Social Media Platforms Explained for Aliens: Facebook

Part 1

By Angelique Klawansky

Imagine if aliens landed on earth, ones that were more Roswell-style beings than those from Independence Day. What would they think of life on planet Earth and this thing we call Social Media? Let’s take a look at Facebook first:

Facebook Welcome to Facebook, home of Karen and the place where Gen-Y go to get their news. What’s a Karen? You know, that person who demands to see the manager and then see the manager’s manager, often with a short-rounded bob hairstyle, who is going to tell everyone not to shop anywhere! Yes, that’s a Karen. They love Facebook, it’s where they eat store managers for breakfast and swap tales of Karen victories.

Gen Y? They are the generation that created Facebook. A man named Marc Zuckerberg created a platform long ago, called Facemash. What was Facemash you ask? A platform to objectify and rate fellow students at his university by comparing pictures of their faces, a hot or not list if you will. After a few tweaks, a small dash of less sexism, and one big plagiarism scandal, “The Facebook” was created and set upon the word.  

The Facebook then became just plain old Facebook, a space to share your views and opinions with other like-minded people, catch up with long lost buddies and meet potential love interests. It was a social media platform in its infancy and had an innocence to it in the first few years. It sent My Space into oblivion and became the digital place to be. 

Sadly, it left behind that youthful innocence as it grew, gaining bullies, tin hat conspiracy theorists, hatemongers and people who used the platform to manipulate hearts, minds and supposedly elections. Suddenly, you had these things called ads, following you around and appearing on your news feed. Next came targeting, now even if you tried to hide, they will still find you, and what’s more, Facebook has started learning more about you.

Once Facebook advertising became a real thing, a new breed of user was created, the social pariah, the Troll – often found stalking brand pages for unsuspecting competitions and green community managers. Trolls soon found each other and created communities that reduced many a community manager to tears and terms and conditions (the only thing feared by Trolls).

After more face changes than Khloe Kardashian, Facebook went from geek to sleek, light to dark, then back to light again. From square boxes to rounded frames, static pictures to videos and slideshows.

I would say Facebook is currently in the young adult phase, it’s just finished High School and not quite sure of what path to chart, “Do I study, do I take a few years and travel, or do I hang out in my mom’s basement some more?”  It’s had some great moments and life events, but also more scandals than Trump and Clinton together, just Google Cambridge Analytica.

So here we are, and now Facebook had best pick wisely or the next path could lead to the great beyond for this platform. People are not quite so easy to please anymore and what started as a cool place to meet up with people online became a Jekyll and Hyde of misinformation, data breaches, manipulation and hate speech. And those Avatars, we can’t forget the Avatars.

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