviews, the powerful internet was always supposed to bring the vast spread geographies across and people together. Facebook has contributed immensely to the make internet much more powerful. For new business to old business, everybody want to have a firm foot in social media to remain relevant. Reports suggest companies invest a significant chunk of money in social media. Overall Facebook has impacted the world of economy in a positive way. Let’s also not forget the number of income avenues it has created for small and medium businesses and individuals.
- The competitiveness: Facebook has bring competitiveness among businesses to the next level. Companies fighting out to have a greater popularity among the common masses is a testimony to the fact. The number of likes on Facebook, these companies are gathering, or the number of shares of their important stories, have become much more important now as this directly brings in the subject of statistics to the fore and companies want to have a larger share than competitors in this respect to safeguard their marketing competitiveness. This is important and good for us as it brings about an improvement in the quality of services. For example these days you can find business pages of literally all the major and minor companies and businesses on Facebook.
- Communicating and Connecting the society: With Facebook world has become a fairly small place and people have come closer. In this busy life it has become quite difficult to keep in touch with your acquaintances, friends and relatives. Facebook simplifies it. You don’t have to make a hundred call per week to stay in touch with people who matter. Believe it or not I regularly get feeds from my apartment society and know what is the latest news and problems we have. Similarly I know life events of dozens of my friends and able to be constantly in touch with them through Facebook posts or messages. This is important as I am time starved due to a demanding IT job.
- Getting back in touch: Facebook and social media has immensely helped us in getting back in touch with numerous friends and acquaintances of childhood. With the popularity it enjoys all over the world, almost the entire world population seems to have their presence on Facebook. This only simplifies you to get back in touch with people whenever you want to connect. For instance I was able to get back in touch with dozens of my friend with whom I had lost all forms of contact long back. The list includes old friends, past neighbors and it’s really wonderful.
- Quality of communication: Photos/Pictures is the base and fundamental idea upon which Facebook was built. Photos and videos are much more expressing and relevant in this digital age. The status updates in the form of latest pictures and videos definitely increases the quality of presentation and communication that Facebook has to offer and brings it much closer to real life or physical communication.
- Platform to voice your thoughts and opinion: Facebook has become a platform of choice if you want to give a vent to your thoughts or opinions. It helps since you get a large audience who would agree or disagree with you and as the overall scheme of things stands – this has the potential to cause positive changes in different sphere of lives.
- A big, time killer: Whenever you get logged into the internet, you find yourself deliberately redirecting to Facebook, without a compelling reason. This behavior is makes you slack and shuns us from being productive. Facebook is addictive and I sincerely mean it. It’s a basic human instinct to want to know about others – because it provides us with a false sense of gratification. Facebook exploits this psyche in us and forces itself into our lives subtly, and kills the time in a big way, the valuable time which could have gone into much more productive causes.
- All that glitter is not gold: I sometime find Facebook acting like an ego boosting engine. People in various ways and forms try to flaunt – trying to give a false sense to others as to how their life is so colorful, they seems to surrender their lives to others opinion, others impression of their own lives, more than living it all for themselves. I have seen people displaying myriads of their emotions doing funny faces, wearing stupidest of costumes, acting stupid through their post and expressing controversial statements that doesn’t merit any applause but only aim to crave for attention. They do it all for attention and create an impression – good or bad among their fellowmen. For many other intellects, including me, this action of theirs appears as the stupidest thing one can do in their lives! How do you otherwise explain the below.
- Eating at Park Plaza, MG Road – Should we care where and when you eat or go to toilet?
- Dogs and Cats becoming more popular than men – I do care about you my friend but not your Cat, I am not an Animal hater but I don’t care to see everything that your pets do over the weekend!
- Cuisines – I know you are among the privileged few who are blessed with taste of an Emperor’s food habits, we are lesser mortals! One or two updates are good but it is quite annoying to know what is your food on – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so on.
- Certificates, Awards, Promotions, travels: You can cross every boundary of saneness and even take great pain to get your Air tickets, Certificates photographed and shared. It simply doesn’t make any sense to me!
The behavior depicted above is strange, but attains a dangerous proportion when others start imitating it even when they themselves don’t like it. This I would call a social expectation, Facebook causes this false social expectation to set. The strange becomes the norms adversely impacting the society.