The Darker Side Of Facebook For Developing Countries
In the last post we saw how Facebook has invaded the minds of at least 33 percent of the population.
For most of the Trinbago population online, Facebook has become as important as the Internet.
Today lets look at Facebook from the aspect of time and the value it brings to the Trinidad and Tobago as a country.
The fact is that Facebook is a useful social network where people are able to meet and interact with each other. It’s universal because people are instinctively social animals and Facebook is an ideal meeting place.
According to the latest statistics there are now over six hundred million people on Facebook.
They view an estimated total of 770 billion Facebook pages every month. Registered users typically visit the site 40 times per month. Users spend and average of 23 minutes each visit.
That calculates to 9.3 billion man hours used on Facebook in a month.
Simply speaking Facebook kills productivity. Most progressive employers have recognized this for a long time now, they ban its access for precisely this reason. But what about a developing country like Trinidad and Tobago?.How does Facebook affect its productivity?
Consider this. What happens when 403,860 local registered Facebook accounts users visit the site 40 times a month and spend an average of 23 minutes per visit?
If you are familiar with the concept of “man hours” i.e. the number of hours it will take one man to complete any task, you will begin to appreciate the problem.
Let’s make a bold assumption that only 20 percent of the people in Trinidad and Tobago waste productive hours on Facebook. Guess how many man hours Trinbagoians waste every month on Facebook?
The number of hours is stupidly big. In this case, “man hours” become incomprehensible. It’s easier to understand that when we look at only 20 percent of the Trinbagoians registered on Facebook and calculate their estimated unproductive time; it’s 154 YEARS.
That’s just 20 percent of the number of registered Facebook users living in Trinidad and Tobago.
And there is more. We have not even considered the time Trinbagoians spend on mobile devices.
Globally, there are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. These users are two times more active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
These mobile devices are becoming increasingly more popular in Trinidad and Tobago.
Do you think that Facebook is increasing the productivity of Trinidad and Tobago?
But there's a good reason that I’m on there and I encourage other businesses owners to be there. It is the largest, easily accessible internet pool of potential customers, clients, alliances and opportunities.
You are either on there as a seller identifying clients, and building relationships or as a potential prospect. Understanding who you are on Facebook is essential to how you will continue to use it.
One social critic put it this way "there is no need to wake up the sheep". That is the masses of people in the world who follow others unconsciously and in most cases blindly.
Fact is that even when you attempt to "wake up the sheep" they insist on being left alone to sleep. Some sheep will even become angry or violent if you tried.
In the same way, there is no point in trying to convince Facebook users in Trinidad and Tobago that time could be more creative and productive.
Let them sleep.
They enjoy it and should be left to build cities, farms, send hugs, kisses and wage mafia wars. It's an outlet and a potential deterrent to dysfunctional and maybe errant behavior. Facebook is a good thing.
Its real value is primarily for businesses. Where else the Internet can you access 600 million potential customers and clients at no or very little cost?
Whether you represent business large or small, political party, NGO or CBO it dictates that you begin your web presence by establishing a page on Facebook.
If you classify yourself as a potential client and you enjoy it, Don't stop or delete your account. There are "things" on Facebook that you absolutely cannot live without.
Just do it with at least one eye half open.
Facebook is a soft addiction. Manage the doses you consume. Track your consumption in terms of your time and activities.
Later we will post a list of actions you can take to curtail your Facebook use.
P.S. Join me on Facebook here
Or if you have a different point of view, lets hear it.