In a recent search of Google fun facts, I found marketing statistics related to Facebook. I’m not as interested in marketing as I am about the social impact of the recent election. In a recent interview of a political science professor in Dallas, Texas, he talked about the many contentious elections dating back to the early 1800’s. He discussed the heated name-calling directed at not only the candidates, but their families as well. The big difference was Facebook wasn’t around to share it with the world.
I have often pondered when certain world events occur, how things shift on Facebook. When there is a tragedy, there is an outpouring of support. When there is a hot-button social issue to discuss, there is an outpouring of opinion. All of this support, lack of support, opinions and more aired out for all to see on Facebook.
My real question is, “From the day Cruz announced he was running for President to the day Clinton gave her concession speech, how many people have hit the ‘Unfollow’ and ‘Unfriend’ buttons on Facebook?” How many friendships have been ruined, and how many people have sworn off Facebook or other forms of social media? I didn’t find the exact numbers I was looking for, but I found some interesting information.
According to Zephoria Digital Marketing (https://zephoria.com/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/) worldwide, there are over 1.79 BILLION monthly active FB users. On average, the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ Buttons are viewed across almost 10 million websites daily. (Source: Facebook as of 10/2/2014).
The average number of Facebook friends a person has is approximately 300. (http://bigthink.com/praxis/do-you-have-too-many-facebook-friends.) Assuming you have 100 to 200 friends who have 100 to 200 friends, who have 100 to 200 friends (obvious 5% or more duplicates) your post is being seen by hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. That’s great if you are marketing, not so great if you are constantly posting rude and insensitive material. You will end up all alone on the World Wide Web, and that is really alone!
The problem with the “unfollow” or “unfriend” buttons are that rarely do people notice they are no longer being followed or friends with you. Why? Facebook gives people the confidence of three tall vodka tonics with the shield of a heavy black veil. People become more vocal and less inhibited. This takes me back to the social impact of not just the election, but social media itself. To every positive change of Facebook, there is a negative change. People become more vocal and less inhibited behind their fire walls. Which takes me back to being careful about your comments on social media.
I have always said (like many people) “I’m so glad Facebook was not around when I was a teenager!” Remember, there are BILLIONS of people on FB, and probably hundreds upon hundreds of people in your circles. It’s hard to make it all go away.