A phenomenon that has emerged in the last 20 years is the increasing dominance and overwhelming presence of social media in our daily lives.
Talking to strangers online, posting pictures, and spending money to experience the latest features of a website have become common occurrences in our society, since everyone wants to be in on the trend of social media.
Sharyn Obsatz, journalism professor at Santa Monica College, said she is not surprised by the ubiquitous use of social media.
“It is in the human nature to be curious, to gossip and trade stories,” Obsatz said. “Now it is just easier, and you can do it 24/7 with social media.”
There is one social media site that has been around for nearly a decade, and established itself as a dominant force. Facebook, which launched in 2004, was initially created to connect college students, and has since evolved into its own entity, extending beyond universities and connecting more than a billion users worldwide.
Facebook is set to be more personal than other social media forms. Users can make it more personal by creating profiles that reflect their personalities and lifestyles. Also, unlike some other social media sites, Facebook targets a general audience of all ages.
But is it still in the same limelight it has basked in for the past decade, or are the lights slowly turning off for Facebook?
Both Obsatz and SMC student Noella Kembo have expressed the advantages and disadvantages of using Facebook.
“As a mother of a young kid, I love taking pictures of him and sharing it with family and friends, and I get immediate positive response back,” Obsatz said. “On the other hand, by constantly sharing your life online, you may experience both envy and oppression by others.”
Kembo said the social media titan is used by some to craft an image that will appeal to others.
“I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and business contacts that are living abroad,” she said. “However, many other people use Facebook as a social community where they can portray a more favorable image of themselves.”
I began using Facebook four years ago, but have lost interest in the social media superpower over the years. The site has strayed from its original vision and has morphed into a haven for scammers, attention-seekers and advertisements.
Facebook’s purpose has also been ruined by those who use it to update their status with unnecessary, pointless events on a daily basis, like getting coffee or standing in line at the grocery store.
Some upload twerking videos, which they will eventually regret in the future, while others use the site to promote themselves as musicians, comedians or dancers by constantly bombarding the public with their videos and posts.
But Facebook is beginning to see a decrease in younger generations using the site.
According to an article on CNNMoney’s website, although Facebook has 1.2 billion active users and 874 million mobile users, the younger audience is losing interest in Facebook.
“We did see a decrease in [teenage] daily users [during the quarter], especially younger teens,” Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman said in the article.
Still, no matter what the numbers say, the site’s appeal is deteriorating, since the only real purpose it serves now is keeping in touch with family and friends who reside in other countries.
“This obsession with social media has created a lust for attention, especially for the younger generations,” Kembo said. “I do believe that Facebook will fade away. A new website will probably launch soon, and people will jump on that train.”
Social media rising stars like Instagram, Twitter, Vine, LinkedIn, and Tumblr — all created for different purposes for users to utilize — have attained a growing success rate.
Whether teens may be losing interest in Facebook or not, the site may still see a domino effect in the future, where a mass of social media fanatics will stop updating their Facebook walls, and turn to newer social media sites.
It is a karma effect. What Facebook did to MySpace will one day slap them back in the face, as a new social media trend will throw it to the corner of the World Wide Web to collect dust bunnies.
Obsatz, however, believes Facebook still has some time remaining before it finds itself replaced.
“I think that Facebook is winning over other social media networks, and the site has several decades left until it fades away.”
Still, other social media sites will eventually outgrow Facebook, which will result in Facebook being replaced by a new social media giant that will storm its way into our lives, leaving Facebook to rest in peace with MySpace.