Opinion and Editorial

Facebook: The Start

In today’s social media world, it’s hard to keep up with all of the new networking web-sites.  Even the ones we use on a daily basis contain features many may not even know about.  We will be covering one social media site a day this week starting today with Facebook.  Check out the site every day as we pick apart Twitter, Tumblr and Google+.

Mark Zuckerberg, former Harvard student, is co-creator of social media site Facebook, which launched in February 2004. Zuckerberg, CEO and president of Facebook has changed the technological lives as we know it. With over 800 million users, Facebook dominates social media. It is not only a website we visit, but a way of life.

While at Harvard, Zuckerberg started “Facemash,” a website which allowed students to compare pictures of their peers and vote for who was “hotter.” The site was created for the pure enjoyment of Zuckerberg. However, he didn’t expect it to become so popular with students that it eventually crashed the University’s Server and the school shut it down. Zuckerberg refused to be tied down by the rules Harvard enforced, and decided to move to Palo Alto, Calif. to rent a house out to serve as their “office.” At first, Facebook was created exclusively for Harvard students, but it eventually branched out to other universities such as Stanford, Dartmouth, Columbia, NYU, Cornell, Penn, Brown and Yale.  Facebook then expanded to all students who attended universities all over the country with an official college email. Then, on Sept. 26, 2006, Facebook was open to everyone age 13 and older with a valid email address.

Since then, Facebook has grown by epic proportions.  The Digital Buzz Blog released its annual statistics on Facebook usage.  “With over 500 million users, Facebook is now used by one in every 13 people on earth, with over 250 million of them (over 50 percent) who log in every day. 48 percent of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, with 28 percent doing so before even getting out of bed.” Facebook has been integrated into our daily lives and we don’t even realize it. When people say, “Did you see what he/she wrote on my wall?” or “did you see that status so-and-so put up,” people know exactly what you’re saying. The term “wall” and “status” have been specially linked to Facebook. Our daily lives are being lived through Facebook while we update every event going on. The Digital Buzz Blog also released in the span of 20 minutes 1,851,000 statuses were updated. Users spend up to an average of six hours on Facebook every day. 57 percent of people today talk more online than they do in person. Today the kids growing up with Facebook are lacking good communication skills. Hiding behind a computer screen is causing less face-to-face interaction. Nowadays kids are more inclined to perform tasks like breaking up with their boyfriends/girlfriends by a text or through Facebook because it’s easier than doing it in person. Communication skills are declining due to how we live our lives through Facebook and not actually communicating in person.

In 2010, Zuckerberg was named Time magazine’s Person of the year. As of 2011, his personal wealth was estimated to be $17.5 billion.” Zuckerberg has changed the way most live their day-to-day lives. We incorporate Facebook in everything we do with sharing photos of events, “checking in” at locations we visit, updating our status, and staying in touch with our friends.  Not matter how integrated you are in Facebook, social media is growing and Facebook will continue to be apart of our lives for a long time.