Facebook’s slogan says it all – the social networking site is there solely to help you “connect with friends and the world around you.” But is this actually the case?
According to a study conducted by ReD Associates, the majority of social media users are still unfamiliar with the social uses of the site, and many don’t use Facebook to “connect” with their friends at all. The study found that 90 percent of users expect Facebook to “deepen and strengthen their friendships”. However, very few respondents claim that the site has met these expectations. More than half of those surveyed stated that Facebook is good for the basic management of relationships, comparing it to a “public phone book or search engine” rather than an actual social network.
With the gradual merging of social and professional realms, many believe Facebook – and all social media sites – are becoming less personal and more professional. Companies are hopping on the social media bandwagon daily – but at what expense? Are social networking sites becoming more of a venue for professional connections and less for social connections? Or will they continue to serve as a gray area – part friendship, part business? The trend thus far has been the blurring of professional and personal worlds-especially in social media. Our lives are a mishmash of these worlds, as more and more professions access new business from families and friends via these networks. There will always be a fine line to walk down between those worlds – and we will continue to take it a step at a time.