Posted by : Sreedhar Pillai Tuesday, June 28, 2011
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There had been recent reports of Facebook loosing a bit of its sheen.
CNN reported on recent signs of 'Facebook Fatigue' and another interesting story about it being ripe for some imminent disaster. There were also reports about alternative and upcoming social media sites like Tumblr which could soon replace Facebook.
Despite the recent drop out of about six million Facebook users in the US, I guess all this talk of Facebook’s loss of face has to do with its valuation of over a hundred billion dollars, based on a membership of over six hundred million users.
The reality is, with the world population approaching seven billion by 2011, the tsunami of Facebook is only in the making!
At the heart of its powerful social impact on the world, which can only be likened to a tsunami, are factors which the inventors of this social media site wouldn’t have been even aware.
Facebook was started as a bit of on line fun and social experiment around targeting the youth in the developed world, based on the perceived on line social and interaction needs of an open society, where people could easily meet and communicate off line without prejudice or sanction.
Facebook is in fact meeting a whole load of new and unknown social needs of an entire species, subtly changing human behavior and discernibly impacting the evolution of human race!
For one thing, it is not any more just for the young techies and computer savvy! Facebook is for everyone who has access to the internet and with the explosion of the telephony and wireless communication, everyone and his dog has a connection!
Google and its transliteration service have broken the barrier of language, allowing a big chunk of the 7 billion which was previously excluded from accessing Facebook and enjoying the fun and joy of interacting with their friends and relatives, in hitherto unknown ways!
The flood gates this revolution in social networking has only just been thrown open! It is indeed difficult to imagine the outcome of this massive bonfire experience just started by Facebook.
However, the real life changing force behind it all of this is not in the numbers. It is rather subtle human need for sharing and companionship and is only clear to probing social scientists!
In fact, Facebook, known or unknown to its owners, has become the most accessible and benign agony aunt for the entire world, much like in other mediums of mass communication like the radio.
For the Anglo Saxon and Caucasian culture, with the social values and behavioral patterns inclined towards reticence and distrust of strangers, this may not be the case. But for large communities elsewhere, friendship also means a certain freedom to open up and unburden oneself, even on line!
Facebook offers different ways to build up your friend’s network and encourage its members to do so. Whichever way you are accepted, in a good proportion of the new friends, an attempt is made to strike up a chat!
This is only one sign that, unlike in the societies constrained by social conditioning which gets carried over to the on line world, deeper binding relationship, which can last very long, are getting established very quickly, under the umbrella of trust offered by Facebook.
There are of course various factors contributing to unprecedented social melt down across the servers of this unstoppable social network.
Facebook has become so addictive to billions of people around the world and has become essential like, air, water and food for the survival of human race that it is inconceivable that any one can stop it now.
If President Obama wants to negotiate with the un-negotiable Chinese or the demanding Indians, he has a secret weapon now! The US has the Facebook!Article first published as Has Obama got a Secret Weapon for the Chinese? on Technorati.