Fifteen years ago on February 4, Mark Zuckerberg and his college classmates founded Facebook. From humble beginnings as a social network for Harvard University students, the company has grown into a social media giant. According to statistics from September 2018, the platform has 1.49 billion daily active users making it one of the most, if not the most, widely used social media network.
The power and influence of Facebook is undeniable. For better and for worse, the ways people communicate and relate to each other is much different because of the social network. Facebook lets us reconnect with classmates, keep up with grandchildren who live far away, and mark ourselves safe in the wake of tragedy and disaster. But it also invites potentially troubling moments, such as being “defriended,” making a new romance “Facebook official” (or not!), fear of missing out (FOMO), and becoming overly obsessed with how many people “liked” (or didn’t!) our new profile picture.
Dr. Jayson Dibble, associate professor of communication, teaches and researches about interpersonal and relational communication and how technology plays a role in both. He has co-authored two journal articles — Ignore Your Partners’ Current Facebook Friends: Beware the Ones They Add and Facebook and Memory: Which is the Real Threat to Your Relationship — addressing how Facebook affects romantic relationships. He is also able to comment on how Facebook and other social media have changed our society’s communication tendencies, priorities and outcomes.