Society and the Facebook Craze

Published on 5th May 2009

Facebook has taken the world by storm! As if that is not enough, we might start grappling with a different kind of addiction-the relational kind! What is it about Facebook that has got us all excited? And what has made its roots grow so deep?   

Facebook: The silent storm  Photo:Courtesy
A few things come to mind. Referrals-What would otherwise be referred to as viral marketing by marketers or the “Idea Virus” by one Seth Godin. The fact that the friend requests that you receive are from friends or individuals with whom you share mutual friends hits a certain chord right there! The friends keep increasing at an exponential rate. However dismal, there’s an aspect of “trust” that goes with it- the occasional friend request from a stranger not withstanding! 

Networking is one other reason why people register with Facebook. The internet has proven to be a key tool in the growth of businesses-big and small alike. With the quarter life crisis, many youth are engaged in side hustles (as it’s commonly referred to) to make ends meet. Moonlighting has become second nature and the hard economic times have only drawn more members to this “club.” Therefore, what better way to go about it than to work while having fun? Facebook sure does provide this platform! And for this category, friends and strangers alike are invited to be friends. 

Who does not want to belong? It’s a need embedded in the human person. Whether in a small religious community or a group of three. It is a good feeling to belong. One might not necessarily be a frequent contributor to the site, but by the mere fact that you are on Facebook, gives the sense of family. Still, for some people, it may be the only company-however virtual. 

The steady stream of events invitation is a sure sign of a vibrant Entertainment industry. Play, is an integral part of our well being and we would want to know “What’s on”, if only to go and unwind and socialize. Facebook makes the task easier by not only providing the invites but also by constantly reminding us of the same. Therefore, it’s the easier and cheaper way to stay in touch with the goings-on.  

Relational role-“What’s on your mind?” is the question posed to the users. Formerly “What are you doing right now,” it provides a broader perspective on what can be posted. Stemming from political, social and economic views. This brings forth an appreciation of different views on a particular issue, not to mention that the debates held are also very educative. 

With all these benefits comes a concern that more and more time and man hours are being channeled into this social networking site. So, while Facebook is a good thing, actual contact should not be relegated. As this will compromise the very premise of humanity-physical interaction!But then, there’s a new kid on the block-“Twitter”. Same cast, slightly different script!

Rehab Wainaina

SIFE Alumni

This article has been read 2,530 times