Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

5/16/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beloved today, Facebook may prove infamous tomorrow.

What will the future history of Facebook be? The legendary social networking site is inching its way to one billion worldwide users. In America, the website is becoming as ubiquitous as the internet itself, and soon the company will generate billions with its initial public offering (IPO). Despite this, it would be foolish to assume that Facebook is forever. What might its legacy be in a hundred years?

Free and always will be... sort of.

Free and always will be... sort of.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/16/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Facebook, internet, mobile, Google+, future, history, Marshall Connolly, marketing, tulip mania


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The legacy of Facebook may be darker than many would first suspect. While Facebook upsets users from time to time, mostly with cosmetic and functional interface changes, the users keep coming back, unwilling to leave their social networks. And those social networks are large, often numbering in the hundreds and including family, friends, coworkers, old flames and sweethearts. Added to that number are all the products and services that people "like" creating a virtual dossier of information on the user. 

And that's the catch.

You see, Facebook's users are more than users, they're the company's product. Each profile contains dozens of bits of information defining each user as a consumer with particular likes and interests. Based on this, Facebook sells user profiles to advertisers who pay premium fees to place their ads before their most likely customers. Even status updates are quietly gleaned for information. 

Want to test it out? Put a couple of status updates about dogs in your newsfeed. Then watch dogs appearing in the ads on the side of your pages and in other activity. 

And while Facebook has always been "free" to use, (and always will be according to the website's tag line on the login page) it's not free at all. After all, the only thing that's ever free is the cheese in the mouse trap. 

What is Facebook costing users? Their privacy. 

Most users are aware, at least on some level, that Facebook costs something in terms of privacy. Naturally, friends and neighbors can potentially view anything posted on the site. And Facebook has a privacy policy where they explain how user data is aggregated and shared with others.

However, it is this aggregation and sharing, coupled with mass adoption, that will make Facebook the stuff of infamy in years to come. 

Someday, when Facebook has evolved past all recognition (or gone extinct), historians will look back on the service as the icon that finally eliminated the last vestiges of consumer privacy.

Facebook certainly isn't the first to profile users and aggregate data for profit. However, they are by far the largest in history. Additionally, an entire generation of consumers is now painfully aware that in the world of business, your profile is a coveted commodity. 

New polls taken ahead of Facebook's imminent IPO show that the public does not trust Facebook and they feel the social networking giant is overvalued and overrated. The cynicism runs deep and grows with age. An Associated Press - CNBC poll found that while 59 percent of adults under 35 think the IPO is a good buy, only 39 percent of senior citizens feel the same. 

Also, 46 percent of those same participants feel Facebook is a passing fad. 

This naturally flies in the face of the very real statistic that Facebook now accounts for more than 14 percent of all internet use, according to comScore.

Still the naysayers have history on their side. Geocities, Friendster, MySpace, have all gone the way of the dodo after quick rises to the top. Today, Facebook faces challenges from Google+ and Pintrest, among others. Also, the great marketplace of ideas - the web itself, is changing. The internet is now giving way to mobile and websites are feeling the pinch. Mobile applications, not websites are all the rage today. Facebook evolved as a website and was a relative latecomer to mobile. And last week, Google+ unveiled a new look that's very visual in its appeal and designed to offer users an experience much different from the vaunted Facebook. 

In any case, Facebook has all the hallmarks of a fad, and the public is fickle. Just like tulip mania in  Holland (1636-1637), a new wave of "Facebook mania" may wash over Wall Street. However, in its wake may be a jaded public, disaffected investors, and the cold judgment of history. Investors may find Facebook lovable, but something tells me that history will have a different view.

-----

Marshall Connolly is a contributor to Catholic Online with a degree in history and a background in marketing and business. 

 

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Technology

A NEW EARTH? Astronomers discover remarkably similar planet to our own Watch

Image of The Goldilocks zone, or habitable zone, is the belt around a star where temperatures are ideal for liquid water to pool on a planet's surface.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Astronomers have announced that they have found a planet that is remarkably similar to Earth. Called Kepler-186f, the planet 1.1 times the size of Earth orbiting a star - "only" 490 light years away. Kepler-186f is the first planet discovered with the right ... continue reading


EYES TO THE HEAVENS: Astronomers say there may be a 'new Saturn moon' Watch

Image of The disturbance in the edge of the ring is 20 percent brighter than its surroundings and about 750 miles long and six miles wide.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All eyes are on the heavens as astronomers theorize that another moon for the ringed planet of Saturn may be on its way. If the heavenly body in the rings of Saturn is confirmed, it would make for the planet's 63rd moon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


IS THE SECOND COMING NIGH? Four blood moons this year all occur on Jewish holidays Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As climate change wreaks havoc worldwide, and relations between the U.S. and Russia reach a low point over Ukraine, some Christians say that the phenomenon of the "Blood moon" may mean that Christ's return is rapidly approaching. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Will Alibaba devour Facebook? China's massive Alibaba is coming to conquer the United States Watch

Image of Yahoo's dominance has since dwindled as Alibaba has since grown into a global powerhouse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ali Baba for those in the west usually means the storybook leader of a gang of fearless, 40 thieves. But this will soon change. A massive e-commerce site from China, Alibaba, with revenue larger than Amazon and eBay combined has decided to go public in the ... continue reading


Drone images reveal more about mysterious buried village in New Mexico Watch

Image of Drone images have captured fascinating new details about a buried Native American village in New Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drone images have captured fascinating new details about a buried Native American village in New Mexico. Thermal images captured by the small drone allowed archaeologists to peer under the surface of the desert floor, revealing never-before-seen structures. LOS ... continue reading


New 'Star Wars' gun fires shells seven times the speed of sound through concrete -- 100 miles away Watch

Image of The rail gun will be mounted on high-speed vessel the USNS Millinocket for sea trials in 2016.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A futuristic lethal new weapon capable of firing a shell at seven times the speed of sound has since been successfully tested on land. Conjuring up images of iconic sci-fi villains as Darth Vader, researchers have called the new rail gun as being of 'Star Wars' ... continue reading


KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK? Internet search engines exhibiting double standards Watch

Image of An old cliche -- that bears repeating --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Certain cliché sayings come to mind: The kettle calling the pot black, having one's cake and eating it too . Google, along with Facebook and Yahoo have come down hard on the Obama administration for information gathering - but NOW don't want their ... continue reading


Scientists discover massive asteroid hit Earth so hard that oceans evaporated Watch

Image of Earth was struck several times by massive asteroids billions of years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists from Stanford University say they have found evidence of another cataclysmic cosmic collision between Earth and another asteroid billions of years ago. This asteroid, they say, was so large it punched a hole in the Earth's crust and caused earthquakes around ... continue reading


Why is NASA rejecting definitive proof of life on Mars? Watch

Image of Curiosity recently captures this image that shows light on the ground on Mars. NASA thinks it's just a glint off rock or some other similar anomaly.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Curiosity rover has photographed what appears to be light emanating from the ground on Mars. UFO and alien life enthusiasts as well as conspiracy theorists have all claimed the light is evidence of life on the Red Planet. NASA however, is not so sure. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


HANG ON TOTO! Astronomers calculate the speed of the Universe's expansion Watch

Image of Hang on! The universe is expanding at 1 percent per 44 million years, which is fast if you consider the size of the universe is at least 46 billion years in radius!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hold on to your hat, Toto, we're about to leave Kansas. Astronomers say they have calculated the expansion rate of the universe and their discovery is very surprising. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers have long been interested in measuring the expansion ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 1:1--2:2
1 In the beginning God created heaven and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
5 My birthright, my cup is Yahweh; you, you alone, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:1-10
1 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first ... Read More

Reading 2, Genesis 22:1-18
1 It happened some time later that God put Abraham to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2014 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter