Facebook’s tenth anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the deep changes that have happened during this time in human communication and the way information is managed, bringing us closer to each other.
The Internet shortened geographic distances, providing immediate access to a universe of information coming from the farthest corners of the world. Facebook provided a platform, a meeting place for people to share happiness, sadness, events and whatever they want with anyone they wish. People began adapting this technology to their interests, while at the same time technology molded the way that they receive information.
Human beings are social animals. Thanks to Facebook, for example, following the news now means finding out what is going on with relatives, friends and acquaintances, and sharing a moment with them. Of course, this also helps people stay up to date on current events through other sources that are not traditional media outlets.
Immigrants might be the ones who benefit the most from this technology, since now they can stay in close contact with their loved ones. Emigrating used to mean, not that many years ago, leaving your native land and with it, human connections, to revive them through memories. Today, between Facebook and Skype, we are all closer. Therefore, it is not unusual that Latinos are among the biggest users of Facebook.
However, like with everything, the good and the bad do not only depend on technology, but on the way it gets used. In some cases, openness has facilitated the work of scammers. Sharing personal information at times leads to a loss of confidentiality, whether because of unscrupulous individuals or companies more interested in profiting from their customer data than in protecting their customers’ privacy.
It is important that Facebook, like similar platforms, defends the secrecy of its information when faced with government requirements like those from the National Security Agency.
Social media changed our way of seeing the world and relating to it. Their growth and popularity were based on technology and mass access to it. Today, Facebook is a point of reference for this non-stop transformation with an unpredictable destination.