My Adventures on Facebook

I’ve been tweeting for several months now, but I just arrived five years late to the Facebook party. For the past few years, my teenage daughter discouraged me from setting up a profile. Last week, though, after reading a Newsweek magazine article on Facebook’s 5-year anniversary, I put my face on Facebook. Sadly, though, my daughter refuses to be one of my Facebook friends.

Part of the Newsweek article discussed whether Facebook will still be around in another five years. As a professor of mass media, I didn’t want Facebook to come and go without experiencing it myself. In my introducory mass media class, I often use CB radio in the ’70s as an example of a communications fad that disappeared quickly. I sometimes suggest to students that despite how popular Facebook is today, media history suggests it could still disappear as quickly as the 8-track tape. Many of them look at me like I’m an idiot.

Facebook GeezerThe simplicity of Twitter perhaps explains why media outlets are rapidly adopting it. Used wisely, Twitter strips away a lot of extraneous noise and can help users quickly sift through information and select what is important to them. Facebook, meanwhile, looks more like a multi-tooled Swiss army knife. It does OK on a little bit of everything, but it may not have the best tool for any single communication task.

Both Facebook and Twitter may be popular places for people to hang out, but what happens when old farts like me arrive at the party? Will all of the cool kids start hanging out someplace else?

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~ by dbozmedia on July 29, 2009.

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