Facebook is Not Too Big to Fail

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.

The Guardian has a good piece up about the data-collecting that Facebook does, and why leaving might be a good idea.

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.

This was always going to happen.  There’s too much money at play for other entrepreneurs to ignore the siren song hope of becoming the next big thing.  Sooner or later, Facebook always was going to make its fatal mistake and die its forlorn death.  It happened to the telegraph, it happened to AOL chat rooms, and one day it will happen to Facebook.  The only thing in the world keeping Facebook alive is the fact that we use it.  When something better comes along, we’ll use that instead.

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.

File:20000 squid holding sailor.jpg

Artwork courtesy of Wikimedia, Public Domain.


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