Usually, when I read a list of facts that I supposedly don’t know, I find a list of things that I probably assumed anyways. (Plus numerical data that I don’t care about.) They are never really that interesting, surprising, or thought provoking. Until I saw an infographic in a Mashable post called Facebook: Facts you probably didn’t know, which was all three!
Interesting: Women ages 55+ are the fastest growing demographic of Facebook users.
Surprising: Can you believe Australia has integrated Facebook into their court system? You can receive a court summons sent to your page!
Thought Provoking: Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) has been identified as a new mental health disorder. Do I have FAD? Do you? Let the witch hunt begin!
Wanting to respond to the Mashable infographic, I did some research into how we can spot a Facebook addict and came across a CNN article that provided these five criteria:
- You Lose sleep over Facebook.
- You spend more than an hour a day on Facebook.
- You become obsessed with old loves.
- You ignore work in favor of Facebook.
- The thought of staying off Facebook leaves you in a cold sweat.
As a future PR professional, I feel it’s necessary to meet at least one of these criteria. I may or may not be using that as an excuse for definitely falling victim to #2, but this brings us to a very popular debate about whether or not PR pros need social media to be successful. The answer is still up for debate.
I think that my extreme familiarity with Facebook as a PR tool resulted from years of personal interaction with it. With very little effort I’ve kept up with Fan page and Insight developments that I would otherwise have to make an effort to learn on my own. Though this knowledge will continue to serve me in my PR career, I don’t think the immense amount of time that I, you, or any other potential professional has spent with the network is proportional to our ability to utilize it in the field.
It makes me laugh, but I take Facebook addiction seriously. We are all at risk! So, let’s make sure we draw a line between personal usage addiction and developing an adequate familiarity that allows us to properly utilize Facebook as a tool in our careers.