Friday, 1 February 2013

What if Facebook Falls from Grace? Waseem Saddique Ponders the Consequences of Facebook Disappearing

At a time when much of the world has become ‘dependent’ on social media, it’s difficult to imagine the world without social media. But what if the unthinkable happened? What if humanity were to revert back to a time when social media didn't exist?

Waseem Saddique asks: “What would happen, if overnight, social media platforms ceased to exist, would the world be able to function as previous generations have done? It’s a question one has to ask based on the theory that nothing lasts forever.”

Arguably the largest social media platform in the world at present is Facebook with one in nine people on the planet on Facebook (this number is calculated by dividing the planet’s 6.94 billion people by Facebook’s 1 billion ‘registered’ users, of which, around 750 million are deemed active).

Facebook represents users that have personal accounts and business accounts, covering a diverse range of topics, which has become a hub of information about people’s lives and the activities of businesses from around the world.

Just to emphasise the grip that Facebook has on the world’s social interaction, here are some interesting facts:

  • People spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • Each Facebook user spends, on average, 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site
  • More than 250 million people access Facebook through their mobile devices
  • More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
  • 300,000 users helped translate Facebook into 70 languages
  • People on Facebook install 20 million “Apps” every day

Waseem Saddique comments: “Imagine the impact on the world should Facebook disappear. The consequences could be catastrophic. Anyone who has access to the internet will more than likely have an account on Facebook. It has also become a vital tool for businesses in order to market themselves on a global scale.”

Looking at it pragmatically, the fall of Facebook could potentially cause mayhem, with businesses hit hard, losing a host of potential marketing targets and a significant presence on the internet on a global scale.

Also, the prospect of Facebook falling from grace would also affect people personally. The majority of the world has become reliant on social connection through Facebook and any potential demise would result in that connection being lost.

Waseem Saddique states: “Furthermore, consider the security factors should Facebook suffer a fatal crash in its systems. The vast amount of data and personal details that Facebook holds could potentially become exposed to ‘undesirables’ leading to a wide scale fraud problem.” 

In concluding, does society’s dependence on social media sites, such as Facebook, leave humanity and the world’s economy vulnerable? Or, would the world adapt to life without social media sites?

Waseem Saddique states: “Past evidence only shows evolution in such circumstances. When social media started it began with things like MSN chat and Friends Reunited, rather than the world capitulating once they became less popular, the world simply replaced them.”

Waseem added: “But such is the influence of Facebook compared with previous social media that if it ever did disappear, would it be replaced and would the world recover? Only time will tell.”