Adventures in Social Media with Ashley


Why I Outgrew Facebook

Before I start spewing out my opinions about Twitter, Digg, del.icio.us, 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.

FACEBOOK CHAPTER 1: Deviance

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.

FACEBOOK CHAPTER 2: CyberCollege

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 (www.justmeans.com, shameless plug) to use social media in a meaningful and world-changing way.

More adventures to come.

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Welcome and About Me!

Welcome to Adventures in Social Media with Ashley! I am Ashley and I am an associate with JustMeans. I am working in the New York office and focus on customer service and social media marketing. I help companies and organizations leverage the power of social media and engage their stakeholders. I also reach out to the blog and social media community to involve more people in the ideas, actions and networks that will change the world.

Because I am new to the world of social media, I am going to use this blog to share my learning experiences, challenges and tips. I hope this blog will help individuals, companies and organizations better use social media to reach their goals in social entrepreneurship, green technology, microfinance or whatever it may be!

If you haven’t already, become a member of JustMeans for free at www.justmeans.com!