Social Network fatigue: Facebook fatigue etc

I used to be thrilled when I received spam. Note: used to.

Remember when you first got email? You were excited to have it printed on a business card: blahblah@compuserv.com or thinguymmybob@aol.com. Then you swapped email addresses with colleagues – and those friends and family members that were early adopters. A couple of times a week your email application – Eudora? or a terminal emulator onto UNIX? – would boing and you’d rush to the machine and see what amazing (usually long multipage emails, like pen pal letters) had been sent to you. Then you got over it and stopped using email.

Oh wait….

If you’ve ever played a MMORPG like Everquest, Ultima Online, World of Warcraft you’ll know what I mean. Months and months of addictive plotting and strategising so you can get a few more hours in-world. Dreaming monsters. Playing until 4 or 5am. Waking up with your head on the monitor, drooling into the keyboard (or was that just me?) . Then slowly coming to your senses. Ok, I’m pretty sure about people treating email like it was better than sliced bread at the beginning, but not so sure about others responses to virtual worlds. Am I a demographic of one?

By the way, I still play World of Warcraft after 2 and 1/2 years – I have characters on multiple servers with different bunches of friends on each, so it’s varied social networks. And I still use email, but not as much. Email being one of the first peer-to-peer, asynchronous communication tools in online communities.

A few people have posted that I’m suffering from Facebook fatigue. Well yes and no. There IS a trough after the honeymoon period. But it’s unlikely that most people will stay off for long. Perhaps the hours and hours a day will turn into a quick check once or twice a day, and Facebook does suffer from being a superficial filtering tool rather than an indepth depth of content site, but still – it’s doubtful that they will lose ground quickly.

The Register doesn’t agree:

The story year-on-year is even uglier for social networking advocates. Bebo and MySpace were both well down on the same period in 2006 – Murdoch’s site by 24 per cent. Facebook meanwhile chalked up a rise, although way off its mid-2007 hype peak when you couldn’t move for zeitgeist-chasing “where’s the Facebook angle?” stories in the press and on TV. (hat tip: Stilgherrian)

You can survey the full numerical horror for youself here at Creative Capital.

Err that rise mid 2007 was with the release of F8 application development (the ability to add Scrabulous and Zombies to your profile). Think of it as Facebook 2.0 if you will. It’s a good idea for ANY social network to have an “expansion pack” plan – world of warcraft picked up a few more million paying members with Burning Crusade.

I’m not loyal to every social network I sign up for -not even close – but there are a few that stick. And stick and stick.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

4 thoughts on “Social Network fatigue: Facebook fatigue etc

  1. RSS fatigue hit me bad last week. The answer was unsubscribing from more than half of them.

  2. Heh, I was one of those people that said you’re suffering from Facebook fatigue, but only because you implied that in your Facebook status message 😛

  3. @steven noble good to see I wasn’t one of ’em! 😛

    @lil sis Sometimes we yell and slam doors and walk out. It doesn’t have to mean anything – except the honeymoon is over. BTW some people will suffer Facebook fatigue – but I hope they had an introduction to social networks and move into one (niche) more suited for them.

  4. Facebook fatigue hit me quite soon when I was constantly bombarded with requests to join groups and add applications. I started declining and deleting to make it more manageable but still use it regularly – Some of my younger friends and relatives are using it as a primary means of communication. Now older friends who have never used online applications before, barring maybe Hotmail, are getting on the bandwagon.

    A friend of my daughters is visiting from Canada, arriving here today after touring Asia. I was interested to observe that although she had not been online for weeks, the first thing she did was not to her check email but log in to read her Facebook messages.

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