“Hey are you on LinkedIn?”
“Are you on MySpace?”
“Yes but I don’t use my account really.”
“Are you on Facebook?”
“Yes … I love it ….”
So maybe the whole conversation doesn’t go that way, but recently this series of questions has entered my conversations with others on a regular basis. Has social networking just recently shown up on the scene? No. Why is it so big this time around? Ultimately there is one reason that Facebook has changed the face of social networking. Their news feed. I can come back from a vacation and see everything that has happened with my friends socially in the past few days. There are pictures of their weekend, comments on other people’s walls and all sorts of other remnants being left for me to see into their life. It’s a revolution in relationship communication. Friends, family, and business contacts can now feel more connected. In Malcom Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”, I recall a study that mentioned people’s ability to only maintain relationships with up to 100 people. Once in excess of 100 people it is difficult for people to maintain their relationships. Thanks to Facebook’s news feed, the relationship game has changed. Even though I haven’t spoken to some of my friends from high school in months or even years, I am still getting constant updates of what’s going on in their lives. As such, I feel more connected with them. While these relationships may not hold the same bonds as those where I have daily face to face interaction, they are still bonds. I know that none of my parents keep in touch with their high school pals and that’s because they didn’t have Facebook. The impact that it has on people’s lives is remarkable.