It is well known that on Saturday 5th November a group of hackers named anonymous had threatened to take down Facebook. In case you hadn’t noticed, they didn’t. Phew! 😉 But it made me think (which is said to be one of their objectives, to make people reassess), what would we do if Facebook did go down? How would it affect our day to day lives? And what would this mean for social media?
Firstly, just look at what happened with Blackberry recently. There was mass first world panic when Blackberry users couldn’t send/receive emails or use their BBM. But in the grand scheme of things, seriously?! Has the internet really become so ingrained in society that it truly is a disaster if part of it “breaks”. To be honest, yes.
I grew up with social media, first Bebo as a teenager, then Facebook when I started at university, and later Twitter. So this does make it difficult for me to imagine life without these necessary tools. If Facebook had gone down on Saturday, or any other day, then this would leave the market wide open. Maybe Google+ could push forward and become the new Facebook.
In terms of my day-to-day life, if Facebook disappeared, then how would we know what we were all up to? Of course some will say ‘just pick up the phone’. But the whole point of Facebook was (oops I’m talking like it has actually gone) that a 2 minute glance can show you what your friends and family are up to, any big news stories, the latest clothes available from your favourite shop, which restaurants have good deals on tonight, etc etc! My point being that I am all for an easy life. We have all this amazing technology that does make our lives easier, not by replacing things like phone calls or face to face conversations, but by enhancing online and offline relationships and making it easier to do these things. For example, you could see that your friend is in the same city as you, so then you meet them for a coffee and a catch up.
So what would the disappearance of Facebook mean for all social media? Well it would leave the marketplace wide open. This could, however, be a disaster. Lots of social media competing to become the new king and causing the opposite effect. People wouldn’t have common ground, a platform where they know they can connect and interact all together in one place. Instead they will have to spend time and make an educated guess as to which platform a certain friend will be using, and where to post specific comments. You can’t just announce to everyone in the world “Right we are all now using Google+ so everyone get an account there”.
Like I said, I am the first to say that I love Facebook, and I use it daily. But I wouldn’t say I am obsessed. I use it to communicate, share and interact. I use it in a business sense to help other people get the most out of it and teach them how they can benefit from it.
So would the end of Facebook really be the end of the world? Probably not, but it would certainly shake many people’s lives up a considerable amount.