Is Facebook taking over our lives?

facebook addiction

Before I begin with this blog I want you all to take a look at this video.

Weird? Freaky? If this happened to you tomorrow what would you do? You would probably call the guards and report the person for harassment, graffiti, and borderline stalking. Yet take this to the world wide web and this is not only normal, its encouraged! I am of course talking about Facebook. Facebook was set up in 2004 and was initially meant to be for the use of college students, however 9 years later and it is safe to say that this is definitely not the case. Facebook is now the worlds largest and most popular social networking site with over 500 million users worldwide. In Ireland alone over half of our population are users of Facebook as these statistics show.

This brings me to the topic at hand. Is Facebook taking over our lives? This is a hard question to answer but I know that for me at least I can admit that Facebook is a big part of my daily life. I can’t remember the last time I went through a day and have not scrolled through my Facebook timeline at least 4 times on my phone and have accessed it through my laptop. Even now as I am writing this blog I am resisting the urge to open up another window and take a “quick” look through Facebook. I have sometimes even gone as far as logging off on my laptop and logging on on my phone a few minutes later. I think that the idea of knowing what everyone you know is up to at any given time and essentially being let in on their plans is part of this appeal of Facebook. However from my own experiences I believe that a lot of my scrolling is purely down to boredom, be it while I’m waiting on a bus or train, waiting on a Tv show, or even in a boring college lecture. However by saying this I am not saying that I am one of those people that is always constantly bombarding your newsfeed with boring non-interesting statuses like “So bored” or “Having dinner now, its lovely”. Quite frankly I hate those kind of people (thats what Twitter is for!) and am always tempted to click “hide from newsfeed” or even “unfriend”. I can usually go for days, even weeks without posting a status on Facebook, nonetheless I am still nearly constantly snooping.

facebook-addiction

But does this make me a Facebook addict? Are you a Facebook addict? You should take a look at this interesting article
This article contains 10 key symptoms of Facebook addiction, how many of them can you say you suffer from? I myself can identify at least 5 that I can relate to so I would consider this as an “enthusiast” more than an addict. Nonetheless its still pretty evident that Facebook is becoming more and more a part of our lives. How many times have you heard a sentence end with ” Yeah I know I saw it on Facebook”?. This is something I hear numerous times, and I doubt I’m the only one! And with so many businesses beginning to interact with their customers primarily through Facebook as opposed to the traditional customer complaint landline it won’t be long until Facebook becomes our primary form of communication. That thought in itself is frankly terrifying. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg!!

Now if you excuse me I’m off to check my Facebook…

Mobile Marketing: My thoughts

ImageI still remember my first mobile phone. I must have been about 10 or 11, it was a Nokia 3310 and I thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever had. I could keep in touch with my school friends and I could play cool games like Snake! Fast forward about 10 years and if you saw someone with a Nokia 3310 today you would probably laugh and call them poor and old fashioned.

This is because of the dramatic change in the term “mobile phone” from the 90’s to the present day. Because now, a mobile is not just a “phone” it is a fundamental element in how we live our lives. Mobiles, particularly smartphones have changed the way we communicate, do business and overall how we entertain ourselves. Imagine telling someone in 1992 that there would be phones that can play mp3’s, take photographs, help you shop online, and pretty much anything else imaginable? They would have laughed in your face!

I, like some 1 billion others am the possessor of a smartphone. Ok mine isn’t an i-phone or a samsung galaxy but I still feel like it gets the job done that a smartphone should do, and certainly more than a 3310 could even dream of doing. And it is clearly not only myself that thinks this, lets take a look at some stats;

-There are an estimated 6.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide, 1 billion of which are smartphone users

-It is estimated that this year (2013) that around 840 million smartphones of all types will be shipped

– By next year more people will be accessing the internet by their handheld rather than their standard PC or laptop.

( reference: Digital Marketing Institute)

I truly believe this is a valid estimation as I know too well the standard effect of “dual screening”. This basically means that I am always on Twitter or Facebook from my mobile whilst I am also watching the TV, just last week I was live tweeting whilst I was enjoying the WWE Elimination Chamber event. I was looking at what thousands of other users were making of what I was watching with them. It was like having them all in my house. This is only an experience I experimented with about 2 years ago, and now I can’t imagine watching a show without my phone close by.

Not surprisingly this information can and has been picked up by businesses and firms of all types all round the world, this is a process which is known as “mCommerce”. Mobile apps have changed the way we interact with brands as almost all brands have some form of app. Tesco, SuperValu and Dunnes allow you to do your shopping on your phone without even leaving your bed, RTE, TV3, ITV etc allow you to catch up with your favourite TV shows with their catch up apps as well as news apps from Sky News so you are never lefi in the lurch. If I carried on with examples I could be writing this blog until I’m 40.

This therefore gives us an estimated prediction of how mCommerece and mobile marketing in general will continue to grow;

-Unexpectedly a further massive growth is predicted in smartphone sales (an estimated 40 billion dollars in this year alone)

-The explosion of the tablet revolutionized by Apple and the i-Pad is also expected to continue ( an estimated 24 billion dollars)

-An increase in the “augmented reality”

I predict that by the year 2020 when you walk into someones house you will see no TV, no computer, no radio etc, only i-pads and i-phones that have the capability of doing everything….except downloading food!

What is even better is that mCommerce is not difficult and anyone can work it…anyone….

The app is dead, long live mobile marketing!

Blogging Begins!

First wordpress blog, the first of what should be many over the course of the next few months. This is part of my college course but all going well it should be a big part of my prospective career in marketing/business. These blogs will mainly be on social media (which I am already very active) as well as other topics. Stay with me throughout these blogs and I’m sure you will not be dissapointed!

This is what my life will be like should I become addicted to blogging….

I should probably end this blog by giving you my opinions on the topic of…blogging. Personally I think its a great way for you to express your feelings and opinions on what is going on in the world and giving it your own take. I like to think of it as your on personal online diary, which everyone can read!

I think its a sign of how technology has advanced and become a way of our modern society when up to about 10 years ago I had no idea what a blog even was (although I suppose I was only 10). I probably became aware of blogs thanks to Bebo (remember bebo?) If you remember Bebo stood for “Blog Early Blog Often” and there was a special blog section on your account to post your feelings and opinions. But these will not be standard Bebo blogs I will write, I’ll be discussing a range of different topics in relation to business and social media. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.