Over the past five or six years I’ve gone from barely using Facebook at all to using it as a major communications portal. I use it professionally, to share my work, keep abreast of what others are doing, to chat with colleagues. Forming a Facebook group is my current go-to when I have a group of people I need to all get in a room to chat with each other, but they never get in the same room in regular life. And finally, like normal people, I also use it to keep up with friends and family.
But guess what? None of us are married to Facebook.
One of the fears Facebook users have is that somehow because Facebook is huge, therefore it is an unstoppable behemoth. It just isn’t. All that is required for Facebook to fade into oblivion like Myspace is for another communications platform to come along that does the job better. As the new thing gathers speed, people like me who are expected to use PR tools will join the new thing. We’ll like it better, and we’ll start using it more and FB less. Our friends will slowly migrate that way. FB will shrink into oblivion, another wasteland of automated status updates and Hot Russian Singles in Your City.
Personally I’m not too bothered by a lot of what happens in the world of targeted internet ads. I like the way Facebook lets me know what my kids have been shopping for online lately. I like that Facebook has managed to figure out I don’t really want Cheap Viagra Now! But if you don’t like the way Big Data is taking advantage of your quiz results, find the next thing. You aren’t trapped. You were never trapped. You can move on any time.