Is Facebook Here to Stay?

Lately I’ve read a few articles about Facebook, asking whether the social network has gotten too big, and pondering whether — and how long — it’s going to last.

The main issue seems to be that people cannot successfully sustain hundreds of “quality” relationships. The effort to do so, which is a losing battle, leads to user fatigue. Rather than simply cut down the number of friends they have on social networks to make it more fun and manageable, most people will simply stop using Facebook altogether.

Add to that the fact that so many people and companies use Facebook for marketing — it seems to me this makes Facebook an even less positive experience as time goes by.

Facebook has been a tremendously positive element in many of our lives, keeping us in better contact with our friends and acquaintances, and connecting us with people from our pasts with whom we’d lost touch. On a business level, Facebook can help some of us keep up with what our clients and business acquaintances are up to. And many people find Facebook just plain fun — a daily social outlet where they can regularly connect with friends.

But I’m not sure many people would be upset if Facebook totally went away. I wonder, however, what could replace it, for both its social and business applications.

What do you think? Is Facebook here to stay, or is its time limited? Are you getting fatigued? Do you have any ideas for improving the Facebook experience?

 

 

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  1. I’ll admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I started it in college when it was still just for college students and enjoyed it. Then when it exploded with everyone and got very market-like, I started drifting away. In the last couple years, I go on it sporadically, but I never stay for long. I’ll glance at what friends are saying, make a mention if I’m feeling really passionate, like a couple things and then move on.

  2. I realize that the FB experience remains a positive one for most of its subscribers. However, I personally became “fatigued” indeed and recently deactivated my account. Oh, sweet freedom! And although it likely will become as relevant as MySpace sooner than stockholders expect, I believe that it will be with us for at least a little while longer.

  3. Wow! It’s great to see so many comments from each interest-level of the FB scale. Initially, I started Facebook to connect with family and share photos from a central hub. But, being interested in a lot of weird science and retro/paranormal stories, good deeds, and feel-good stuff, people began asking to be “friended.”

    I know about 300 of my 1400 “friends” and have found some (personally unknown to me) living in other cultures to be very interesting. I get perspective from them that I wouldn’t otherwise get.

    Yet, I too am cyber-social exhausted. I’d rather be writing, painting, teaching, and doing what I love to do. Some of my closest friends and clients have been using FB to “communicate” immediate needs to me, and my habit of checking in once or twice a week can’t satisfy their requests. Still, they persist.

    I’ve both hated and loved Facebook, but am seriously considering doing a back-up of important finds (see admin), cutting my friends list to real-time people, and keeping it VERY small.

    It’s satisfying to hear that I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed. I refuse to Tweet, have languished on Goodreads, practically ignored Linked-In, and resent all the time I put into updating my profile on Google-Plus, and the Yellow-Pages type marketing entities that have chosen to include me without asking.

    Will Facebook dwindle? Yes. Go away? At some point, yes. But, there will be another brain-blossom waiting in the shadowy corner to take its place . . . and I’ll give larger consideration to its time-hungry needs before saying “Yes.”

    Thanks to all of you.

  4. Paula Beavan says:

    I have made many new friends via Facebook, been invited into a several writing communities and reunited with old friends.
    I spent a lot of time on lifesucking games but have stopped that. I work from home and my husband works away, so Facebook for me it a great way to interact with friends and just to tell someone about dumb stuff that happens in my day.
    I hope it keeps going, but am over the adds. I think if it does shut, it will be replaced with the next new thing. We are too used to having this contact now to let it go again.

  5. I love Facebooking to keep up with my friends’ social lives, although lately I’m tired of all the commercial posts that have crept into my timeline. Twitter, on the other hand, is more about business, a great way for me to follow those in the literary world I would have no access to otherwise.

  6. Kate says:

    I enjoy FB. I got burnt out a few years ago and stopped going on. But then came back and set up my account to receive emails when certain people that I want to keep up with update their statuses. Keeping up with close family and friends via FB this way is easy and fun for me. I rarely ever go hunting other people’s pages. That would kill me as far as time goes. And I never look at the list of recent updates. I figure what I miss won’t hurt me.

    Maybe changes will happen with FB in the future, but I hope it doesn’t go away. I’ve connected with so many old friends and keep it has helped me keep up with those I’m closest to.

  7. “You can be unethical and still be legal; that’s the way I live my life”.
    Mark Zuckerberg, March 2004
    I do not, and will never subscribe to FB.

  8. I strongly dislike FB despite its benefits and haven’t signed in for more than three years. The dodgy part is that when I permanently signed out, there came a message saying that all I would have to do is sign back in and find everything as I left it. That is NOT a permanent sign out. It’s invasion of privacy to keep that kind of info on hand.

    As an author being constantly told to use FB and the like, I WAY prefer Twitter. It’s more about you, and much less about me.

    For goodness’s sake, pick up the phone and try avoiding FB for a week. One of my friends quit last month and realised how slack she’d become with her birthday calendar 🙂

  9. Ann Bracken says:

    I love FB. I check it religiously, at least once a month. 😉

    I’m with many in that I think it takes away too much time. Maybe I’ve chosen to do too many things, but checking in even once a day is more than I’m interested in.

    Although, I must admit facebook is good for one thing. It quickly updates me on what my children/nieces/nephews are doing.

  10. June says:

    I don’t bother with Facebook. It’s too time consuming. So is most social media. Modern “advancement” has it’s positives, but it has quite a few minuses too. As long as Satan is the god of this world, there will be many dark undersides to many “positive” developments.

    It’s up to each of us to be vigilant and avoid deception.

  11. Sam says:

    Facebook is the longest I’ve ever stayed on one social media site (since 2005, yikes…back when you needed a college email to sign up, and there was no news feed! lol the days of eld!). Before that was MySpace, Deadjournal/Livejournal, Geocities…

    I don’t assume anything will last forever on the Internet.

  12. Peter DeHaan says:

    I don’t have much time to spend on Facebook. I see it’s usefulness being diminished because of all the noise. If/when it goes away, I will hardly notice and won’t miss it.

  13. Trisha F says:

    I visit Facebook two or three times a week. I have less than 100 friends. I have a page for my Etsy store but don’t do much there….I didn’t have time to keep it up. I don’t make it the time-consuming priority I can see others doing.

    I think it’s about prioritizing your time and what is important, and then keeping those priorities in order. Only allot a specified amount of time for Facebook, and keep to it. Other things come first for me and then, if I have time, Facebook gets attention. Sometimes I don’t check in for days and days.

    We tend to get carried away with things in this day and age, and we forget that family should come first. That’s part of the decline of the family, I think. Just my opinion….

  14. Tim Klock says:

    I was against Facebook, Twitter, etc., thinking to my self, “How many forms of communication do you need?” But I jumped in with FB about a year ago. I feel really connected to people around the world, some I haven’t seen in 30+ years. If FB goes down the drain, I hope it is only when there is something else as good or better, and that is FREE!

  15. JackLaBloom says:

    Facebook will be replaced when someone comes up with something a whole bunch of people like better.

    A whole bunch = Tens of millions of users.

  16. My husband has noticed that there aren’t as many personal postings lately. Instead, there are articles and photos from other places. Maybe it’s not practical to keep a long distance relationship like that going with so many people.

  17. Patti Mallett says:

    I love Facebook and use it for making and maintaining friendships. I also consider it my blog.

  18. Tiana Smith says:

    I must not fit in with my age group – because I’m a 20-something and I deleted my FB profile a few years ago. I haven’t missed it. I find that it frees up a lot of my time, especially as I didn’t find it so helpful anymore. It began to be just noise and marketing.

    I’m still on Twitter, since it didn’t have the same privacy issues that FB did, but I’m finding more and more that it’s getting cluttered as well. There seems to be more marketing and less connection. Sometimes I feel that way about a lot of social things we’re supposed to do (blog, tweet, FB, Google+, etc.)The only social platform that I still really love is Goodreads, but I think that’d be hard to turn into marketing since I’m choosy about who I friend there.

    I think the biggest factor then is who you are following and who you are friends with on these networks. Your connections can make it or break it for you.

    • sue berg says:

      Hmmm … i think the marketing aspect of all social media is going to be the factor that makes or breaks it. “Social” media, to an “end of the line” baby boomer (born early 1960s and in many ways I am more a combination of baby boomer and the next generation after them) — is about being “social” and connecting with people (already known or new people from around the world) and should be less about being marketed to …

      the 20-somethings who have grown up with internet technology will determine, mostly, where it heads for the next few years. If they are finding a lack of ROI on social media, then social media will have to evolve.

      Or worse, social media will evolve on its own (to add more marketing so they make more money from it) and, like Microsoft, force us to trail along behind because we are somehow addicted to it already — through our people connections that we want to keep or the marketing we do ourselves …

  19. Social media is still in its infancy, so we’re all adjusting and growing into it.

    As with everything, moderation and balance is key. You have to know when to shut it off, when to silence alerts or when to spend a little more time networking.

    It is not one size fits all. 🙂

    I’m a social media coordinator by day, so I see a lot of the costs and benefits of social media – both on a personal level and on a marketing/communication level. Social media (not just Facebook) is a powerful tool.

    Social networking is here to stay, though the shapes and forms it takes will continue to evolve.

  20. Sarah says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments, but this question and the comments I have read make me feel like this is a very generation-bound question. I’m a millennial and I can assure you, we would notice and care if FB disappeared. Just for starters, it’s now attached to so many other programs for log-in and such that it’s gone way beyond “simple” social media. It’s true that many of my generation cannot imagine life with FB… which isn’t good or bad. It is what it is. And we’ll make sure it’s around for a lot longer than people think…

  21. I love Facebook and would be super bummed if it went away.

  22. PatriciaW says:

    I would be upset if Facebook went away and nothing replaced it. I have a large number of followers , over 1700, and I’m fine with that. The vast majority don’t interact with me on a regular basis anymore than I do them, but they fit into categories that I interact with–childhood friends, high school friends, college classmates, former and current coworkers, family, and of course, writers. Every now and then I’m surprised when someone I haven’t interacted with comments on a post. I think FB has made changes that lessen the chances of this happening and which are detrimental to communicating with a broad swatch of friends. But I still like it. In fact, I started out a couple of weeks back on a mission to personally connect with each of my FB friends by visiting their pages and posting a comment over the next year. I think the extent to which we allow FB to be an impersonal, marketing-driven tool is up to us. For me, it’s about making connections. No, I don’t want to nor could I talk to 1700 people individually every day. But every now and then? Reminds me that the world is much bigger than my little slice and I’ve been blessed to be a part of that in a number of ways.

    • sue berg says:

      I’m one of those 1700. Forgot to add you to my count of writers I follow … you provide interesting content at FB — lots of thought provoking articles and more. I’ve cut way back on my FB usage. I started by visiting about once a month or so, went to daily, then to once a week and now to about once a month (or less) …
      I often wonder at the amount of content you share at FB and how much time it must take to track it all down; I am grateful that you then turn around and share it with us, your followers. I would never find all that stuff on my own … I’m not sure how to track it all down and not sure I would take the time to do it if I did now how. I appreciate people who do share the fruits of their labors 🙂

      • PatriciaW says:

        I cut and paste as I see things on blogs or writers’ loops. Not as much time as you think, Sue. But I enjoy sharing what I find and glad you find it helpful.

  23. Natasha says:

    I honestly wouldn’t use Facebook nearly as much if it weren’t for my blog. Facebook is the primary way my readers find out about my new posts. I had a personal blog a few years back, and at the time blogging depended on people bookmarking your site and proactively thinking to come back to it for new posts. Now, many people depend on Facebook to see when you have an update. This is actually one of my biggest blogging concerns. I have 3,200 Facebook fans of my blog. If they stop using Facebook, or don’t log in as much, they will not see my updates and will have no way of being prompted to come back to the site. In one marketing book I read, the author compared Facebook to renting a house – don’t get too dependent on it for your readership or marketing because the owner could make changes at any time and all those fans could effectively evaporate. I’m now working on strategies to convert those fans to email subscribers so I “own” a connection directly to them. Right now I am “renting” a connection through Facebook.

    • sue berg says:

      I’m one of those “hard sell” people. I am not a perfect target audience because in all the years I’ve been on the Net (since March 1996), this is the FIRST blog I have subscribed to that I let send me email notices of new posts. I hate my inbox being full of “junk mail.”

      However, I like that you announce new posts to your blog at FB. If you do go to an email opt-in — here are two thoughts to get people to open the email …
      I use gmail and it allows me to see a small portion of the first line of the email contents, in the inbox where most services just show the subject line of the email, before I open the email —

      1) Great subject lines that hook my interest …
      2) And the first five or six words of the email need to reel me in …

      However, getting me to actually sign up for your email notices — I really can’t tell you what would make me do that except provide exceptional content at your blog so I am sure I don’t want to miss a word of it …
      Rachelle is the first to get me to subscribe without giving me some free report or some other come-on to bribe me to sign up. Or some sites demand I sign up for their newsletter before they grant me access to their content. Ain’t gonna get me.

      However, I might be willing to allow FB announcements of new posts far more willingly than clutter up my already over-full inbox … especially if your other FB posts are engaging and/or fun or informative …

      • Natasha says:

        Hi Sue,

        These are all great points! Thanks for posting back to me.

        I have had an email subscribe box on my blog during its lifetime, but for the reasons you described, email subscribers don’t grow as fast as Facebook fans. I have an email list of about 500 people (a fraction of the 3,200 fans). I have my email list in Mail Chimp so I can customize in the ways you described. It pulls the title of my post as the subject line, and then the excerpt I use on my home page (which I manually determine via the “more” tag). I totally agree these things are key to getting opens. I don’t put the whole post into the email though because I want to know who actually clicks through to read the rest. I hate to do it that way (choosing trackability and data over user ease of reading directly in email), but at least in this growth stage I find the data invaluable in understanding post performance.

        I am the same way as you are – I very rarely subscribe via email to a blog. So, I totally get why people don’t subscribe via email as quickly. I think we all have to use a mix of FB marketing and email marketing to reach a broad readership. People have various preferences and we have to “deal” with that. Right now, I’m happy to leverage FB, I just am always reminded of how tenuous that connection to fans can be.

        Anyway, thanks so much for your tips! Really appreciate it and totally agree.

  24. Susan Bourgeois says:

    Let me throw out one question: Do you know many people on social sites who post bad things that go on in their lives?

    If you’re speaking to a clump of so called friends that you’ve accrued over time, are you really going to tell them that your husband could lose his job and you might not be able to keep your home?

    I don’t think so. Most people want to create a world where all of their friends, family and acquaintances think they’re doing awesome.

    Most people know they’re fortunate if they have a couple of close friends that they can rely on through the course of life.

    When we speak to our true friends, the ones we trust, on the phone or in person, we feel safe to state what’s really happening in our personal life; which encompasses the good and the bad.

    From my humble view, that’s not what occurs from a social standpoint on these type sites.

    Sure, most would agree that it’s fantastic to occasionally hear from a hometown friend or college acquaintance.

    But we need balance in our lives; we need to hear and discuss the realities of life.

    When people post only the positives in their lives, it is not a clear picture of their lives.

    This can create an unhealthy atmosphere.
    The people writing only the positives create a dream world, a world where they can post anything they choose to highlight what’s great. This may allow them go about their day and to temporarily feel good or superior.

    A person who reads about the numerous positives in that person’s day may feel compelled to compare their life. Many times people become disillusioned at that time. This is not good and it’s certainly not healthy.

    That’s where problems may arise. These are strong reasons why some people may stop using a site of this nature or curtail their use of such sites.

    I am currently not on a social site. I might consider sites for business reasons in the future.

    Here’s my dose of reality for the day. It’s 11:45 ET and I’m writing on Rachelle’s blog when I should be concentrating on writing my novel.

    • sue berg says:

      I know plenty of people who do post the “bad” things — especially when they were in dire straits and about to lose their home. Or who mourn openly the loss of a loved one. Or who admit that the new job isn’t what they had hoped and they despair of it lasting since the company isn’t doing as well as they project they are doing.

      I also know a lot of people who want to project the perfect life — whether on FB or when they walk in the church doors on Sunday, where an admission of difficulty might be interpretted more as a spiritual problem (“you need to pray more” or “you’re just not right in your relationship with God” or “if you were right with God, you would see things differently” are things I have heard said in response to someone sharing a need or difficulty) …

      Yes, FB, and life, give us lots and lots of opportunities to wear the clown’s constant grin. Seen from the distance, all that is seen is the painted on smile and the frown beneath it isn’t seen at all.

      Not a fault of FB, though. Fault lies with the culture.

      • Susan Bourgeois says:

        Facebook is a culture within itself.

        I’m not against Facebook. I am aware that there are great uses of Facebook.

        My concern falls in the area that an above commenter, J. M. Bray, touched on.

        I wish he would elaborate.

  25. joylene says:

    I would delete FB in a wink of an eye if not for the fact that my son uploads photos of his baby boy daily. We’re separated by 3000 miles and being able to see videos of our baby walking and playing lightens my heart. If FB dies, hopefully my son will find another program. FB makes his life easier too. He’s able to present his little guy to the world in seconds. But as for the other stuff, yes, FB is exhausting.

    • I cannot use facebook because of my job. So my family figured out a different way to share pictures. My wife uploads her photos onto the Costco site so she can print them out if she wants to.
      .
      We share the costo login and password with all of our family so they too can login and print what they want, or just copy them to their desktop.
      .
      One note of warning…some of my older relatives who are not very familiar with computers almost deleted files instead of printing them and picking them up. So we now have two costco accounts. One for us, and one for everyone.

    • sue berg says:

      but what your son is doing is what FB ‘means to me” — a great way to keep in touch with (real life) friends and family. I hope your son is protecting those photos so that only those he has let into his circle of friends who should have access to those photos actually have the access and not just anyone who finds their way to his timeline page …

      all the other stuff is just extra (butter cream) frosting on the cake (if it is that awful whipped topping type icing [or the fondant craze] — throw it away!!!!). I like the fact I can discover other people I would never have known about otherwise and their lives and thoughts through FB — but I don’t need FB, I just like to visit there once in a while.

  26. Jerry Eckert says:

    Wow! Lots of people have lots to say here.
    Look, every great idea is sexy, exciting, motivating when it is new. Once it becomes secularized, once it enters the discussion or practice of the average Joe, it is on its way out. This is supported by institutional theory and marketing practice. FB probably hit that point sometime before their membership passed 100 million. Growth beyond that was built on cohorts who had not yet got involved, Grandmothers, international youth, etc. But FB has about run out of new cohorts, so – yes, FB is now passe.

  27. Dawn Dix says:

    I actually find Twitter more annoying than Facebook. Twitter seems to only be used for self-promotion, which is a turnoff to me. On Facebook, I can interface with authors, friends, other writers, and make new friends and contacts.

    I happen to write psychological thrillers about serial killers, which works well with a Crime Fan page I run on Facebook. So, I have to keep up with posting true crime stories on that page. I still enjoy Facebook, though I absolutely loathe timeline.

  28. marion says:

    I’m a FB fam because I live in Egypt and it keeps me connected with friends and with concerns in the US. Too connected right now, with all the election vitriol being slung around. But it meant that, when I visited last spring, I was up to speed with the Trayvon case, which would have been low on my radar if I only depended on international news coverage.

    I never could see that FB was useful for promotion. But now I have an open FB group, just under a month old. The group is Ibischild, and is all about Egypt (except politics.) I hope the group will eventually provide a fan base for my book. But meanwhile, I’m learning all sorts of cool stuff and interacting with a whole group of new (and some old) friends with similar interests.

    I also can’t see the point of Twitter. I opened an account maybe two months ago, to record random observations not worthy of a blog post. I already have Twitter fatigue. As an alternative, I might post those observations for my Ibischild FB friends. Or just do a monthly blog post of randomness.

  29. In my opinion I still say Facebook is not going anywhere anytime soon. According to a report I read on Techcrunch (see link below), FB had: “…955 million monthly active users in June, up 55 million from the 900 million it had announced in April.” That’s worldwide, why would anyone close shop with those numbers?

    http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/26/facebook-q2-earnings-and-stats-revenue-1-18b-955m-monthlies-552m-dailies-543m-mobile-monthlies/

    On a different note, I suppose it depends on who you ask. Some celebrities are finding it a frustration that FB is making them go through so much red tape to prove who they are-mainly because of the many impostors claiming to be them.

    But ask the many lonely people out there, many with no babysitters, etc. and FB just seems like the more convenient option for socializing. So in essence, I do believe it depends greatly on who you ask.

    Google+ seems to be growing rapidly as is Tumblr; at least for some of the friends on my FB list who are turning elsewhere evidently ‘fatigued’ and no longer finding it as stimulated as when they first started.

    But I still believe Facebook is a great tool both professionally and personally. Many have two separate FB accounts, one for their friends & family; others for business. Then again, some just keep the impersonal ‘like’ fan page for business and a personal FB account for fam. & friends. The problem is that the ‘like’ page seems so formal and doesn’t add that personal touch many would be followers crave from the person or business they ‘like’ and intend to follow.

    Again, I think Facebook will still be around for a long time.

    Great question and post Ms. Gardner.

    Katelina

  30. To everything there is a season:

    A time to update the status,
    And a time to delete the account.

    (I know, stand back from the lightning strike!)

    It just seems that technology is the same as fashion – trends change about every ten years. I enjoy Facebook. I understand it. Those who read my blog are mostly on Facebook and Pinterest, not so much Twitter. I would rather it not go away, but I don’t really have any control over the situation. I don’t quite understand the frustration that Facebook doesn’t allow or encourage quality relationships. Neither do blogs, but we work away at those. Neither do magazine articles, but we continue seeking publication. It is true that Facebook is shallow, but I cannot count the number of times that my day has been brightened by a picture or a verse that has been posted. I have been inspired and humbled by “friends” who are battling disease or have lost children or are transitioning into a new stage of life. And anytime I post a status update in which I’ve tried to write well and someone likes it or comments, that encourages me to get back to my novel. It is so easy just to click on like or leave a brief comment, but apparently we don’t have time for that either. Not every relationship is deep and profound. Don’t you smile and say hello to the cashier at the grocery store?

    • sue berg says:

      I don’t have a problem with FB not being “deep” or profound. I like so mcuh about the personal pages side of it. It is the take over by marketing that leads to so much frustration. To avoid the marketing side, if I really want a coupon or to enter a contest or whatever — I “like” the page long enough to take advantage of the deal, then go right back and “unlike” to try to keep my feed a bit more clutter-free.

      Yep, I do say “Hi!” and “Have a great day” to the cashier … so, nothing wrong with the “I barely know you but here’s a jaunty hello” to people at FB.

  31. Pam Kumpe says:

    By using Facebook, I was able to engage in dialogue with someone who at the time was the fiance to one of the ladies in a recovery center where I hold a church service. He was battling his own issues, and he challenged my faith in God and during our many talks over a few months, he opened up and became a Christian and asked Jesus into his heart and life. He actually walked away from this relationship knowing he was to be a father to his son in a new way.

    When school started this year, a grandma to one of my ladies in the recovery center had the six children in her home while mommy went through nine months of rehab. A friend on Facebook donated a large sum of money for me to deliver to granny to buy school clothes, shoes and supplies. All because of Facebook.

    I also sell my new book “Things I Learned in Jail” on Facebook, and a guy read this book and gave his heart to Jesus when he got to page 29. Pretty neat, I’d say.

    I throw out nuggets in the morning and evening on Facebook to challenge, to encourage, to remind, to add a giggle to my extended family and friends on the site.

    As a writer, I also love writing hope on hearts too; which for me, comes through the social network called Facebook.

    I love having the chance to challenge hearts, which usually means I’m speaking to myself first. I could go on and on … I’ve found purpose in my pursuit of using Facebook. Sharing Jesus and the impact of having a relationship with Him in my own walk, with my own messy self, with real situations and offering God’s Word along the way — can be pretty cool and fun.

    • sue berg says:

      did that dialog happen via facebook or was it initiated there and continue more in private (such as email or phone) …

      FB and the anonimity it provides can lead to imprudent disclosures in a public place that should be kept more private.

      However, as a place to make the initial connection — with someone not already inside a group of friends — I’m not sure how it works.

      Glad it is working so well for you, though. 🙂

      • Pam Kumpe says:

        Hi. Sue Berg:
        Conversations were initiated on Facebook, moved to private venue from there. Without that initial contact though, we may have not linked up. Take care…

  32. n says:

    To answer the question you pose in the title of this blog post: I hope not.

    Facebook trivializes everything about friendship. It involves no commitment other than a mouse click. It enables you to see and share more of your own and others’ lives than you would in the real world, except with truly close friends and family. It turns friendship into a contest (“how many friends can I acquire”). It’s simply impossible to relate to that many people at once in any meaningful way — and most of us do not lead lives that should inspire that kind of broad interest.

    I only hope people realize the price they pay for all this oversharing before they give away every last shred of their privacy.

    Facebook encourages people not to do something we all have to do in order to place our lives in context: get over ourselves!

    • sue berg says:

      Actually, Twitter is the worst in terms of stopping us from “getting over ourselves.” Who really cares that “My suitcases are on the bed now” as someone prepares to head to a writer’s conference.

      FB often leads to sharing too much. More people need to limit access to their page to ony those in their friend circle (and then carefully vet those they let in) when they are posting photos of their young children and the like …

      FB is both good and bad. I’m cutting back on what I allow to hit my feed, and very rarely actually post there. My posts are usually sharing things I’ve found on the web, or in my feed, that I believe my friends and family will find valuable too.

      My writing is at my blog.

      Important news travels via phone or email.

      FB is a fun place to brush shoulders with people and ideas. Not much more. Not too much depth of relationship is possible there — nor would it be prudent to share deeply there.

  33. I don’t think online marketing is going to go away. To this point facebook has seemed the most user friendly for me. Twitter is too much onslaught and all consuming, haven’t got the knack for google or found the secret for Linkedin. Socially, the huge plus for facebook is keeping up with, and close to, my friends whether I am across the country or across town.

    As a writer and a reader, my preference is blogging. Facebook is the best place for letting my friends know that I blog.

    • sue berg says:

      LinkedIn, I think, is meant for business networking with others in the same field and not for finding new “followers” and new clients/readers/customers. I could be wrong about that, though. So far, I haven’t used it, Google+ and though I have an account at Twitter, I may have made less than 50 posts there in five years …
      FB is a time vampire enough and until I can use it effectively in marketing, I don’t see a reason to add one more site to the list of “work avoiders” …
      Pinterest really confuses me on how it can help market an author …

  34. The big advantage FB has now is familiarity. A competitor would either

    a) copy FB’s visuals and functionality, but with initially (at least) reduced services

    b) take a different tack which would require FB users to master two platforms while they’re transitioning (since most people would phase out their FB usage rather than full immediate stop)

    I think we’re stuck with FB. Niche applications like Pinterest will make some inroads, but FB will probably be around for a long, long time.

  35. Lanny says:

    I think Facebook is time-limited, unfortunately. I don’t know what will replace it, if anything. It’s unfortunate that so many links with old friends, etc., could be terminated some day, but it’s also troublesome how many lurkers there are, both personal and professional, that don’t have your best interests at heart.

  36. jeffo says:

    I’ve been on Facebook for almost two years now. I’ve got…68 friends, I think, but I’m selective. Of those 68 people, I interact with less than 10 of them on a regular basis.

    I don’t believe Facebook really works very well as a vehicle for promotion, at least not right now.

  37. I think it will stay unless/until something comes along to replace it.

    Before, we had lots of things that filled the needs, but facebook came along and filled all of them.

    Linked in for business.
    Classmates for school friends.
    Myspace for pages.
    Pinterest for pictures
    twitter for status updates
    youtube for videos

    Facebook kinda combines all of those things.

    Personally, while it irritates me at time, it’s nice to have something that wraps all those things up a little bit.

    If I knew what was going to replace it… well, I’d go out and start that website and make me some money! 🙂

  38. Kristina says:

    I do not allow facebook in my home. I have my own reasons, but have considered to build myself an author site (in the near future). Facebook may connect people, but it’s not always for a positive reason. I don’t feel it’s always a prudent way to spend time either. I can spend that time writing. I feel my own author site would be sufficient for me.

  39. Joe Pote says:

    I don’t know how long FB will be around, but it has proven to be a great way for me to keep in contact with friends and family.

    No, it’s not the same as a sit-down visit, but it does allow me to catch little snippets of their lives and engage in occassional chats.

    Overall, I feel much more engaged in their lives than I would likely be otherwise.

    No, it does not consume me, but yes, I do make a point of checking in a couple of times each day.

  40. Jeanne says:

    I think Facebook is here to stay. It’s a fast way for people to connect, at least on a surface level. I used to check on Facebook a few times a day. Now it’s more like a few times a week. I set a time limit for being on it so I don’t get too sucked into reading my wall. I’m not fatigued by it, but I think that’s because my exposure is limited.

  41. Sarah Thomas says:

    I don’t think it will go away, but I fell certain it will evolve. I see it less as a tool for nurturing close relationships and more as a way to keep up with lots of people in a general way.

  42. Diane Yuhas says:

    I imagine social media will evolve as time goes by. I loved it at first as a way to connect with friends & family who live far away, but now it isn’t much more than plain old self-promotion. They’re basically one long commercial, and I hate commercials.

  43. Nan Bush says:

    FB is more like a cocktail party than like a deep, soulful conversation with a friend. With a far-flung family I rarely get to see in person, I’ve found it priceless as a way to keep us in easy touch, seeing photos, engaging in the kind of quick comments we’d make if we saw each other on the street. It has given me a relationship with grandkids on a different continent and reunited me with dear friends.

    I don’t use it for marketing, because my blog and a separate email account are my preferred ways of interacting with readers. And I never (NEVER!) click any FB commercial Like or cross-linked come-on.

    There seem to be two keys to success here: first, realistic expectations of what FB can do and be. Second, common sense in allocating time and number of contacts.

  44. I like FB, but I don’t LOVE it. It is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family who live far away. Like my real brother, my almost-brothers, my better-than-the-real-thing-sisters, my cousins and friends who go back before the dawn of creating an account.
    I also use it a bit to network and alot to decided whether or not Pinterest remotely useful or just addictive.

  45. Many people were asking the same questions about MySpace back in the days when FB was just something a relative handful of college kids used.

    FB has learned from MySpace’s mistakes, though, and focused more on interaction than distracting users with “creative” options in layout and add ons.

    Will it last? Few things do.

    That being said, FB has been good for me and good for my business. Sure there are some negatives. As there are in everything, but they are hardly insurmountable. And, for me at least, the “negatives” are easily overwhelmed by the positives.

    New friends.
    Compelling interactions.
    International and multicultural discussions.
    New clients.
    More money.

    In the end I view FB as a nice way to keep in touch with folks that also manages to be an effective weapon in my marketing arsenal.

  46. Well, having now read through all the comments prior to mine, I can say I found them all more interesting than what I have to say.

    Here’s hoping you don’t agree….

    I’m one of the LEAST social people I know, which is especially strange considering the extrovert that I am. I’ll happily jump up on stage to command a crowd’s attention, but there’s friends I haven’t heard from in years who, unless they reach out to me, will probably remain so for many years to come.

    As a marketing tool, Facebook and Twitter are the colanders of my woodworking set. I’ve been using Facebook and Twitter on and off for months in the marketing of my books. Funny–I sell just as many books when I sit around and play War Commander as when I put on the all-out marketing effort. But all I’ve done there is prove Konrath right. FB/Twitter marketing doesn’t really work, at least not like we think it should.

    As I mentioned before, I find the free games on Facebook to be valuable unwinding tools. I abuse them sometimes, granted, but I also abuse alcohol sometimes. Shame on me, I suppose. Regardless, War Commander (a new Facebook game) is my new Solitaire. It lets my brain go to mush for a little while as I let my subconscious go at a problem.

    What Facebook is vital for, though, is connecting with other Indie authors. There’s a rapidly-expanding world of experience out there. You have to tap into the right groups on FB, though, which takes time and experience. Still, you can learn so much once you do.

    I, personally, don’t think Facebook is ever going away. It started, under different names, back in AOL and Compuserve days, and has continued in chat rooms of different providers ever since. MySpace tried but didn’t hit the right vein. Facebook did. Google+ might wrest control of dominance from Facebook eventually, but it’s really not looking likely from where I sit. That said, no matter what company controls it or what they call it, Facebook will remain.

    – TOSK

    • Case in point: I just glanced over to FB and learned, though one of my authorial groups, that today is:

      *drum roll*

      National Punctuation Day!

      There’s even an entire article out there on how to celebrate! Like, painting exclamation marks, on our fingernails! That, and holding discussions on the difference between “Let’s eat, grandma.” and “Let’s eat grandma.”

      See how important FB is to my world?

      • That Grandma quote was the first thing that came to mind in regard to Punctuation day.
        And you’re wrong, YOU are not one of the least social people you know. Well, maybe you are, until you meet The Bearded One. I’m amazed when my husband introduces me to people at his work. I’m sure none of those people knew he existed.

      • sue berg says:

        Throw grandpa down the stairs his hat …

        LOL!

        Your comment about War Commander being a way of letting your subconscious do its work — valid point! I rememebr one non-fiction writing course i took threw a rea surprise into the mix — after doing all your research, step away and “incubate” and let your brain put it alltogether before you try to do anything with the information. I find Facebook games (or ones I own on my computer) really do help my brain work through an idea without me getting in the way 🙂

        As for Google+ —
        Guy Kawasaki said in an interview with Chase Jarvis that he sees Twitter as the place to go if you need news 30 seconds before CNN covers it, FB is the place for relationships with people and Google+ is the place for “passions” – that is, for connecting with communities of people with similar interests. It is, apparently, THE best place for photographers right now with professionals sharing equally with amatuers but professional to professional links being among some of the hottest groups there. So, I doubt Google+ can replace FB as a place to connect with friends and family; and hopefully won’t be taken over by people trying to market small and big businesses. As a place for writers to network — perfect!

  47. Lisa says:

    I think with facebook you need to take the positive aspects and be thankful for them. Undoubtedly, facebook is a tool that allows you to connect with more people. I have found it a great way to offer encouragement to others as well.

    With all social media, you have to be strong enough to not let the negative aspects get you down or overwhelm you. Sometimes for me, this means shutting off the computer for short periods of time. I can’t imagine facebook or other outlets of social media leaving, they are far to valuable in building community and connections.

  48. Stephanie M. says:

    I have a facebook account, an author website and a blog, but frankly, I find social media boring. I think anytime writing is forced for marketing it’s just going to sound trite.

    • sue berg says:

      Yep.

      The “I’ve been told I have to have this page, so here it is” attitude leads to feeling trapped by the page. This leads to disengagement by the author of the page and leads to “bad” content on the page. Maybe “bad” is the wrong word but it isn’t content other people want to engage with especially if the author doesn’t really want to engage with it.

      I don’t know how we can get excited about our Facebook pages and decide they are not a necessity but a fun and fulfilling luxery that we want to share with others … I think that is the kind of thinking behind a successful FB page …

      It’s very hard, for me, at least. When I was in art school, I was always on the defensive about my work. Even if I liked it, I had been so well trained that you never toot your own horn, you never look for praise, etc. — that I couldn’t ever even stand up for my piece of art. Then I saw an episode of Lynnette Jennings (remember her show years and years ago?) —
      she went to Sonoma, and while there visited an art gallery owned by a professional hockey player, who ran the gallery when it wasn’t hockey season or training season. It was a huge eye-opening thing to watch as he led her through the gallery. SOme of hte work we his own or work of another artist that he has done mroe to (with the artist’s approval). He gushed constantly “Isn’t this great?!” And not once was he bragging about himself. He was convinced the work was as wonderful as he was saying, and believed everyone would agree. It was probably the first time I saw an artist so enthusiastic about his work and yet did not once sound like a bragging jerk. I wished I could have learned that in art school, and life.

      “I have a gift to share. It is a gift, so I can’t brag that it is ME. I want to share this gift with you. I hope you like it as much as I do.” I want to feel that way and say those things but … that training to hide under rocks is really strong and hard to break free from …

      • sue berg says:

        OOPS — should check for typos better before hitting SUBMIT:
        “SOme of hte work we his own or work …”
        should read
        “Some of the work was his own …”

        DUH!

  49. I like Facebook a lot, if only just to have a peek into friend’s lives every so often, esp those who are far away.
    But if FB goes away, at least I have texting…. lol

  50. Julia Stevenson says:

    When I first signed up for FB I found it very interesting. Now, I find it boring, and the vast majority of the content on my newsfeed doesn’t matter to me at all. I do have an author page (but only because the powers that be say I should have one to build my platform). I use to spend about an hour a day on FB – now I’m doing good to spend 15 minutes. I think what’s happened to MySpace will happen to FB, and something “new” and “improved” will come along to try to suck up our energy! LOL

    • sue berg says:

      hmmm … I think that having the author page just because it is the thing the “powers that be” say you should have to build your platform … won’t work.

      Visit a lot of author pages (personally, I don’t use FB enough to know how to search for just author’s pages, but there must be a way to do it) … and see how they are using that space.

      I currently follow five or six authors. Two do a fabulous job of creating a community among their followers, two use it to merely hype their books (but I like their series of books enough to put up with it so I know when the next book is due out), and one I followed/subscribed to this weekend and haven’t determined her style of use yet.

      No matter the business, creating a sense of community among the followers and / or providing valuable content to the followers is the key to making the page actually work as a marketing tool. Just having a page because you are supposed to won’t really work as a marketing tool — which is why I haven’t started one that I promote … want to learn how to provide the content people really want, and mostly want to learn how to recreate those communities among followers.

  51. My gut is that people will make FB more manageable by engaging through group activity. Thinking it’s here to stay.

    Soon we’ll be able to travel like the Jetsons which will make the need and fascination with Facebook dissipate. 😉 We are living in the days of ‘the next best thing.’

    Loved the red dress in pics btw.
    ~ Wendy

  52. Denise says:

    I’m a relic who’s never gotten started on FB. It seems so fake to me, so I continue to drag my heels even though I’ve been advised to at least get a writer’s page.

    Sigh.

    • sue berg says:

      FB is a way to keep connected with distant friends and family.

      author and book and business pages have their place …
      some authors that I have found there and have chosen to subscribe to and like do such a fabulous job of creating a “community” among their followers that “conversations” occur among the followers that bypass the suthor almost totally — one in particular makes a post of usually no more than 2 sentences and eventually almost 50 to 100 responses occur that address each other instead of the author. FUN!

      I have family members who won’t join FB and others who used to use it a lot and now have been dropped from my feed by FB (you have to respond to posts often of FB decides you are not interested in that person anymore and drops their posts from your feed — but seems to NEVER drop a business poster …) or have stopped posting often … that it is less of a way to stay connected than as an occasional source of entertainment (the cute cat and dog photos others have mentioned or other things other users have found that they want to share — an article or a photo or info on a new book just out, etc.)

      (and that is one of the worst and most horribly constructed sentences I’ve written in the last hour! sorry about that!)

      anyhow, the point is, go ahead and join FB but limit those people and pages you like and subscribe to so that your experience there is fun and not frustrating.

      • Denise says:

        Thank you, Sue, for clarifying some of the fine points regarding the differences of regular FB and a writer’s FB page.

        This will probably give me the nudge I need to step up and try it out. Yikes! Another growing curve!! I need to buckle up!

  53. “Rather than simply cut down the number of friends they have on social networks to make it more fun and manageable, most people will simply stop using Facebook altogether.” I laughed a little at that, because it’s exactly what I did.

    I think either Facebook should die off and be replaced by two separate (but somehow connected or able to be connected?) sites – one for the social aspect and one for the business – or just divide into these two sites.

    • sue berg says:

      Sounds good. An idea I had.

      But then … I remembered the old advice about avoiding all the ads in your email inbox was to have two separate email accounts.

      In the end, the second email account was avoided and the primary account was the one used to subscribe to things … and the inbox full of junk started all over again …

      maybe not two different sites but two different “feed lines”?????

  54. Sue Harrison says:

    I hope FB stays with us, Rachelle. I have had such good results using it as a marketing tool, and my FB friends have helped me with my novels – from deciding what kind of donut the main character is eating to helping me understand how people relate to God. I’m from a small town, used to juggling small town activities, and for me FB is just an extension of my small town life!

    • Sounds like you are using it well. Are you an anthropologist? Apparently, you set about your facebook usage with the same intuitive respect and understanding of society you bring to your books.

      • Sue Harrison says:

        Thank you, Cheryl. What a kind thing to say! I studied a great deal (books and books worth) of anthropology to write my novels, but don’t have a degree in that area of expertise. The wonderful thing about being a novelist is that specialists are usually so willing to help by sharing their knowledge and their experience.(Maybe I gleaned a little through osmosis!)

        • It sounds like you have a good handle on networking as opposed to Face hunting. I sometimes wonder if some people ever hope to hear from me or if they needed me to round out their numbers.

          • Sue Harrison says:

            I know what you mean P.J. I’ve had that same feeling sometimes!

            When I read about the angst writers feel concerning social media, it reminds me of my first attempt at a novel. I was about 14 and read that a girl, age 16, had had a novel published. She said she wrote her novel by typing while sitting on her bed with the typewriter on her lap. So there I was with my new non-electric Smith-Corona on my lap, carving scars into my legs. I stalled on chapter 3. One size just doesn’t fit all.

            FB works for me. Twitter is right for someone else. Others find their huge audiences through their blog posts. I’m not saying we should all participate only in one social network, just that we need to take advantage of our strengths. I’m the girl next door. That’s my strength, and FB is that kind of social network.

        • I know what you mean about being more social. I’ve got 6,600 followers on Twitter and interact with 10. On the other hand, I interact a lot with those on Facebook.

    • Katy McKenna says:

      Sue, I’ve had a similar experience to yours. Facebook has become a place for me to gather readers. I like to post actual bits of real writing as a way to bring tem back, and it seems to be working. I’ve made many FIRL (friends in real life) through Facebook, and have met them in person, too.

      I’m loved the way you have built genuine friendships plus given your readers the chance to contribute to your stories. It’s really worked!!

      I’d be surprised to see Facebook go away anytime soon and would be quite disappointed if it did. I’ve got a kid who works there, and we got to tour the headquarters last month—very fun.

  55. With the iPhone 5 integration of Facebook I have a feeling Facebook is here to stay for a while. Personally I do not tire of Facebook; I just have little time for it right now.

  56. Here to stay – and it’s a good thing. Used to dislike it, but now, connecting on a regular basis is enjoyable. Not only that, it’s the only place I know of that you can advertise (via pages) and people LIKE to see your advertising, provided it’s good content of course…

  57. Jerry says:

    I took it off my cell phone and only get on in the morning and at night. My creativity increased and the A.D.D.sense during the day diminished. I work long hours on the road so the enjoyment of FB is simply chit chat. Kind of like going to Cheers where everybody knows your name. At least everybody who’s anybody to me.
    We can only maintain a handful of close relationships or less, so to think that facebook is going to fill up your intimate relationship factor, think again.

  58. Good question, thanks for asking it! Yes, fatigue sets in, FB usage will go down. Will it go the way of MySpace? Perhaps, but only if there’s something else to replace it. Google+? Not yet, maybe in future…

    I thought of a “Chat Club” in the third book of my trilogy THE PHOENIX HERITAGE that would mix FB with Second Life: you’d appear as yourself but you’d get a chance to wear costumes, say of a period in history or a place on this planet or even a sci-fi outfit that you particularly like! So you’d be you and not-you, a way to play games with your friends…

    Incidentally, Second Life too is on its way out…

  59. It wasn’t too long ago when I started to feel Facebook was on its way out. But I’ve changed my mind. I have a renewed love for the outlet. Here’s why:

    1. It’s where your potential readers are. I connect more with other writers on Twitter, but I actually connect with potential readers on Facebook.
    2. I find it more pleasing to the eye. You can post news, links, and fun pictures along with the message you want to tell your readers without writing a full blog post.
    3. I’ve been following a few recently successful self-published authors, wondering how they did the marketing themselves, and…. FACEBOOK!!

  60. Vikki says:

    I LOVE FaceBook, but it wears me out lol. I’m addicted, but, I kinda hope it drops off the face of the earth at some stage 😉

    X

  61. Sarah says:

    What could replace it?
    Simple: it’s called talking, you know, the thing people did before they became mindless, internet addicted sheep?

    Sorry if I come off as a little crude, but the world turned before Facebook, heck, it even turned without internet.

    It’s just sad how people have become so reliant on it that they’ll probably believe the world IS ending when they eventually pull down the site.

    • sue berg says:

      Talking is needed …
      but the younger generation, and some of us oldsters, realize that face-to-face talking with people on the other side of the world, that we wouldn’t have “met” without the internet, isn’t possible. FB, or some other service to allow us to continue “conversations” like these is necessary.

      However, talking is as much a dying art as is letter writing.

      I dread to think of the future of today’s teens — who use their cell phones to text, not talk, to one another. If they choose to marry, how will they communicate with a spouse? text across the breakfast table? **shudder**

  62. sue berg says:

    Hmmm … wrote a rambling reply — decided to cut it, drop it in Word and write a conherent reply …
    but in short, FB won’t survive and I wish I knew what will replace it because I would love to develop it so I can be the one to make the money on the thing that sets us free from that Time Vampire (oops, attitude showing …)

  63. A serious competitor to FB would have to match its ‘univerality’ (or maybe ubiquitousness?) before becoming viable.

    I don’t see anyone financing a startup with ‘replace Facebook’ as part of the strategic plan. Venture capitalists can be dumb (remember laserdiscs?) but not suicidally so.

    Yes, FB is here to stay.

    Yes, usage will drop – the spike in usage in the early years is the flash in the pan, but there will be a steady-state burn.

    It provides enough of a service, tolerably well, to a large enough part of the population. That’s enough to ensure its survival, and will probably prevent any serious competitors of a broadly similar type.

    I just wish they would quit changing stuff.

    • sue berg says:

      Like Linux is a “competitor” to Microsoft, someone will eventually try to topple FB’s primacy. Whether they will be any more successful or not remains to be seen. However, if FB gets to think as stupidly as Microsoft, it will topple, just like Microsoft will (hopefully) once they launch Windows 9.

    • Changing? They call it “improvement.” I wonder who they asked about that, because no one seems to like timeline (other than the big background picture).

  64. I love Facebook and have several fan pages as well as my personal wall that I visit. I set up all of my social media to link with each other so when I’m doing promotions all I have to do is write the post once and it goes out to all of my pages, twitter, google+ and now Triberr. I keep in contact with my friends and family and still manage to find time to write and take care of things in my “real” life.

    Sure there are days where I just have to take a break and I do. If Facebook goes away, I’ll make do with the rest of my pages, blogs and social media. I have to get my name out there somehow.

    Tammy

    • sue berg says:

      I guess my question is more for Rachelle here — you say you need to “get your name out there somehow” but …

      I know all about the need to do our own marketing even before the manuscript is ready to head out of our hands … but …

      I know that authors have always had to do a lot of the work of marketing their work before the days of internet and then social networking, but generally, the publisher did more than they are doing now? Or is that just an urban myth?

      What if authors and writers decided to stop divinding their time and being kept from their job of writing and demanded more from their publishers once again?

      I’m sure Rachelle has answered this question — but what does a publisher provide these days other than a “brand name” that has given its “seal of approval” to the work between the covers or circulating as a bunch of electronic blips and burps?

      Back to Facebook, though … I actually found this blog in the first place through someone sharing a post on FB. But as a general rule, I don’t understand how it is a really effective tool for “getting my name out there” … What am I not seeing?

  65. I started calling it “Scroll-Book,” because that’s what I have to do to find the good stuff= sharing snippets of our lives.

    This is what I would like to post on my Facebook. (This doesn’t apply to the friends I have on there from here, because they actually write something that I enjoy reading.)

    Dear friends, I’m sick of seeing pictures of adorable, cute, funny, inspiring and even spiritual messages. I’d rather see a picture of you popping zits than view one more cat in a loving embrace with a Rottweiler. Yes I share Jesus, but I’m not going to share that photo that says I have to share it or face eternal flames. Tell me about your day or your kids. Heck, you can even show me your vacation photos. I’m down with it. But I don’t live my life by sound bytes and that’s all some of you post.

    Oh, and as far as politics go–no he isn’t, yes he is, but I do, and you’ve got no idea what you’re even re-posting, do you?

    Your friend always, P.J.

    The kicker- I like networking on Facebook. It is going to have lulls, but it will be here for a long while. Zuckerberg sold stock that had already hit critical mass is the reason why it failed on Wall Street. Only a moron would have bought it. I’ll have to post that tomorrow with a picture of a duckbill platypus.

    • sue berg says:

      I do so agree about those “Will you have the courage to share / re-post this” type emails and FB posts. They are insulting. I don’t re-post and only forward as an email — if the content is actually good enough — after I have edited out the “dare” …

      I actually enjoy some of the cute and cuddly stuff and even the political things … even the political stuff I disagree with (because I sometimes just enjoy the opportunity to yell at the top of my volume range “YOU ARE AN IDIOT if you believe THAT!” (LOL))

      I like FB so that I can get those updates and photos from friends and family and so much dislike all the ads and re-posts of Twitter posts … **shudder**
      However, “monetizing” of FB, email services that “read” emails for keywords so they can pop “appropriate” ads in the side column and YouTube’s use of ads before and during uploaded videos … I cut back my usage. I’m even giving up on magazines that cost too much — they have advertisers who should be funding their venture and I really shouldn’t be asked to pay $10 for a magazine that, in my mind that might be stick back in the early 1990s in terms of what I think things are “worth”, shouldn’t cost more than $5 or maybe $6 …
      Oops, I got off the subject …

      But you are right — FB is a great place to connect with friends and family — people I already have a relationship with through knowing them face-to-face or I’ve gotten to “know” (more than just a name) through some internet-based community group, or whose work I am familiar with or want to get to know better.

      • Speaking of interacting, Beth and Becky from here went to a conference and have posted a lot of photos from Dallas. Those kind of things is precisely why I like Facebook and hope it sticks around.

    • http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.m/photos/uncategorized/2008/05/08/platypus_twins.jpg

      …and there’s a cute picture of platypus twins.

      Anybody who is tired of seeing cute kitty pictures should probably not Friend me. I’m one of those guys who will go on over lunch and share either a cute animal picture or a snarky pic about the craft/grammar/whatever. Why? Well, first because I have a LOT of friends who’re fairly strong in their political beliefs, on both sides of the fence, and I consider it my “place” to inject a little bit of levity in the constantly-scrolling feed. Second, though, I’ve had many bad days that were suddenly made a lot brighter by a smile brought on by a cute picture or a good joke, so I like to share.

      That said, I’ve been promising everybody pictures of my vacation next week. My brother is having his wedding in Bermuda and so he wants all his groomsmen to wear that ridicu–er, quite dashing shorts-and-sports-coat set that Bermuda fashion is famous for. Yes, indeed, that’s going up on Facebook. And then I’ve been promising my subordinates and co-workers at the college that I’ll post a pic of me fulfilling a bucket-list dream of writing on an island beach. If the rest of THIS week goes well, I’ve said, then I’ll make sure to wear normal shorts and a t-shirt; otherwise, it’s Speedos all the way.

      – TOSK

      • sue berg says:

        adorable platties!

        Yep, those kinds of photos (the Bermuda Shorts wedding) and vacation photos are what FB “means to me” but like you I enjoy the cute stuff too …

        It isn’t too hard to scroll down the page and find the things I want to pause on … just lots of junk in there from time to time — getting better as I unsubscribe and ublike lots of “litterers.”

      • Those guys are rather adorable. Original jokes and such aren’t so bad as I love humor. The most annoying are the “Repost if’s.” Those insult the recipient and coerce littering.

    • Joe Pote says:

      For me, a lot of enjoying FB is simply learning to self-filter.

      I simply scroll past most of the guilt-repost pic’s and the political stuff, and only read the snippets of people’s lives that I want to stay in touch with.

    • Clapping my hands and stomping my feet!

  66. I love Facebook and hope it’s here to stay. I do get tired some days of trying to maintain three pages, but when that happens, I step away for a day or two. That’s the break I need, then I’m ready to get back to it. I’ve also gotten better about managing my time on it and walking away when there’s work to be done.

  67. Graeme Ing says:

    A very provocative question. I think the meaning and usefulness of FB depends on the generation. It is a way of life for youngsters who think nothing of bantering daily with hundreds of acquaintances. We of the older generation are probably the only ones having problems with it, since we grew up on limited, deep friendships. I think you get out of it what you expect of it.

    The great thing about most forms of social media is that you can dial in or out for any length of time and not feel like you have missed anything, which you do feel if you, say, take a hiatus from a reading group of close friends. FB and Twitter areconciousness streams, that you can dabble in or go deep into.

    I like the lack of guilt I feel if I ignore social media for days or even weeks at a time, knowing that casual acquaintances the world over wont judge you for your absence, just carry on chatting with you as if you never left.

    • sue berg says:

      I have backed out of FB quite a bit … used to check once a day but then went back to about once a month or so …
      Then I discover that some people I used to receive email from, now post once at FB when there is something important to pass on and I’m “out of the loop” if I haven’t checked my feed for a while …
      I don’t know if we can “dial in and out” so easily and not miss anything if something like FB is considered the only way to inform friends of important events that have happened (such as the hospitalization of a family member) …
      I’ve made the decision to allow myself to be “out of the loop” rather than be chained to and by social media sites …

    • Jeanne says:

      Great thoughts here, Graeme. I think you’re right in saying different generations interact with facebook in very different ways.

  68. I do a lot of marketing on Facebook but I have a page set up for that…although it does go into my wall on my personal account. Frankly, I like Twitter better. I’m at Twitter twice as much as Facebook. Remember Myspace? Who knows Facebook could easily go down that path. We all thought Myspace was the greatest thing, now no one is using it.

  69. Teresa R says:

    As I use Facebook for “casual friendships”, I am not fatigued. While I do have close friends & family as friends on FB, most are former co-workers and gaming friends so while I glance at what they post to know what they are doing with their lives, I mostly play the FB games.
    For improvement, I wish they would limit friends to those you really know, and not just anyone who want to “friend’ you. Or have it sectioned for gaming friends, personal friends, co-workers, close friends and family, so you could choose which section to pay particular attention to

    • sue berg says:

      they do have a way to group your friends into categories — ran into that today … quite by accident, so I don’t know how to tell you where or how to find that feature …

  70. I haven’t read all the comments, so I don’t know how many people will agree with me. As a freelance editor who works from home, I have found Facebook invaluable for connecting with other editors in the vastly spread-out Editors’ Association of Canada. I’ve used it for fun, for networking, for sharing personal and professional trials and tribulations, and I’ve made some incredible friends who are also colleagues. Last year, I made a trip to Ontario and Quebec, where I connected with dozens of editors whom I would not have known at all without Facebook. I called it my Editour of Canada, which I never would have embarked on before meeting all my Facebook colleagues. I’ve even gotten jobs from colleagues on FB. Besides that, I’ve reconnected with dozens of long-lost colleagues from a previous career 27 years ago, old friends from high school and college, and third and fourth cousins in my family history research.

    Facebook has expanded and enriched my world beyond description. I absolutely love it. I’m not addicted, however; if I go on vacation, I just let my friends know I won’t be around for a while. I can’t predict the future, but I hope FB is around for a long time to come. My world would shrivel without it.

  71. As an expat, Facebook is an important way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends in the US. I’d get the major news no matter what (engagements, births, etc.), but Facebook allows me to participate in the little things. For example, one of my sisters went to her first high school dance this weekend, and I got to see the pictures even though I’m sure she wouldn’t think to tell me about the dance by the time I visit again. My grandparents were expats back in the 50s and they had to rely on yearly Christmas letters to keep in touch.

    I agree that there’s too much noise on the site now, but it remains a good way to find someone whose email address or phone number might change frequently. When people tire of the constant updates, I could see Facebook surviving as a sort of cosmic address book.

    • sue berg says:

      that is what i want from FB — a way to keep up with what is happening in the lives of friends and family — for the little things. but more and more often, they aren’t getting through (whether they aren’t posted or FB is filtering them out of my feed, I don’t know) — and FB is less and less valuable and worth less and less of my time. making it less and less of a time vampire for me — which can only be a good thing, right?

  72. J.M. Bray says:

    I use Fb only because its expected and I would be happy to see it go. If there is somewhere I can put a hand and give it a push to expedite its demise please let me know. As a person who works counseling people, it has added another layer of issues and problems where they didn’t need to be. You wouldn’t believe the damage the site causes.

    In terms of actual benefit to my writing career, Twitter has been much more productive for me.

    • sue berg says:

      if you find the way to give FB that push off the cliff, would you let me know? I’ll help.

      it is a good way to keep in touch with “real” friends and family …

      but as a marketing tool … I’m getting almost neurotic on this — I know I need to do marketing of my blog, I know that once my book gets to a place where it is close to being available to readers I will need to market it … but I hate being marketed to …

      And using Twitter (for anything) and FB to do that marketing — well, I’ve got “Friends” on FB — people who probably already know about my blog and / or book … I just don’t get how it works …

      I do see how it (FB & other social media) can be a problem for people, though.

  73. Natalie says:

    Facebook is my home page so I see my news feed whenever I log on to the internet, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it. And I only keep people who are actually my friends, I’m not afraid to delete anyone I don’t know well or whose updates annoy me.

    My real time waster is reading all those blogs!

    • sue berg says:

      YAY! I congratulate your willingness to limit what hits your feed. I once posted that I would be “unliking” a lot of, um, what do we call them? They aren’t really “friends” that we get all that stuff from on our feed … Anyhow, I was going to be dropping a lot of them. One, that I kept, actually posted a bewildered reply to my idea — they (a group of teenaged book reviewers) could not understand why anyone would drop and not add more things/people/whatever to their feed … Generation gap, for sure, at work.

  74. I’m fatigued with FB and I never really got started. It has (to me) a big learning curve. And I don’t do well with the “splattered all over everywhere” ADD design of the data, and I still can’t figure out how on earth you can keep up with even a handful of people in a meaningful way without spending gobs of your time trolling around.

    So when authors send me FB “events” (I think that’s what they’re calling them), it’s not that I don’t want to support the authors, but that FB simply makes no sense to me. And I don’t like it enough to want to torture myself with the learning curve it would take.

    The only plus I can think of for FB is that it sends me notification when someone I’m linked to has a birthday coming up (since unfortunately I’m the world’s worst at remembering birthdays).

    So no, I would not lose a wink of sleep if it disappeared.

    • sue berg says:

      FB isn’t too hard to learn. The hardest part is controling how many “friend requests” you accept (they get your posts, you get their posts on your feed) and whether you allow yourself to “like” and subscribe to businesses that will clutter the feed with advertising of some sort.

      Twitter, on the other hand, baffles me completely. hash tags and @ symbols and 120 or 140 character limits … HUH?

      I wouldn’t mind if both of them disappeared. 🙂

  75. I love Facebook and can’t imagine not using it. Of course, I limit my number of friends and have, so far, resisted starting an author or book page. For me, it’s very personal, just the way I like it. But I will say, I’m rather sick of seeing suggested pages to like & reading political posts. But all in all, Facebook does what I want it to do, let’s me keep in contact with faraway friends & family.

    • sue berg says:

      Good for you — bing able to control your feed so well. As for those annoying re-shared pages and the political other “noise” — if you ever do start a book or author page, you’ll rely on those re-posted/shared posts to find a following of your own. And for the political stuff — I love to just yell at them — my outlet for frunstrations of all sorts os to yellas loud as I can at the computer screen, “IDIOT” and then take a deep breath and realize I’m no longer as angry about the pillow that was on the sofa but the cat dragged off somewhere to hide it just to annoy me …

  76. Kimberly says:

    I’ve scaled back on my FB usage, and I have a few friends who’ve given it up for good. I live overseas, so I use it to keep up with long-distance friendships. In my case, it’s been super helpful, but I think I’m the exception rather than the rule.

    • sue berg says:

      I live more than a 1000 miles from other family members and FB would be a good way to keep in touch but … most others have scaled back their usage too or have never bothered to join FB (amazing, isn’t it, that there are people who don’t even want to use it?) …

      Time Vampire? Too much big business advertising? Or just not providing the connections expected? Don’t know why so many have scaled back, but the IPO and the claim that every member would make the company $120 really angered and alienated a lot of users …

      Glad it works for you. 🙂

  77. Brian says:

    I think Wall Street got really, really burnt by Facebook, so I can see the rising anger against them. I also can imagine a lot of kids fresh out of school dumping money into the Facebook stock and also getting burnt.

    But the question people should really be asking themselves is Facebook really worth 100x earnings?

    That question aside, Facebook can die off just as easily as Myspace. The next best thing can knock Facebook off their throne, and I think that next best thing will come the mobile route, rather than the PC route. I’m just waiting for it.

    Of course, I have less than a dozen friends on Facebook since that’s about as many as I can reasonably keep in contact with.

    • sue berg says:

      All of the Net has to consider going the mobile route … FB will just migrate to that and “Force” the rest of us to folow along — like they forced us to the new Timeline. As for the IPO — pure lunacy to even have believed the claims. We are, however, just far enough from the Tech Bubble burst for enough people to have been duped and forget the lessons of recent history.
      Personally, I won’t follow the Net to the mobile route. No Android or Apple devices here and no intention of adding them to my life. Cell phones don’t work where I live and … well, let’s just say, I don’t really want to carry a device with a GPS locator in it everywhere I go …

      As for FB’s future … MySpace is still out there and still being used by a few people (who have actually posted recently) … FB will never die out completely but will lose some of its size as people get frustrated with all the junk and will scale back to just the people and businesses they “really” want to connect with …

    • With less than a dozen followers on fb, how can you expect a publisher to believe in you when they go to check your following? 🙂

      • sue berg says:

        a personal page and an author or book page should be kept separate (FB rules) — so limiting the personal page to those 12 is a fabulous idea! an author / book page is where you want to have the high numbers.

  78. Debbie says:

    Lately, I attended a conference dedicated to management skills hosted by a worldwide leader in the business realm. During the conference, research was shared – and not just research their company conducted, but independent researchers who have noted that the stress social networking sites play in our day-to-day lives has led to the most widespread addiction in our history.

    It seems ( most) spend time surfing when we should be taking care of business. Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts all demand a monstrous amount of time. I know I don’t accomplish as much as I once did DUE to these social networking sites.Many,(me included) have allowed our brains to be rewired to accommodate the demands of technology instead of using it in moderation to make our daily lives better. I find that disturbing.

    I’ve “wallowed” that thought around in my brain for three years now, afraid to mention it for fear of sounding stodgy. But, stodgy or not, this networker is cutting back. Maybe that’s why writers like Dean Koonts and other well-known prolific authors don’t do social networking. They figured out a long time ago what a distraction and time carnivore it can become.

    • sue berg says:

      Yep, social networking is a vampire — time and productivity vampire.
      Nothing stogey about cutting back. Of course, the younger ones raised on this stuff won’t agree with me. However, if social networking is causing problems for the “older set” it is causing a completely different set of problems for that younger group — they are not learning proper communication and inter-personal skills to live and work in the world. Personal relationships will be affected the most — maybe not by social networking but by “texting” replacing actual speaking to one another …
      I am showing my “old fogey” status, aren’t I?

      • So true that FB has become a huge monster in the lives of so many. The few worthwhile connections made are so outweighed by the time wasted, and interpersonal skills lost. Rally rather scary. If it is important, a live voice is much better.

    • Oh, my, if those successful authors don’t use social media; how do they survive and market? (tongue firmly in cheek).

  79. Bailish Habilis says:

    Wow! What a question! A website that has been around for less than 10 years, and we can’t imagine life without it.

    I got through my schooling years without social media, much less Internet, so I don’t see it as significant in my life. I occasionally use various forms of social media, but it is not my primary mode of interaction with anyone. But I must admit my wife would be happier if I used Facebook more.

    I see Facebook and Twitter as flashes in the pan. They captured our imagination, but their limits on capitalization suggest they are not permanent. People use them because they don’t pay for them. I expect within a few years (about the length of time for the current generation of users to get out of school), some new form of interaction will evolve, and we’ll be as hooked on that one as we are on this one.

    But I find your reasons interesting. Facebook will fail because we can’t sustain the number of quality relationships the program supports? A newer version of Facebook could come up with a way to take care of this problem, relegating relationships to lower levels in an easier manner. If we don’t interact with someone, then their ‘news’ is gradually omitted from our feed. This can occur now, but it requires each person to edit their lists of friends, something we don’t like to do.

    I don’t know. I’m out of the loop on the latest technology. The field is moving too fast for me to keep up.

    • sue berg says:

      Actually, editing your list of friends won’t stop FB from seizing control of what you actually receive in your feed. If I have friended/liked/subscribed, I expect to receive all of their posts. But FB uses their own set of criteria to determine if they think I will actually want to receive the posts from certain other users.

      FB should croak and the sooner the better. And Twitter can fly away with it.

      If we had to pay for FB, other than put up with their attempts at monetizing the site and controlling our feeds, quite a few people would pull out immediately. I know I would. It doesn’t provide an acceptable ROI — not in terms of connections made and relationships extended, nor in entertainment value.

    • Joe Pote says:

      Actually FB does that, automatically, now. It tends to drop news items from people you haven’t interacted with, lately.

      In some ways that’s good, as it allows me to focus more on my closer relationships.

      However, it can also be frustrating in that it allows me to lose contact with people I intended to keep up with…which is a large part of why I friended them on FB to begin with…

  80. Lynne Hartke says:

    I still enjoy FB, although on busy days I just keep up with my family contacts. As a pastor’s wife, I also have a church contact list that I try to look at on Sunday morning so I can be up to date on what has been happening in people’s lives before I see them that morning.

    I am very tired of all the political comments and the marketing. If it doesn’t catch my eye in the first scan-through, I don’t stop to click on it. I figure they have less than 2 seconds to grab my interest.

    • sue berg says:

      Just curious — do you scroll through your feed to check on those people on your list, or do you go to their own timeline pages to see what has been happening?
      I rarely check in at FB these days and when I did recently, I think that hitting “older posts” took me only about half a week back …

      (I’m workig from bottom up the list of comments — so this is a repeat) As for the political posts and re-posts, when I encounter one I disagree with (most of them) — I use it as a outlet valve to let off all frustrations with everything bothering me — and take great pleasure in yelling at the computer screen “IDIOT” (just like hubby yells at the radio, in the car, on the way to and from work ).

      What annoys me the most, though, are those supposedly Christian posts that contain a “dare” to click like or share or be considered an unfaithful, backslidden, nominal, maybe-not-even-a Christian. If the message is proper, it doesn’t need that junk tacked on it — if it can’t stand on its own feet, then it doesn’t deserve to be re-posted But if it dares me to repost it, or maybe I should say it is daring me to not re-post and then prove I don’t care or are a “bad” person because I don’t agree, it won’t get re-posted by me (even if I did agree with the meat of what it was saying).

      • Joe Pote says:

        “…those supposedly Christian posts that contain a “dare” to click like or share or be considered an unfaithful, backslidden, nominal, maybe-not-even-a Christian.”

        Yes, I make a point of always ignoring those, even if I strongly agree with the fundamental message.

        I refuse to give in to manipulative tactics to try to force me to do something.

        However, I also tend to give the person psoting the beenfit of the doubt, and realize they were probabluy guilted into it themselves, and not really intending to manipulate.

        • Joe Pote says:

          Ouch! My typing is horrendous when I’m in a hurry and don;t proof-read! 😛

        • sue berg says:

          That is a good way of looking at it — that the person who posted it was probably manipulated into sharing it and I should not hold it against them. I hope that I don’t but … hmmm … I’ll have to be more aware of my visceral response the next time I run into one of them … thanks for posting that, though. 🙂

      • Yes, those posts can make you as guilt ridden as the old fashioned chain mail letters. I do not click “like” or repost.

      • You hit on my major FB peeve. I never “like” or “share” when I’m told to. That just drives me up the wall.

        I also ignore the posts that are a “test” of who reads the poster’s posts. Supposedly, if I care about this person enough to read their posts, I will pass this test along to test the loyalty of my own friends. What a waste of time.

        Otherwise, I love FB.

  81. I suppose I would have to say I’m getting fatigued as I’ve stopped using Facebook entirely. I deactivated my account about a year ago, reactivated it a couple months ago, and then maybe not even a week later I deactivated it again.

    There was simply too much noise in my life, between Facebook, my blog and website, Twitter (and Google+ which I had for about a month and then deleted), and trying to write and revise books, read books, have a semblance of a social life.

    There was too much going on so I cut down. I even stopped blogging for about a month or so (maybe closer to two months). I’m trying to work back into blogging now, but the honest truth is I’m having to restructure my priorities, and at this stage of my life, writing and real life are far too precious to give over to loads of internet social media.

    I have a phone and I have email. I know how to use them, so why would I need much more than that at my stage in both life and a writing career?

    • sue berg says:

      I think you are a baby boomer or older. 🙂 We know we don’t need social media. We can take it or leave it. Many prefer to leave it or limit it.

      However, the so-called “experts” say we have to do our own marketing — of our selves, our writing, our careers, our books and blogs and articles, and build up a sizeable following before a publisher will even consider our work (no longer is an author judged mainly on the work produced) — and those same “experts” tell us that Facebook, Twitter and blogging are the routes to building that following …
      Twitter baffles me.
      Pinterest truly stymies me.
      FB aggrevates me.
      Google+ might be a good networking site but not really meant to be a marketing tool (so far) …
      keeping up with email might be enough of a time waster …

      the internet and the social media parts of it should be tools we use and not things that use and control us.

      You are right, life, real life, is so much more important that “virtual” life.

      • No, I’m not a baby boomer. Far from it, actually. But I just don’t get any value out of Facebook so I cut it out of my life.

        • sue berg says:

          I know it is dangerous to make assumptions — one of mine is that anyone younger than baby boomer (and far from it) is really technologically linked and has the “have to have it / have to use it” mentality. Glad to find out that that stereotype is bunkum!

          Thanks!

          • Julia Denton says:

            Our oldest son (28) has never had a smart phone and refuses to get one. He has never had a Facebook account nor any other social media. He doesn’t subscribe to any TV provider. He’s about to finish a 5-year PhD program at Emory so maybe that explains it, but I doubt he will get digital anytime soon.

          • sue berg says:

            Sorry Julia — no “reply” button under your post —

            Your son is AWESOME!

            No smart phone here either — actually no cell phone at all. They do not work where we live (I looked at the map and the zone goes through the field next door to our east, dips down south of us about 1/20th of a mile through the field across the street, then back up into the field to our west about 50 feet from the road … weird.). And … well, I wanted to replace my digital camera, but of the three I was considering (DSLR types not the point-and-shoot types), all three (as well as every cell and smart phone and iPad) contain a constantly-on GPS locator. Um, I’m not a conspiracy theory nutcase, but I really don’t want a GPS locator following me around all the time.

            As for not having any social network accounts — it is sort of rare these days but not unheard of. Congrats to him for finishing up at Emory! Though a FB account to post to might have been an easy way to let everyone know “Got a dissertation oral coming up” … but not a necessity. I like his attitude!

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