Facebook is Dead!

 the culmination of a term long cross-curricular arts project at Thomas Tallis School.
Seven-year-olds display their identity

I just read Skype is Dead, and the first thing that came to mind was Facebook (FB).

When I thought about that past events that lead up to the death of FB, I immediately looked around to see if I was the only one with this opinion. Sure enough, there are others who are at least considering the notion: Facebook is dead, Facebook is dead, Is Facebook dead? I also realize that you don’t have to look far to find those who still think FB is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Regardless, here’s but one more opinion to consider.

I find myself asking, “Why I am?” Besides looking for an excuse to link to a cool song, I ask the question to make a point: we all have purpose. We demonstrate purpose through our identity; the different roles we play depend on a particular situation (e.g., mother, son, wife, professor, friend, etc.).  FB creates a space for us to be a friend, family member, professor, etc., but what FB does not do well is to provide a space for our entire self.

Most of the FB pages that I’ve seen have been based on some topic of interest, say a course, business, etc. that are separated into different pages. If conversations are not spread out over different pages, they occur within profiles where only friends can see what is being posted. In my FB page, I have friends, family, colleagues, and students who all have access to what I post. But when I’m a friend, father, son, husband, colleague, teacher, etc., I take on a different role, and as a result, what I end up doing when I’m in FB is limiting myself, or posting to FB information that I won’t mind everyone seeing.  For instance, there are comments that I won’t share with a close friend if I know that in doing so could cause a problem with a student, family member, or colleague. In other words, I’m not being myself.

I feel I grow (i.e., learn) through relationships that contribute to my overall identity.  I can’t build relationships by having the same conversation from a sample of everyone I know. As if I were to gather everyone I know (i.e., friends, colleagues, students, family members, and acquaintances) into a conference room and attempt to talk about one particular topic…can you imagine? Most would be running for the door, never to return! FB is like trying to build relationships by having the same conversation with virtually everyone you are connected with.

What are your thoughts? Is FB dead?

Benjamin Stewart holds a master’s degree in education, curriculum and instruction: technology and is pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership. He is an EFL teacher educator and researcher and is interested in how PLNs impact teaching practices and belief systems. Benjamin is founder of EduQuiki where he contributes to open educational resources, open courseware, and open research. His work in Edukwest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

  • ChinaMike

    Stop already with the —- is dead headlines!

    Skype and Facebook are far from dead, in fact both are growing and thriving. At the very least, do us a favor and before you claim that these organizations are dead (note the present tense Be verb!) start by at least claiming that they are on the verge of shrinking.

    And by the way, eveything dies so while your prediction is definitely accurately, it is hardly timely.

    • In tech blog terminology “is dead” means exactly that. A service reached its peak and is going to level out or decline, like a dying star.

      The interesting part is that headlines like this produce far more visits (for Skype is dead about 10x) and comments.

      And then there is the question from which perspective you are looking at the tech scene. I won’t call myself a hipster but I have been using Skype and Facebook and all the other stuff from very early on. Sometimes I was amongst the first 20k or 50k users / early adopters, otherwise I won’t be doing my job, right? 🙂

      • ChinaMike

        OK I’ll give you the kick that you get with catchy titles. And you do come up with some good ones! But in the wake of a catchy title I look for the statistics that give weight to the statement.

        And from my perspective you are a bona-fide early adopter and I am happy for it. I just want to see the figures when you pronounce the death of a good friend. 🙂

  • I think the problem always lies in the source code / the initial concept of the service. FB started as a closed network of friends on one single campus. This principle is still in the DNA of FB yet we are using it in a totally different way today.

    It started with with friends from outside of the campus, then mom, dad, uncle, aunt and even grandma signed up. And don’t forget the brands that now act like real people and want to be your friend.

    The system is not built for this, yet it somehow works – with the restrictions you mention above. The question is if society adapts to the platform or if society will invent a new way of interaction and sharing. G+ circles might be an option but we have to wait and see if there is real adoption by the public or if it is just a playing ground for tech pundits.

    • ChinaMike

      I disliked FB from the get go. I am a FB hater. I can’t even take my FB site down that I created like 5 years ago. But, just because it doesn’t meet all my requirements I can’t see declaring that it is dead.

      Unless of course, hmm, maybe I could write an article entitled, “LiveMocha is dead”. 🙂

  • Sylvia Guinan

    I use facebook mainly for my online presence. My ‘friends’ are all English language learners or teachers, and my activities revolve around networking with colleagues and running a couple of language groups.

    Friends and family are almost strictly on skype. If you check my profile you won’t see my family there. sometimes I message my family privately but facebook is my teaching home, place to share and connect.

    Facebook is whatever we want it to be. We can’t be all things to all people there, so we must ask ourselves what our purpose is to allay fears of identity crisis or time-wasting.

  • Allen Smith

    Looks likechinamike is PMSing about the death of facebook. Get a grip man.