Where does Facebook fit in social media?

23 01 2009

Facebook may be a very successful social media website, but is it being used to its fullest potential? And is it even being used for its original purpose?

I am a recent college graduate who knows just about everything you could want to know about Facebook plus some. Facebook was started by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, the year I left home to go to College. This was great, I was able to stay in touch with all my friends from back home! I remember the excitement as new universities joined the network, it meant we could connect with more friends. 

For most young adults, Facebook is a way of life. Facebook has done a great job connecting young adults with past friends, new friends, school friends, friend’s of friends – or in other words everyone. It has become a great network for young adults to share photos, plan gatherings, talk online, sell items, join groups, or share anything else about one’s life that he or she so desires. 

Now I am not going to complain about Facebook, because as I write I have another browser open to my Facebook page. However, now that I am out of college and I am exploring the social media world, I have realized how much Facebook is lacking. There is no professionalism on Facebook at all, though I find it humorous when older generations join thinking it is a good networking site. Facebook is all about fun, there are inappropriate pictures of many members, there is foul language written on many people’s walls, status’ usually relate to being hung over or being sexiled – none of which a business professional wants to see from their employees or future employees. Most other business social media websites I have been investigating seem to be more focused on the work world, helping individuals grow, or helping businesses strive (except for myspace, but we will not go there).

I have realized that Facebook lacks career links, forums, serious conversations, question asking, and most importantly expert’s advice. There is no comparing of Facebook to websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and BrazenCareerist as it seems as though the creators had  different visions, or at least the websites have taken different paths. (Facebook was started solely for Harvard students and then quickly expanded. I think it would be fair to assume that originally Mark had a more professional path envisioned for facebook and its Harvard students)

As a recent college graduate that is now entering the work world, I feel as though I have a good understanding of  all different social media websites. I believe that these websites fit into two different categories: business and fun. Though they are all social media networking websites, Twitter, LinkedIn, and BrazenCareerist and other business networking sites are all very professional, more formal, and very informative. On the other hand, Facebook is entertaining ( I am still not sure how we entertain ourselves on it for hours, but we do!) and social. There is no real connection to Facebook and the business world except for keeping in connection with old contacts. Facebook had the potential to be a great business networking site for college students entering into the business world, but instead it has taken a turn and has become a jungle gym for high school and college students to play around and waste time on.

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One response

25 01 2009
Ryan Paugh

I was talking to Penelope the other day about this. I don’t think Facebook is meant for building new relatioships, but meant for sustaining the relationships you already have …

Last winter I did a speech for a professional network in the Midwest whose members were predominantly in the 40+ age range. They kept asking me what they use Facebook for. “Nothing” I said, “Unless you want to spy on your kids …”

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