The student news site of Saint Ignatius College Prep

The Spirit

A Loss of Face Value

Facebook Participation Dwindles

John Staublin, Senior Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the middle of sixth grade, I decided to create a Facebook page for myself. I used a fake birthday and sent many “friend requests.” I thought Facebook was an exciting app with all the features that came with it.

Today, Facebook does not garner my attention nearly as much as my giddy 12-year-old self. One can easily notice that you usually check your Facebook at least once a day to look at memes, check the pages of your favorite friends, and procrastinate by binging on anything that rolls into your feed.

Checking Facebook now only takes a few minutes. Facebook has lost its touch through competition, its public nature, and by shying away from its foundation of connecting people across the world.

Facebook has made a social media giant out of Instagram and competes with Snapchat since the popularity of these companies skyrocketed. Facebook has lost its mainstream attention. Instagram and Snapchat are more efficient at achieving their purpose––looking at photos and videos and taking photos and videos.

While Facebook’s goal is still connecting people across the world, it has strayed from its main purpose by becoming a news stream for many people and providing constant streams of videos and memes for others. An article from Slate revealed that research conducted by The Information said “Facebook has seen a decline in “original sharing”—posts by people about themselves and their personal lives, as opposed to articles they’re sharing from elsewhere on the web.”

Instagram and Snapchat hone in on what they do best, yet Facebook constantly tries to add new features. Some, but not all those new features, include a virtual reality app (Facebook 360), a variety of emoji’s for their instant messaging (Facebook Messenger), and Facebook Live, which allows users to broadcast a live stream.

Although these updates are not necessarily a bad idea, they make the app harder to figure out and less useful in its main goal. When I asked Peter Gallagher ’17 what Facebook used to signify, he said, “It used to be meeting new people, and nowadays it’s just become a stream of fun videos. Its original purpose has faded away a little bit.”

Another factor that is diminishing Facebook is the “engine” of social media, “the millennials” (any person born in between 1982-2004). Millennials are shying away from Facebook due to the overall lack of privacy that comes with having a Facebook account.

A CNBC article recently shared the results of “Taking Stock With Teens” report by Piper Jaffray. Facebook has seen a sharp plummet. The article said “60 percent of teens said they used it at least one a month earlier this year, only 52 percent said they were logging in monthly in the new survey.”

Furthermore, the declining rates were being led by “the youngest survey takers.”

There are many settings Facebook installs within their webpage to make sure that you can monitor who sees your information and what information they see. On the app, three shortcuts (Who can see my stuff? Who can contact me? And How do I stop someone from bothering me?) are available when you enter the settings pane (More > Privacy Shortcuts). However, the “More Settings” button has 17 different options.

It should not be complicated to protect your account, but Facebook’s tedious process makes the app unappealing. With Instagram, all you must do is simply make your account private; you can then decide who sees your photos. The same goes for Snapchat because not only are you the one who decides whether you can send photos, but you can also determine who can see your account with the click of the “Add Friend” button.

Facebook’s different privacy settings are necessary because it deals with a vast amount of data and personal information. However, the consumers’ patience is short due to this slow process.

As many teenagers and adults know by now, it has become more difficult to stay private on your Facebook account. Per an article from Time regarding college applicants and their social media accounts, a survey from Kaplan Test Prep said that “Fully 40 percent of admissions officers say they visit applicants’ social media pages to learn about them, four times the percentage that did so in 2008.”

Students are nervous admissions officers are searching to find content that is not suitable for their school. Although that is a tiny anecdote of Facebook’s overwhelming public realm, it reiterates the idea that almost anyone can be researched on the world’s largest network.

Many teenagers are turned off by a growing number of adults’ Facebook accounts. Isl.com conducted research in which they compared information straight from Facebook’s Advertising Platform to research the demographics of the rise in age groups’ Facebook activity. According to the study, “the 55+ demographic has exploded with almost 50% growth over the last three years, followed by 20% growth for 35-54-year olds.”

I had a eureka moment about two months ago, when I joined the Tulane University Group Page of 2021. I realized this was the first time I had used Facebook to connect with new people, the original purpose of the app and what made it so great. Some people enjoy the current version of Facebook, as Peter Caan ’17 said “In terms of social justice, it’s become a way of providing a good outlet to voice your opinion.”

I do believe Facebook has made my age group more aware of political affairs. But, I do not believe that political and social distractions should take away from the app’s original purpose.

There is only so much we can do today knowing that large companies such as Facebook are always striving for innovations and trendy ideas that will make their app more entertaining. Until they reach back to the foundation that made them a global sensation, they may see their future fade away.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    Down with Daylight Savings Time

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    Second Glance on Chance

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    Strong Women, Strong Government

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    To Swivel or Not To Swivel?

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    Show Your Pride

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    Laptops vs. iPads

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    Respect the Position of President

  • Opinions

    How to Combat Hallway Traffic

  • A Loss of Face Value

    Opinions

    This is What Democracy Looks Like

  • Opinions

    Ignatius Embraces All

The student news site of Saint Ignatius College Prep
A Loss of Face Value