Facebook is a big personal time waster but it does have entertainment value, in different ways for different people.
With a user base swelling past 800,000,000 people, it must have something of value going for it or it wouldn’t be as popular as it is.
What Is It?
In a word, it’s Social.
Facebook has an unswerving desire to do one thing and do it extraordinarily well. To connect together every human being on the planet (and beyond, once that happens).
They have a talent in understanding the connection threads between people … what makes us share, why do friends recommend merchandise to their other friends, why do we feel compelled to comment on a relative stranger’s status update.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Advertising and Win My Heart
While they want to connect everyone on the Earth, Facebook gains huge revenue by the way they slice and dice your personal data and sell advertising.
In the Facebook model, selling more advertisement space requires them in getting people to stay within Facebook for longer periods.
And here is the parallel to relationships.
If Facebook can get a perfect stranger engaged in posting content, they know a thing or three about human relationships and what makes people tick.
Social Engagement Techniques Are Simply Relationships
Why do strangers comment on a random piece of content floating by on their Newsfeed?
‘It’s interesting’ would be my initial suggestion. It has to do with an actual human being. People naturally love connecting with others, providing they feel safe.
Human beings are social creatures, by nature. We crave the company of others (well, most of us do anyway). And we’re on the lookout for another who we can ‘gel’ with and make a friend.
It’s unlikely a boring and uninteresting person is going to do that.
So the Facebook paradigm tells us connection is paramount. Being interesting is vastly superior if there’s going to be ongoing communication.
Also be fresh, light and responsive.
These foundational elements, within Facebook, will hold you in good stead when it comes to embarking on the dating bandwagon.
That Anonymous Feeling
Being a part of an online community affords an odd relationship paradox – to show who we are AND hide behind the mask of never having to be in the real world, face to face.
That’s like wearing sunglasses inside a shopping complex. You can walk around, look people directly in the eye without them connecting when looking back.
Those sunglasses severe making any personal connection, which is a shame really.
BUT what can we learn from this behaviour?
For starters, it’s just pattern conditioning. The connection of eyeball to eyeball will typically force us into continuing to forge a personal connection, on some level. Here’s a scenario:
You’re walking down a hallway at work and a stranger from another business is coming the other way. What usually happens is the compulsion to look at them coming, smile and say ‘Hi, Good morning’ and continue.
Put on those sunglasses and the situation is entirely different. You can safely walk past and feel perfectly OK, without any greeting and connection. Kind of weird really.
This Can Help Dating Too
For an interesting exercise, try this the next time you’re out on a date or just meeting a new person.
Leave the sunglasses in the car and consciously make a pact with yourself that this meeting is only to rediscover the feeling of properly connecting with the new date or person.
Pretend you’re actually conducting all this via Facebook. Obviously avoid speaking as if you’re updating your Status but certainly consider the types of responses, how you respond in Facebook (as opposed in real life) and why you respond in the way you do.
You’ll Find It Will Change Your Behaviour
Providing you’re being honest online, it’s a truer reflection of who you are than the facade we initially throw up when first meeting someone.
It’s a similar principle to Speed Dating. Short timeframe, you act and behave with your gut instinct and therefore a more honest reaction is forthcoming.
Play a mind game with yourself that you’re looking at a Facebook Avatar :)
Your Turn Now