Remember a world before Facebook? No, neither do I. I mean, I was around back then, but I can't quite remember what it was like. How did we find out what people we barely knew had for dinner? Where did we go to see endless pictures of cats? What did we do with all those spare exclamation marks that are now attached to every sentence!?
Facebook is now part and parcel of every day life. It is where many of us instinctively go to find and share news and views. I don't think many of us can really imagine life without it now. It is an extension of our existence. And to think that a few years ago it was a small network at a university - it now makes up a third of all the pages that are viewed online. The statistics are a little frightening:
1.11 billion members use it at least once a month
655 million members log on once a day
250 million photos are uploaded daily
2.7 billion likes are given every day
What is amazing is that Facebook has become so massive and yet how many of us have ever thought about the effects it is having on our lives and on the people around us? Most of us have just gone with the flow and use it unthinkingly.
It is interesting that there was a debate over whether or not the printing press was a good idea . Also, in the Victorian period there was a resistance against the publishing of too many books, some were concerned that it would lead to laziness in reading and learning. I'm not saying that they were right, or that Facebook and social media are a bad thing. Just that normally when something huge comes along that changes how we live and share information, we normally talk about it. It's good to discuss what sort of an impact these things are having on our lives.
So over the next few weeks I'll be throwing a few thoughts onto this page in an attempt to explore the effects of this explosion in social media. Also, on 30th June we hope to have a debate at a Connect meeting over this issue so stand by for more information.

In the mean time, enjoy the cats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron Williamson, 22/05/2013