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Friend or foe?

A new survey suggests Facebook is on the way out (again). But are Australians really falling out of love with social media?

Stop the press and hold on to your hats, everybody: Facebook is going under!

95 people told us so.

Well, OK, that’s not exactly true. They told the Ipsos Mackay report, which is a qualitative social trends study that recently took ‘a snapshot of the nation’s mind and mood’.

Along with discovering a number of people don’t like our Prime Minister (shocking!) and a number don’t like Tony Abbot (even more shocking!), the report found that ‘a key complaint amongst some was the culture of narcissism and self-absorption that appeared to be rife on Facebook’.

Cue the headlines insinuating that it’s only a matter of time before Australians stop using Facebook altogether. Such as this article in the Sydney Morning Herald starting with the line ‘Australians are beginning to turn away from Facebook’…

We had no idea smh.com.au was so acrobatic, because that is a fairly big leap to make based on the mixed opinions of 95 Aussies. Especially considering that the very same paper reported less than two months ago that while it lagged behind the global growth average, Facebook use in Australia was up 15 per cent from 18 months earlier, and that average time spent on the site had increased from 7.5 hours to 8 hours per month.

Aside from the fact that 95 people can hardly be called a representative sample of society, what the study actually found was that people are getting fed up with the ‘narcissism and self-absorption’ they’re dealing with on the site, but are unwilling to leave the site because they fear it will affect their social lives.

The truth about user-generated content

So as a public service announcement, we have decided to help these clearly conflicted individuals by revelaing:

FACEBOOK ISN’T THE PROBLEM, YOUR FRIENDS ARE.

There. We said it. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but Facebook is all about that Holy Grail of the digital marketing world – user-generated content. Which means if you don’t like the content, find different users. Sick of narcissistic and self-absorbed posts? Don’t make friends with narcissistic and self-absorbed people. Or even better, be a little more discerning with your own posts.

If anything, Facebook is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to eradicating these people from your life, as it supplies an online, interactive report card on how your nearest and dearest are measuring up as engaging humans.

We’re willing to bet that anyone who still loves interacting via Facebook have interesting, funny friends who keep them entertained by providing content – in the form of posts and updates – that is actually worth reading. Either that, or they’re too narcissistic and self-absorbed to notice…

 

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