Predicting the demise of Facebook

Over 5 years ago I predicted that Facebook would be gone in 5 years.

It turns out that I was wrong.

At the time I had looked at Facebook and saw that the features and content were so juvenile that it couldn’t possibly survive in the long run.¬† Just looking at the name and the original intent was the foundation of my prediction and seeing the interactions 5+ years ago confirmed it for me that the collective “we” would grow out of Facebook.

I assumed people would stop the bickering¬†about celebrities and consumer brands. I assumed people would learn to distinguish between truth and fiction based on gaining knowledge on the internet through credible sources.¬† I assumed that a web site based on Facebook’s model could not sustain itself.

I did not predict that people would so enjoy sharing the most mundane parts of their lives with each other in real time.

I did not foresee that a person’s value would be assessed by their “likes” and “shares”.

I did not predict that trolls would rise to have so much power to manipulate and provoke.

I did not predict that the online advertising regime would grow so massively reckless that the content of the tabloids in the checkout aisle would grow to dominate the content of today and be the source of so much misinformation.

I predicted the demise of Facebook because I had hope that the internet would enable people to better themselves. and I saw no role for a web site like Facebook in that future. I hoped that people would use the internet to learn about culture, science, technology, philosophy, society and peace.

That social media has bloomed around many of the dark parts of society is truly a saddening reality.