A friend of mine makes a very convincing case for why we may look back on the whole Facebook phenom as something on the order of the early 21st century’s Members Only jacket. At this moment, we are all caught up in the novelty—the constant status updates, the endless movie, music and cultural trivia quizzes, even the emerging etiquette debates around friending that drive daily life around Facebook. But one thing most adults agree upon is that it is a massive time suck.
And that ultimately, may be what causes this white hot trend to cool somewhat: at a certain point, the benefits of all this new light connectedness may no longer outweigh the investment it requires. Or more probably, in a world with seemingly infinite opportunities for distraction, this particular one may lose it’s novelty. My friend makes a reasonable point.
But one need Facebook seems uniquely suited to fulfill became extremely obvious yesterday. The number of continual updates and comments surrounding the Inauguration was stunning. Dozens of people around our agency left their pages up all morning, commenting and building and sharing on each new thought someone posted regarding this historical event. People wanted to participate and Facebook provided an outlet for all that emotion, all that desire, all those hopes and dreams and wishes.
So even if Facebook does prove to be the Members Only jacket of the current moment, a number of us will probably drag it out again sometime down the road…like when we walk on Mars. Or learn that someone we don’t really know did something that stirs our better selves and highest hopes for our species; you know, like landing an Airbus on the Hudson.