23 July 2010
1 in 14 on FB
Is it true, is it really true that one of 14 people in the world is registered and is using Facebook? That would include all the poor people who don't even have electricity, those in Haiti, who lost so much, those in old folks' homes who are happy when someone brings either a book or a face to them, and everyone in between. Is it really true, 1 in 14?
So reported RTE Travel yesterday (http://www.rte.ie/business/2010/0722/facebook.html) that Facebook has now registered 500 million users, which would mean 1 in 14.
'The number of people using Facebook has hit the 500 million mark, meaning one in every 14 people on the planet has now signed up to the online social-networking service. As of this morning, 500 million people all around the world are actively using Facebook to stay connected with their friends and the people around them,' founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post. To celebrate, the California firm introduced an application that lets members of the online community 'tell the incredible stories of the moving and interesting ways they've used Facebook'.
Of course, some may have multiple accounts, like we do. JewsforJesus AustralAsia and Bob Mendelsohn are both me. OK< so maybe there will be some like me, but still one in 20 is an awesome number to imagine. 5% to 7% of the world looking at the same silly photos and updates and conversations and YouTube data,... all uploaded to Facebook in nanoseconds of one another.
Community. Isn't that what this 'social utility' is? The RTE site said, "Examples given by Zuckerberg included NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen jogging with Facebook fans during his term as Danish prime minister and a US woman using the service to battle breast cancer."
People are looking for social networking. They are looking for a social utility. Honestly, they are looking for relationships. I heard a woman on TV yesterday who said that although all her friends are on FB, she is not. It sounded like she had an active life, an active social life, and as such, I admire and applaud her. She doesn't need a virtual life when she has a real one.
Maybe that's why so many are joining. They don't have a real life. (Please, don't misread me, if you are on FB, I'm not saying you have no real life. Otherwise I twice condemn myself) But people are longing for community. They want connection. We want to be known and loved and get updates from people who show pictures of people we know or knew. Especially people we knew 'back in the day' when we knew them last. When we experienced community with them. When we were in school together or in the army or in the first job or... when life was real, not virtual.
Jeremy Brent and Alison Gilchrist studied for their Ph D at Bristol at the same time. She writes about Jeremy's latest book, Searching for community: representation, power and action on an urban estate, based on his Ph. D. dissertation, "He is critical of romantic, homogeneous notions of community, and talks knowledgeably about the complex dynamics of community politics and passions. Like me, he is interested in the networks of relationships that form the ecology of local life and at one point he writes: “the more connections, the more exciting the territory” (p145). Even at its most challenging, Jeremy clearly relished his long-term ‘inside-outsider’ role, illustrating this through a bricolage of anecdote and diary notes, that describe critical episodes and accounts of his work to support different community initiatives.
The book is based on his PhD thesis and as such can be heavy-going in places, ...and his commitment to the young people and the people of Southmead is clear throughout. His untimely death in 2006 has been a loss to us all."
So some sociologists agree that community is what we want. What life do you want? Will it be virtual or real? Will it be a connection electronically to those with whom you continue to share good life, or will it be a wishful dream, vanishing as quickly as yesterday's updates? Or maybe you don't even have time for this blog, as you are full in adventure, full in society where you live. If so, goodonya, matey. Enjoy the day. There are 13 out of 14 who are not on Facebook, 93% of the world. So maybe we 7%ers are way off base.
Either way, in real or virtual life, enjoy the day. Enjoy the Lord of All Days, Lord of Eternity, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He sent His only Son to the world so we could have eternal life, abundant, rich, electronic and real.