Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

5/16/2012 (2 years 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.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/16/2012 (2 years 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: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Technology

Lockheed Martin may have just won the alternative energy war Watch

Image of Lockheed Martin may start producing working Nuclear Fusion reactors by the end of the decade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lockheed Martin has announced a new breakthrough which may allow for the development of feasible nuclear fusion, which could help solve a potential energy crisis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Maryland-based firm had revealed that the first fusion ... continue reading


Look out Mars! A future colony is expected to head out to the Red Planet in 2024 Watch

Image of A Dutch-based nonprofit organization, Mars One, intends to send a group of colonists to the Red Planet by 2024.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study about the potential of sending humans to live on Mars for an extended amount of time has shown that there are still some major roadblocks; specifically, humans would likely begin to die within 68 days of arriving on the Red Planet. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


It's the rise of the machines! Robots will take a third of all jobs in less than 15 years Watch

Image of Peter Sondergaard, the research director for Gartner, says that businesses will be more reliant on software and robots in the future.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gartner, an information and technology research and advisory firm, predicts that robots, drones, and software programs will replace a third of all workers by 2025. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "One day, a drone may be your eyes and ears," said Peter ... continue reading


Meet Google's secret weapon in the global cyber war Watch

Image of Parisa Tabriz is Google's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meet Google's "Security Princess", the company's top secret weapon whom is charged with safeguarding one of the world's largest tech giants. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her name is Parisa Tabriz, a professional hacker whom is paid to attack her own company to ... continue reading


Move over Clovis! Oregon may have been home to earliest humans in America Watch

Image of Archeologists digging in Oregon's Paisley cave complex.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Paisley Five Mile Point Caves, a network of caves in Oregon, may be the oldest site of human habitation in North America. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The find suggests that humans first reached the Americas at the end of the last Ice Age, a thousand years ... continue reading


What's that shiny, mysterious object in the sea of one of Saturn's moons? Watch

Image of Researchers suspect that the appearance of this feature could be related to changing seasons on Titan, as summer draws near in the moon's northern hemisphere.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Science loves a mystery, and so all eyes are upon a mysterious, shining object located on one of Saturn's moons, Titan. In one of the moon's hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the Ligeia Mare, a shining object has been visible to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Inventor of World Wide Web warns of encroaching government control Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The British inventor of the World Wide Web, 59-year-old Tim Berners-Lee has issued a dire warning concerning the freedom of the Internet. Berners-Lee says that freedom of expression on the Web is under threat by governments and corporations interested in ... continue reading


Vast new oil field discovered by Russia - with assist from U.S. oil company Exxon Watch

Image of According to the agreement, Rosneft and Exxon won't be able to do more drilling, putting the exploration and development of the area on hold despite the find announced.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained, what with ongoing hostilities in Ukraine and the threat that Russian incursions have made to the rest of the European continent. However, the recent discovery by Russian oil interests - with the ... continue reading


Why has the government erected fake cell phone towers across Washignton D.C.? Watch

Image of The U.S. federal government will neither confirm -- nor deny that they use such towers for law enforcement purposes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fake cell phone towers have been discovered throughout the Washington D.C. area. Their existence boggles the mind. Who would take the time to erect these structures that are of no use to anyone? The towers are located near the White House, the United States ... continue reading


Have $100 million burning a hole in your pocket? Then you can shave 3 hours off your flight time Watch

Image of The AS2 is a revolutionary new jet that will be ready for test flights in 2019.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nevada-based Aerion Corporation has partnered with Airbus in order to produce the Aerion AS2, a supersonic business jet which could potentially shave hours off current flight time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two companies announced their collaboration, ... 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, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... 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