Did you hear?? 54 million high school juniors deactivated their Facebook accounts yesterday alone!*
Aaaand, a college professor recently compared Facebook to communism, noting that both are losing followers and presently getting their butt whooped by capitalism!**
Also Mark Zuckerberg now only post updates to Google Plus!***
* Not true
** Definitely not true
*** Clearly not true. Nobody posts updates to Google Plus.
Factual or farcical, every day seems to bring new numbers and opinions indicating Facebook is on the outs -- evidence and proclamations of a collective "Facebook Fatigue" setting in across the planet. The latest is a report -- published in The Wall Street Journal under the headline "Days of Wild User Growth Appear Over at Facebook" -- which finds the site's user growth rate is at its lowest level since 2008 (possibly because one in seven people on Earth are already on Facebook).
A Google search for "Facebook Fatigue" returns 55,600,000 results. A search for "puppies are cute" returns 50,900,000. More people are talking about their Facebook exhaustion than the fact that puppies are cute!
Friends (and Facebook friends), we have hit a crisis point. I'm pretty sure I'm now suffering from Facebook Fatigue fatigue and hunch you may be as well. So tell you what: Let's all help each other out here.
There are plenty of smart, interesting takes on this whole Facebook thing out there, so we've gathered up some of our favorites for you. Below you'll find a sort of Cliff Notes on the whole topic, designed to inform, humor and eliminate the need for you to read much more on the subject in the weeks and months ahead. Glad we got that all straightened out. Here we go:
Steven Johnson, Philly.com "The technology industry is notorious for booms and busts. Can you remember the last time you fired up a Netscape browser, visited a GeoCities website, or invited a friend to join AOL Instant Messenger? I’m convinced that Facebook is as doomed to fail as those ventures."
Shelly Fralic, Vancouver Sun "Only a handful of my FB mates post on a daily basis, because the truth is that most of us have become drive-by friends, dropping in for the occasional visit but not staying long enough for tea and conversation. It’s great fun reading what those few diehards are up to, about their vacations, their children, their weekends, their lunch, but the FB thrill is fading."
Bill Keller, The New York Times "My inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity."
Michael Deacon, The Telegraph "People hardly have anything to say on it -- compared with Twitter, which incessantly breaks and circulates news, and inspires instant discussion of (and bad puns about) that news between friend and stranger alike. On Facebook, meanwhile, you’re stuck with just your friends. Friends who, increasingly often, don’t seem to be there. Facebook is beginning to feel like the world’s loneliest party."
The Daily Mash (satire) "Forgotten social network Myspace is to stage a comeback by using the version of Facebook that everyone thought was absolutely fine. Executives spotted a gap in the market after Facebook redesigned itself in a way that makes it virtually unusable."
James Velasquez, Policymic.com "We keep coming back because it seems to offer everything in one convenient place. Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, the Wal-Mart of social media. It forces us to condense things into digestible little pieces, but it also encourages us to share almost everything that we do. Human beings don’t live that way, and, in the long term, I’m not convinced that they’ll choose to."
Shelly Fralic, Vancouver Sun "While FB was busy being the world’s biggest virtual coffee klatch, its cachet was also fading in direct proportion to its familiarity. Somewhere out there in the wired weeds, a new hoodied techno-guru is about to create the next big thing."
Steven Johnson, Philly.com "Listen closely and you can hear the death knell: Facebook is no longer cool; the once-clean interface is cluttered; and better applications are taking off even faster than Facebook did. It seems as if each new feature -- most recently, timelines and frictionless sharing -- renews privacy concerns. With declining benefits and increasing risks, users are more likely to leave. This is a deadly result for a company in a mature market."
Michael Deacon, The Telegraph "I hope that after buying their shares in Facebook they’ve got some money left over, because I’m hoping they’ll also buy shares in the brilliant new company I’m about to float. It’s a unicorn sanctuary run by Santa."
"I used to check Facebook all the time. Now I barely look at it. Here’s a tip: 10 years from now, Greece will buy Facebook. It’ll cost 50 drachmas and a bottle of Ouzo."