Adventures in Social Media with Ashley

Why I Outgrew Facebook

Before I start spewing out my opinions about Twitter, Digg,, Second Life, or any other recent variation of social media, let’s go back to the basics. Here is a short story of how my relationship with social media began and how it changed. While “Chapter 1” in your social media story may start with another network, my tale starts with an oldie, but goodie…FACEBOOK.


I first heard of Facebook when I was a junior in high school. Because Facebook was restricted to college students only, my friends and I were forced to steal or somehow obtain passwords from our older siblings. Sleepovers suddenly became Facebook stalking sessions, where we monitored the profiles of graduated boys and scrutinized the pictures of older girls to see if they had fallen prey to the freshman 15. But beyond gossip, we participated in other exercises of hilarity. A favorite prank was to change an older brother’s status from “single” to “in a relationship” and watch the mass arrival of “Who are you dating?!?” wall posts and “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!” secret messages.


When I was finally admitted to college and awarded an “.edu” email address, the real uses of Facebook became clearer. By posting my dorm and hall name on my profile, I was able to contact and start friendships with my new college roommates before I had even met them. Through Facebook Events and Groups, I received invitations and notifications about club meetings, study groups and, of course, parties. When I was wondering about friends from home, I could easily read their status updates or view their newly posted pictures. Likewise, I was able to upload my own pictures and notify interested viewers of my thriving college social life.

FACEBOOK CHAPTER 3: Creeps and Apps

Two alterations quickly turned Facebook both creepy and cluttered. As Facebook was opened to anyone smart enough to register for an email account, my message inbox became disturbingly full with “u r cute” friend requests from middle-aged men and other concerning characters. Another revision, the introduction of the “App,” made casual “facebooking” a game of wading through useless applications like “Food Fling” (the virtual food fight) and “Name Analyzer” (finds hidden meaning in the letters of your name). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good game of Scrabulous now and again, but with almost 30,000 Apps, Facebook has lost its fun.

So, why did I outgrow Facebook? Am I deterred by Facebook’s overwhelming growth or are my interests changing? How do I engage with social media so it fits my needs and feels less frivolous? Niche networks that connect people with similar interests and goals might be the answer. At any rate, join JustMeans (, shameless plug) to use social media in a meaningful and world-changing way.

More adventures to come.


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[…] Why I Outgrew Facebook – Adventures in Social Media with Ashley […]

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What do you think about the “News Feed” on facebook. It is a good way to keep up with friends without emailing all the time. Maybe you should “grow-back” into Facebook!


Comment by Kevin Long

Great post. One of things I wonder about is whether or not groups of people will outgrow Facebook. Perhaps at a certain stage in life the value that it provides becomes less? This starts to get a larger question of what value does Facebook provide people and whether people will care about that as they go through life. What do you think?


Comment by Marcus


Considering that all people are inherently social, I think the social networking that Facebook offers will be useful at any age. But, like you said, the amount of time and thought we can dedicate to social events, silly groups, pictures, etc. decreases over time. So, as we get older and think more about our careers, finances, society and the environment, Facebook must evolve too or people must turn to other networks. Because I am interested in my career and social and environmental responsibility JustMeans is a great network for me and fills Facebook’s gap.

Thanks for commenting!


Comment by adventuresinsocialmedia

I believe that this “app” business is just a phase, and that most people will get tired of the empty silliness. However, I’m sure there are some apps with redeeming value (i.e.: Scabulous).

Anyway, having a common site to maintain connections is extremely valuable. This is the underlying problem with the array of social sites out there. It’s interesting to note that some of them are starting to align (Linkedin and Facebook, for instance).

Comment by Carl

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