At one time, one site reigned supreme in popularity and consumed the time we did not have to spare: Facebook.
Status updates, photo browsing and relentless scrolling on newsfeeds were the activities that occupied us on the web.
So how did Facebook depreciate from an all-consuming activity to a site that is visited less frequently?
Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat — it’s no wonder Facebook is decreasing in popularity.
“Results of a survey measuring teenage interest in social networks indicates that now Facebook might have to be the one to figure out how to stay cool with the younger crowd,” according to a 2013 ABC News article.
The competition for social media platforms is at an all-time high and Facebook appears incapable of keeping up. The Facebook newsfeed is now replaced with Instagram photo posts, Vine video clips and Twitter feeds.
In a recent online editorial, Huffington Post illuminates that many complain that Facebook’s “size, privacy risks and tendency to incite drama has made it a ‘social burden.’”
Junior Bryce Mariano, web design engineer, reflected on why he used Facebook so infrequently.
“It became a nuisance,” said Mariano. “I cancelled all notification emails from Facebook and people would actually get mad at me for not responding to their messages and friend requests. I just never checked Facebook.”
After deleting his account, Mariano is no longer obligated to the responsibilities of constant online checking and upkeep that are the fine-print duties of a Facebook account holder.
In a Forbes article published in August, Chris Hoffman found that people “are moving away from social networks like Facebook that are linked to their real identity and towards other networks where they use pseudonyms that aren’t their real names.”
Instead of constructing an identity based off one’s self on Facebook, it is now preferential to create an entirely new persona through other social mediums.
In a sense, Facebook has evolved into a site where people distort interpretations of themselves, which are put on display for people to make preconceived judgments on an individual’s online character. The genuine disposition of a person is substituted for carefully selected photos and sensibly written comments that contribute to the image desired.
“Facebook is taking away from the authenticity of friendship,” said David Aguila, a pre-law senior.
But how can this be true if Facebook was created with the intention of maintaining connections?
It is clear that the legitimacy of an individual online is not a solid foundation on which to build a relationship. As made popular by the MTV show “Catfish,” the Facebook platform makes it easy for someone to con people into fake friendships or relationships due to the simplicity of creating a false identity.
“If an individual really matters to you, you go out of your way to keep that individual in your life,” said Aguila.
Sure, Facebook is useful for maintaining social connections, but these connections aren’t necessarily friendships. Aguila believes that Facebook should be used for those who are more along the lines of acquaintances (club members, classmates, colleagues, etc.).
Bioengineering junior Casey O’Brien sees the improbability and impossibility of maintaining relationships through Facebook.
“You’re friends with a ridiculous amount of people who you are not close to or hang out with,” said O’Brien.
If these relationships are treated with an occasional like, poke or comment, are they true friendships?
Facebook is now on the outskirts of what is perceived today to be a strong, social networking site. The lack of authenticity, the abundance of maintenance and existence of other popular social sites makes it, at best, simply outdated.
Taken together, these flaws contribute to the probable termination of my own Facebook account.
Carly Cleverly is a senior English major.