Facebook: ten years old. Happy birthday!

Facebook, brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

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

–          Distribute blog content across social media

–          Go around the world on a guest blogging trip

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.

Facebook growth, Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook growth

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.

Photo credit: Elaine Chan / Foter / CC BY, Photo credit: niallkennedy / Foter / CC BY-NC

 

2014 01 UKBA Shortlisted Image

 

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Lindsay McLoughlin has a love affair with social media. She combines these tools to great effect with her other big love – blogging! She runs a copywriting, blogging, editing and proofreading service at www.proofedbylinds.co.uk. She loves talking to and interacting with anyone that will “listen” over social media. Check out her blog at www.proofedbylinds.co.uk or connect with her on social media. She’d be delighted!

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8 Responses to Facebook: ten years old. Happy birthday!

    • Thank you, Alice. People are so “time poor” these days. I can remember a time when I used to save evenings just to ‘phone my friends. Gosh! That’s a thing of the past! Thank heavens for Facebook as a way of keeping up with people so easily!

  1. I am with you on Facebook: I am one of the multi-million addicts! I know some people dis FB and see it as a social bomb ticking away, soon to blow up in our faces. But I think it is a wonderful tool to build relationships and maintain friendships with friends that might have dropped by the wayside. Whatever you think, it has showed extraordinary staying power. It must be doing something right!
    Emma Clark Lam would like you to read Stormy weather in HenleyMy Profile

    • Hi Vanessa – That’s absolutely right! Then we should definitely applaud Facebook for meeting our introduction. That’s reason enough to cheer it on for the next ten years. Thank you so much for commenting and keep in touch (on Facebook!)

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