Facebook has become for some a pleasure and means of connecting with family and friends and for others a world they choose to remain apart from, or have not found any use for. For those who have joined this virtual matrix, a life without it for business or pleasure can seem impossible to some extent.
Facebook is the thing that many of us say goodnight to, wake up in the morning and say good morning to, have our coffee breaks with, share our inner most thoughts with, express ourselves through. Facebook has become a substitute in a space that before a person may have filled for some, but also for others possibly filled a space that was never filled before by a person.
Aspects of the platform have been developed and changed over the last few years but this has not caused any mass exodus from it and its user figures have continued to rise. We all complain when something changes, we get used to it usually and often if asked will not likely remember the way things were before that change after some time of being accustomed to the new changes.
As a marketing tool, it perhaps demonstrates how in the real world, through friends, we often share knowledge of goods and services, art and ideas we come into contact with. We recommend them, express our liking of them, which then in turn may encourage our friends to do the same or not dependent on our judgement of them.
When a person likes something it attaches them to that thing in a database sense. To the information data base and marketing companies this has been contrued as a valuable way of targeting further marketing about this thing that a person likes. To the person that likes it, they are often just expressing their personality, expressing who they are through the things that they like, possibly wishing to connect with other people that also like the same things.
A recent development to Facebook has been changes to the way that groups and events operate. Suddenly we are no longer invited to a group, we are just added to it and forced to opt out or be confronted with notifications everytime anything is posted on the wall of that group. Likewise with events, any event we have been sent an invitation to, now becomes part of our notification alerts, regardless of whether we have agreed to attend it or not.
Many are already expressing their annoyance to this latest development and we can only hope the developers find a way to alleviate this problem otherwise its users will simply delete, delete, delete…
In the initial stages of this platform there was a much more personal and friendlier feel to it, the more it has matured, the more “markety” it has begun to feel. For us all as artists to large or small extent in this age of perception, spiritual growth and connection, the sharing of media such as music, video, pictures, expressions, thoughts, feelings, etc. has and is important. Facebook offers us a great space to do this. But do we want that space to be invaded by large brands adverstising to us, the things that many of us are already bombarded with everywhere on a daily basis on TV, on billboards, in emails, shop windows etc. Many of us are tired of these things and auto switch off anyway, we want to escape this repetative noise and find something refreshing and different, something more personal, less mass consumer oriented, something that not everybody else has access to yet.
Facebook will likely have to continue along this path since advertising revenue will be important to their business, but this could possibly be at the cost of losing users if they are not sensitive to the user experience and their main reasons for using the platform in the first place. We “like” that we can share “what is on our mind”, we “like” that we can connect to others, we “like” we can share things through it, we “like” it as a space for expression, but we do not like it as an excuse for people to bombard us with things without choice or invitation, we get that enough in the real world!