Leaving facebook?

A colleague over at Bright Beehive recently wrote about one of his friends leaving Facebook. Writing a departure note, and citing it as a ring fenced corner of the Internet, engulfing a group of users, some of whom may experience nothing more than Facebook.

I can relate to the idea that facebook is perhaps a ‘walled garden’ of sorts. I really hate that term – ‘walled garden’. I associate it with some past examination board approaches to providing secure access to their data or systems. It clearly says ‘this is ours, not yours – stay out’. Fair enough in this example, but Is that what Facebook is saying, or wanting to say? Maybe. Maybe not. Facebook has always been about getting everyone involved, and that’s when social media works best. If you’re ‘in’ Facebook, and so are all your friends, then great (you’re in the ‘walled garden’). I have friends who are not ‘in’, and it’s true that i don’t communicate with them so regularly as a result.

Also true, is that once you are ‘in’, you have become part of this massive tribe of users, all connected to Facebook through the multitude of methods by which you can now connect; apps, browsers, feeds and more. That’s okay though, isn’t it? Tribes form when people with shared values come together, and good things can happen. The Facebook tribe is massive, on a scale like nothing before seen in our digital age.

Facebook may be the one of the first global ‘tribes’, but it surely won’t be the last. Do you remember your parents resistance toward the mobile phone? I do. I remember my parents commenting about my first; ‘what do you want one of those for?’. No surprise though that both have become accustomed to mobiles, both carry one of their own, and regularly use short messaging features.

I’ve just claimed my Facebook mail address, and I’m absolutely sure that many students are doing the same. What’s going to happen when facebook mail becomes more widely established? It’s free to all, just like similar major services, and only a matter of time before it’s regarded as a standard feature. Sure, not every generation will adopt Facebook mail just as some choose not to use location based check-in services, and the still significant number who haven’t joined Facebook at all. Generation Y and later are likely to regard Facebook as the ‘norm’, along with check-ins and Facebook mail.