Love it or loathe it, everybody who’s anybody is on Facebook. What started as a meeting place for students and graduates has evolved into the most popular social networking site on the internet.
According to Facebook’s own statistics, it has more than 175 million users spending 3 billion minutes on the site every day (that’s in total rather than every individual user – although I know some people who must get close.) In addition, 52,000 applications have been created for the Facebook platform with 140 new ones appearing every day.
Facebook has experienced phenomenal growth, but there are signs that membership has plateaued and the glory days are over. Is Facebook a fad? Does it have a long-term future? Here are five symptoms that show you could be suffering from Facebook fatigue…
1. You’re not responding to every poke and invitation
Facebook fatigue starts subtly. Was there a time when you responded to everything, no matter what it was or who it was from? Did you play every mind-numbing game, give silly picture gifts, and pass on video links to all your friends? Are you still doing it?
2. There are no withdrawal symptoms
Have you accessed Facebook recently? Can you survive for several days without a Facebook fix? Can you take a vacation without popping into a cyber cafe or paying exorbitant mobile internet fees every 10 minutes?
3. Have you culled your Facebook friends?
The average Facebook user has 120 “friends”. The vast majority are people they have never met, spoken to, or socialised with. Lots of friends may be a badge of distinction for a while, but has it led to information overload and invite irritation.
4. Are your parents and grandparents on Facebook?
You’re using the same system as them? How uncool is that! Perhaps you should move on to LinkedIn?
5. Have you rediscovered the internet?
Have you started using ‘real’ email again? Have you noticed that the web contains other sites? It may be too late for you.
The warnings are clear; Facebook fatigue is real. Are you a sufferer? Perhaps you should ask for help at Twitter.com!
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.
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