Facebook celebrated for being one of the pioneering social media websites; it has received huge success since its launch in 2004 and today dominates the online networking space
LONDON, UK: The last month has seen countless reports in the media claiming that advances in modern technology and the internet are leading to loneliness amongst Britons who, in turn, are finding it harder to meet new people and engage on a meaningful level.
However, industry insiders are now hitting back and insisting that social media and mobile communications, far from isolating people, actually go a long way towards bringing people together in the ‘offline’ world and that we are on the brink of a revolution in the way we use the web.
The latest support for these predictions comes from trendwatching, a leading consumer trends firms. They most recently forecast the burgeoning need of web users for ‘real world’ meet-ups, driven by the social media boom and mobile communications, and predict that this is set to go mainstream.
They also foresee that 'online' brands will have to further embrace ‘offline’, by building a temporary or permanent, physical presence in the real world.
Sanchita Saha CEO and Founder or CitySocialising commented: “We in Britain are spending 65 percent more time online than three years ago and the time spent on social networks has accounted for the biggest share of this increase. We now spend 82 percent more time on social networks than we did a year ago, and yet although we’re more connected than ever before, we’re actually feeling more isolated and lonely than ever before too - so it’s a natural progression for the social networking trend to spill over into demand for using the internet to make more meaningful offline social connections.’’
Facebook is celebrated for being one of the pioneering social media websites; it has received huge success since its launch in 2004 and today dominates the online networking space.
However, moving forward into an age where masters of the industry, including respected technology investor Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, predict that the next generation of web services will need to have an impact on the real world and the real economy, are Facebook doing enough to break new ground in the “web meets world” movement
Todays report from Oxygen Media would suggest not - the results found that although women are increasingly claiming to have a Facebook ‘addiction’, 50 percent are happy to be friends with complete strangers online and would not trust Facebook with their private information, which indicates that the majority of users are restricting their experience to online activity alone.
CitySocialising conducted its own survey of their members to understand their Facebook habits and the extent to which the network had an impact offline. The results found that although the average Facebook user has around 137 ‘online’ friends, they class only 24 (less than 20 percent) of those as “real” and admitted to seeing only 10 percent of those friends on a regular basis.
Just under half of Facebook users admitted that they wouldn’t be able to find someone they’d want to go out with when browsing through their first 15 friends on Facebook.
“I think moving forward it’s important for sites like Facebook and other industry leaders to heed the warnings that the web is changing and that its real impact will ultimately be in its ability to make a difference to people offline,” concluded Saha.