After taking some time away from Facebook a couple months ago (and coming back), I realized some interesting trends from Facebook users. Basically, email is nonexistent for personal use, birthdays don’t exist outside of Facebook, and no one comments on other websites outside of Facebook. Do these trends demonstrate the new norm in today’s society, or perhaps the new norm among Facebook users that are on my Friends list? Honestly, I’m not sure. This is why I’m posting my observations to hear what you have to say.
- EMAIL: What’s email? Many people live and breath from posting and commenting on Facebook, YouTube, and/or Twitter. They will notify family and friends of all their big events on Facebook. These are all great, but many people stopped emailing someone too. Somewhere in the last few years, it was decided that life was a soundbite and needed to be typed accordingly on Twitter and Facebook. I think that if you post that your family is expecting a child, gave birth, or you are going to be married, Facebook is a great follow up to your mass email. Seriously folks, start sending mass emails to everyone on your email list. Provide the details that will arrive in your friend’s and family’s Inbox so we can be sure to read it at our leisure. Facebook is only as good as someone actually checks his/her account…and if it’s not everyday, then your big announcement is lost in the weeds. I’m still a big email user. I’ve even gone through every one of my Facebook Friends and added their name and email address to my GMail account Contact List. When someone contacts me through the Facebook message system, I reply with a response to their email account, not their Facebook account. Also, using GMail, Outlook or another email service is so much better than anything Facebook has to offer in terms of an email system.
- BIRTHDAYS: If you aren’t on Facebook, don’t expect much. I deliberately was not on Facebook this past August when my birthday came (I deleted my Facebook account for most of August). Let’s just say if you weren’t family, you weren’t throwing any birthday shoutouts my way because Facebook didn’t remind you. How did the other years look on my Facebook profile front page? A ton of birthday wishes just like you received. There are a couple points to think about here. Yes, I may have no friends, but I know better. It could be that no one actually documents/writes down people’s birthdays anymore and relies solely on Facebook. I actually have a ton of birthdays posted on our family Google calendar. Laura and I are emailed a notification of an upcoming birthday in advance in case we choose to send a greeting to the birthday boy/girl. Once a week, I also receive an email from Facebook saying which of my friends have a birthday coming up so that I can choose to email a birthday greeting.
- COMMENTS: You like to comment on Facebook a lot. No. Seriously. A LOT. But how are you on other family and friend blogs/websites? I subscribe to a Blogs of my Facebook Friends and try to make it a point to provide a comment on their blog every so often. I think it’s good to provide direct feedback on the original source of information (not on Facebook where posts are just reposted). I know that our website (www.brettandlaura.com) receives 25 to 50 visits a day with a majority coming from Facebook users. How do I know? Google Analytics told me so and a lot more about our website visitors. Anyways, for all of those Facebook users visiting our website, only two per month will provide a comment. I don’t understand this one, but I’m still working on it.
Those are a few observations I’ve had with Facebook users. I continue to use Facebook but have a different use than most of users as I use it strictly as a RSS Feed for our website. Many though still live on it daily, hourly, or more. Can you separate yourself from it and still communicate with friends and family via email or phone calls? Do you venture out of the Facebook world and read other websites to provide comments? Do you have a calendar with birthdays on it?
I think this could be an interesting research study about how we do interact today and what would happen if Facebook was gone. What do we do? What’s the next big thing?
Do any of these observations resonate with you?