Facebook: The Hub That’s Always Open

Inspired by the article “Facebook is Scared of the Internet.”

It’s impossible to think that Facebook could one day disappear into irrelevancy like former giants Bebo and MySpace.

But remember that we’re living in the most rapidly changing communications and participation environments ever. We’re all connected and want to be graded on our shares as a representation of social value. And we all get bored of the old and want to use NEW stuff, especially technology.

Facebook’s Instagram acquisition again reminded me at how precious the social arena is. Many of my closest family and friends are losing interest in Facebook’s not just because of its monopolistic growth but by the fact that it just feels like a hub.

A hub is where everything plugs in. Facebook is incredibly useful and important to facilitating and saving conversation but the real action is happening around it.

Being at the center is exactly why Facebook feels kind of dull and colorless. When’s the last time you actually went into Facebook and uploaded a photo directly? When’s the last time you shared something on your wall that didn’t already get shared through frictionless sharing? You certainly don’t check in on Facebook. You can live outside Facebook and never feel the need to go in.

Naturally, all the content we create around Facebook but share into Facebook gets liked or commented on which brings you back to Facebook to check it. Or you can turn the push notifications off and ignore it completely.

The everyday use of Facebook is unnecessary. The mere fact that you know it’s always there like a backup hard drive and a communication stream for reaching out to old friends makes it indispensable and satisfactory enough, whenever you want to go back in.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.