Monday, December 01, 2008

My Facebook has Tipped

Malcolm Gladwell says that everything has a Tipping Point, that point at which a virus goes epidemic, when the hip new thing goes mainstream. Think Uggs.

Well, my Facebook world has just tipped.

facebook

I'm not talking about the quantity of my friends, but rather the breadth and depth.

In the past month, I have friended or been friended by:

  • my 73 year old mother (we like to play Scrabble)
  • my 16 year old niece (she has WAY more friends than I do, which is not surprising)
  • former students
  • almost everyone I used to swim with in my high school swimming days
  • long lost college roommates
  • my oldest brother

What started over a year ago as a professional experiment in the name of eLearning has just gotten plain weird.

Has your Facebook tipped?

12 comments:

Janet Clarey said...

Definitely. Just in the past two weeks - future brother-in-law, niece, nephew, acquaintance from high school. how cool that your mom is on facebook. Wonder what their incentive was to join or friend you?

Cammy Bean said...

I think the fb virus has just spread far enough now. The holdouts are getting drawn in. "I need to figure out what this facebook thing is all about." Mom found out you could play online Scrabble. It just tipped. No incentive needed, really. Other than my coveted fb friendship :)

Karen said...

Mine has tipped too. One of my daughter's friends from high school friended me...kind of weird and cool at the same time

christytucker said...

I'm not sure if there was a specific tipping point for me, but I was certainly amused when one of my friends informed me that I'm personally responsible for making her waste more time on Facebook than she ever thought possible.

Then I started a game of Wordscraper with her, so she's procrastinating more. I might be a little devious.

This is the mom of a high school friend, the reverse of Karen's situation. She's justifying it by arguing that playing word games will keep her brain active. Whatever works, right?

Dave Ferguson said...

I don't think mine has tipped, but I treat it much like the little mixture of plants on my desk: I don't exactly ignore it, but I don't have these great expectations.

What I do notice is that very few of my professional contacts of more than five years' duration have any online presence outside of email. I don't judge that as necessarily bad, but I am a bit surprised.

Some of it may be peer-group / cohort stuff, as in a great deal of professional success coming prior to the explosion of personal websites, blogs, etc.

In a recent presentation that a colleague and I did, half the people seemed to think the idea of a Facebook page for a professional adult was practically bizarre. The other half seemed to think, "Huh? What's the big deal?"

Cammy Bean said...

Dave -- I wonder if the age line for Facebook is starting to creep up. Will the people who are now saying, "huh what's the deal" be joining in about 6 months to a year. Or will they always be hold outs?

Christy -- I'm all for games increasing brain power. Bring 'em on. Oh yeah, and they're fun, too.

Wendy said...

I'm with Christy - not sure when the "tipping" point occurred. (Though, in my case, it's more of a "leaning" point.) Admittedly, I only get on facebook when I'm pinged about something. That may change as more of my friends and blogging buddies begin to use facebook as an email replacement.

Scott said...

Mine is like constantly tipping. A few months ago, I finally overcame my daughter's objections ("my friends will think that's weird") and re-opened my fb account. Almost immediately, I hooked into an old (read: VERY old) friend from high school, and had a chat which became a 71 member Ning and a huge realworld 40th high school reunion. Life(s) is good.

Cammy Bean said...

Scott's experience is so interesting. I've been thinking a lot about how Facebook is altering the social lives of those of us NOT currently in college and high school. All the connections that are being re-discovered (perhaps some that should have stayed that way?) As a parent with young kids, I feel like Facebook lets me pretend that I still have a real social life.

Pam said...

YES, and in fact my book club was just discussing this tipping point the other night. We are women who graduated college 20-25 years ago. Just in the past few weeks several of us have joined, gotten other "older" people to join. Last week my husband finally joined (and he's a techie!). And my sister. What's been great is discovering some old friends and remembering why I liked them so much.

Scrabble was the enticement for both my mother and a luddite best friend. I'm now able to play Scrabble with all the people I used to play with regularly throughout my life!

Sue Hickton said...

I have students finding me i never thought I would hear from again. Surprised they want to be friends with "Evil Sue" given it was they who named me thus (and Sue Waters "Good Sue"). In terms of family. Happy to do cousins etc, but no way to immediate family - ugh

Friv said...

I think the fb virus has just spread far enough now. The holdouts are getting drawn in. "I need to figure out what this facebook thing is all about."