Perhaps there is no other site which invokes so many range of emotions as facebook does. There are people who cannot function without it, some who love to loath it, and there are others for whom it acts like a wonder drug.
Very recently, my mom decided that she’d make her own profile on the site. The primary reason for that was to check out my newly born nephew’s photos which my cousin had uploaded. Then she discovered that many people she knew, but did not expect to find on Facebook were there. There was a definiete thrill in that discovery. After that it was photos. Photos of me, my sister and other people she knew of.
Well, this was the original objective of what Facebook had set out to offer. It was kind of nostalgic to see people use it in the original ways.
Then, she kind of freaked out on a few things.
- The number of friends some people had : When she checked out my cousin’s profile, I told her about the Time line and wall concepts (well, tried to) :). There was this pane to the left that read Friends(x). I told her, this means that SS has x number of friends. The expression I recieved was a mixture of hysteria/disbelief. How can anyone be friends with x number of people (Now, x was a 2 digit number). I tried to explain it to her, that there even exist people with x nearing 4 digits, and I saw the classic Jaw drop. But it got me wondering.
- The kind of photos that had been uploaded by some people she knew : Why would these photos be clicked like this ? She said “this is a profile page, but it looks like a theatrical cover“. Yes, I admitted, there are people who tend to tell stories through the pictures they upload, and again, I was lost in thoughts.
Facebook Savies / Facebook junkies.
I find users of FB particularly interesting for they derive unique pleasures out of using it.
Social Butterflies – have upwards of 500 of people on thier friendlist and may even not recall all the ‘faces’ on thier home page, if they were to sift through the list.
What should be a reasonable number of friends one can mantain a social interaction with ? 200 I guess.
I read in an artcle published in some online publication that a person can only be in active social interactable state with upto 150 persons.
My own friend count? Upwards of 300.
How many of them I haven’t said ‘hi’ to in past year? 200
How many I haven’t met ever ? about 10
Scary trends ! If I do a proper analysis, I’m sure I will not be in a comfortable feeling about my Facebook profile.
OMG kiddos !!!! – They discover something happening on the world wide web, and take it on to themselves to be the first one to report it to thier ‘friends’.
They have a minimum if three exclamation marks with each of their comments/remarks.
They exhibhit the evangelism on a multitude of events and products.
Super models – There profiles would be studded with thier own photos with all the glitz.
Photos with hot babes/hunks.
Photos with the ferraris and the porches
And more photos ……….
Marketeers – They realise the potential of Facebook as a viral friendly medium .
Not to be confused with OMG kiddos !!!!, there fascination is highly bound to one entity.
Creepy Lurkers – Random people that add you as friends without so much as an intro.
Even a look at thier profile does not suggest any common ponit of interest with your own.
You wonder what they want from you ?
How did it get here?
Facebook has been an evolving entity. It has been a solution to many of people’s needs. I enlist the roles it plays, and how it scales the popularity indes.
- Facebook as a gossip monger. Remember how those kids back in school/college/friends circle used to be the toast of the town. Other people liked listening to them, and in the process also, at times spoke of things to them which increased the stories they’d carry.Nobody minds a good gossip, right? 🙂
- Facebook as a collaborative photo album. There are things we cannot do, and places we cannot be. But it’s always fascinating if someone you know shows you exactly how it looks when it’s done, and been to. This is one of the primal urge of mankind, isn’t it?
- Facebook as a relevant search engine. While google gets out a lot of search results that might seem totally irrelevant, a search on FB seldom goes out of focus. For example the videos and stuff that lands up on my FB page are always of great quality, as opposed to those which are popular in youtube. Advantage of humans giving page ranks, as opposed to pigieons :)? Now we have Google+, right!
- Facebook as a podium. We all wanna be rock stars. It’s the ultimate truth. 500 friends on FB ? Who are we fooling. It seems like a status symbol these days. I read people congratulating others on being friends with 250 people in one week 🙂 . Scratching that itch, right ? Maybe Facebook’s definition for friend is different from mine, or maybe I’m getting a little old in here.
- Facebook users as a targeted audience.
Well, I could go on, and on. But I’m sure I’ve given you a picture.
I’m sure there are tons of other reasons why people visit facebook. The fact that it has a simple UI, and it is available on all the connected devices, does add substantial fuel to the fire, but for me, I guess I’m going to review my privacy options in there, and catch up with some people who seem to be in a different world from mine.
How many of your FB friends have you said hello to, till day?