Change is inevitable. I’m certainly not breaking the news here.
And yet it seems as if we would be able to find multiple ways to avoid seeing how and that change happens. While thinking about the ways Facebook shapes change I was concentrating on how users make change happen.
In that context, I was reading an article sharing a review of the past year Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg experienced. One of the details that stunned me in that article was the idea that news reports focused on the dramas Mark Zuckerberg experienced along the year. The focus thus having been on the change he had to go through. Facebook has been subject to questions about its way to deal with user data and how ethical these practices are. There while only little attention has been paid to Facebook users themselves. With user data being accessible for many of the Facebook partners, the way this was experienced by Facebook users seems to be so intangible that it was hardly discussed. The change Facebook users have been going through remained undiscussed. It’s a way to stay away from learning about this change.
Focusing our attention on individuals, i.e. leaders of social media companies, instead of observing groups is a way to avoid seeing change happening.
Paying attention to group behaviors over time is a way to uncover change. And Facebook has become a platform allowing to observe change. The steady flow of individual posts shows the stream and Facebook invites these streams to happen. A few years ago we were wishing Facebook friends a happy birthday, today these same birthdays have become an occasion to show how much we care to help others. Birthdays have become occasions to invite others to gift money for the causes selected.
I’m not discussing if the causes are worthwhile or if the intent is right. I’m noticing that Facebook created a new way to seek status and that it has become a movement.