BY ERIC NICHAY
On Feb. 4, Facebook became a decade old and that means its initial users also have a solid 10 years worth of experiences to reflect on.
Life was different before the arrival of social media, and now people finally have documented evidence, a Facebook “profile” page, that proves that statement correct.
This is the first generation that is able to look back on Facebook, instead of forward. What have they learned? What does it mean? That is exactly what The Pew Research Center wanted to know as well.
Pew, a public site that accurately tracks numbers, facts and trends, did a piece on Facebook for the 10 year anniversary. The findings were interesting to those that wanted to see just how Facebook has expanded and evolved.
According to Pew, the percentage of daily users has risen from 51 percent in 2010 to its current 64 percent in 2014. Pew stresses that people, especially teens, are not abandoning the site like some have anticipated.
The seemingly overnight fall of Myspace when Facebook was launched brought cringes to the faces of everyone who feared the same fate lies ahead for Facebook once the next big thing, like Twitter, comes out. This is not what really happened though.
That’s not to say there aren’t flaws to the social network. Mark Zuckerberg has adapted to the market and catered to as many people in the public as possible. However, some listed dislikes included in the Pew study were as follows: people sharing too much information about themselves, others posting pictures of friends without their permission, others seeing posts/comments that are not meant for their eyes, having to see posts/comments about social activities you weren’t included in and the pressures of posting things that will get a lot of likes. Not exactly gigantic issues, but they still hold relevance.
Digging even deeper, Pew reports that the main reason both men and women use Facebook is not to post things of themselves, but to share laughs with what was already posted. The majority of Facebook users would rather comment on someone else’s page or like someone else’s photos than to draw that attention to their own posts. Ultimately, Facebook is being used more to observe than to express. That is the essence of what Facebook is: an ever-evolving, unpredictable pioneer in cyberspace.
At County College of Morris, students are more than familiar with the leading social network website. A.J. D’Antonio, a Facebook user for at least five years, has his own opinion on what Facebook needs after its first 10 years in business.
“The biggest drawback is too much useless information,” D’Antonio said. “You log onto your homepage and waste so much time looking at posts you never wanted to see in the first place. Users need to be more realistic about what is important and what is just posted because you are bored.”
Some, on the other hand, don’t think Facebook needs to change much at all.
“[Facebook] is so good for families needing a way to keep in touch,” said Meghan Owens, a New Jersey Facebook user. “I have family members that live over 1,000 miles away and Facebook is our main source of communication. Over the years it has been convenient.”
“I use it mostly for seeing what my friends are up to,” said Arnold Vega, a daily Facebook user. That matches up with what the Pew reports suggest. “We kind of joke around a lot and do private messaging. I don’t post things that often. There is no privacy in that.”
Facebook is still going strong and doesn’t look like it will slow down yet. People have their quirks about the website, but the common trait in everyone who visits Facebook is that they keep coming back. Facebook, for all the hype, has handled itself adequately thus far in the spotlight. We will just have to wait and see if the phenomenon makes it another 10 years or if the next big thing is already on the way to blow Facebook out of the water.