My husband might not agree, but I have a bit of a love affair with Facebook. Ten years ago, when Facebook was just an apple in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, I was on maternity leave pushing my own baby around in her buggy.
At this point in time, the world at large was pretty much at home with email for both business and personal use. Discussions at the time centred around email etiquette: Was it okay to email colleagues at the next door desk? We were averaging around 50 emails a day. If only we knew…
Still blissfully unaware of Mark Zuckerberg and his baby-turned-toddler brainchild, I ran a childminding business for a while. I can remember walking around Henley on Thames with three toddlers plus my own (now) two babies in the buggy. One of the children lagged behind; I waited for her to catch up. When she caught up, she proclaimed to everyone within hearing distance “My parents want me back alive, you know!”
I’m sure I probably shared this anecdote with some friends at the time. It was either that or send the story to the Reader’s Digest. Right now, with social media at our fingertips, the natural thing would be to share this story. It would not work on Twitter (too many characters); it would not work on Google+ (nothing to visualise); it wouldn’t work on LinkedIn (no business angle). This story would be perfect Facebook material. Who knows how many ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and comments I would get if I posted this tale today!
Happy birthday, Facebook!
Just like my daughter, you’ve reached double figures. You, along with your classmates – Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ – have changed attitudes and behaviours beyond recognition in one quick decade.
I have used you to
– Ask ‘friends’ opinions on the latest gadgets
– Find long-lost friends for a school reunion
– Make stronger and warmer connections with people
– Hear about elements of people’s lives I would not otherwise have known
– Share the best and worst moments of my own family and business life
– Discuss public and national events
and so much more!
You’ve got me, Facebook – hook, line and sinker! And, according to the statistics below, it’s not just me…
– It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users; it took you just one
– If you were a country, you’d be the third largest
– You have 50% of the UK internet traffic
– You process 60 million status updates daily
In ten years, you have fundamentally changed the way we communicate.
Email, while it still has its’ place, is no longer the first tool we reach out for. My (now) three children have grown up with you, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ et al very much in their background. They are being brought up against an exciting backdrop of social media. For the first time, my generation cannot imagine the roles our children will take up when they complete their education. These roles have not yet been invented.
So, Facebook, if you are in my neck of the woods, you’re welcome to drop in for a coffee. No need for introductions; you know all my family and friends. Tell us what you’ve got in mind for the next ten years and how it will impact on the next generation.
What do you think of Facebook and its’ growth over the last decade? What would you say to Facebook if they dropped in for a coffee? I’d love to hear how you think social media will evolve over the next ten years and what it will mean for the next generation.
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