If one were to compare and contrast the last decade and the current one, there would be a stark difference with the use of social media. Social media has been around for more than ten years, and in Western society, it is used much in everyday life. It seems almost harder to run a business without the use of social media, and even if people do not actively post or participate on it, they are some that at least are passive observers that continue the flow of digital information. One specific company has become synonymous with all social media, Facebook.
Facebook is not just a website, it is becoming and independent medium that combines media from all over the internet and houses them in one place. Facebook’s homepage is beginning to look like a global public square. The website was essential for political campaigns for the past ten years. In only ten years, Facebook has become almost a household item, and changing the status-quo of communication, but what does that mean for the future? Facebook has the possibility to transcend itself beyond the internet, and its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, has more than enough resources to make his company a global communicator.
It is without a doubt that Facebook is a very successful company. It is also one of the many tech examples of the American dream. However, Facebook is very big now, and Zuckerberg is a world-renowned figure, so where does this business and its founder go from here?
Zuckerberg’s recent initiatives to crack down on fake news have been criticized by different media as his attempt to regulate people’s opinions. However, Zuckerberg noted that “soon after the U.S. election that fake news stories made up less than 1% of all content on Facebook” (Forbes). Zuckerberg strides to eliminate fake news is not a massive one, and is one that can likely be resolved swiftly, but in the grander scheme of things, Facebook should pursue greater goals to enlighten its users with meaningful communication.
Facebook and Twitter were huge influences during the Arab Spring of 2011. Because of it, the political landscape in the Middle East is changing. Imagine how governments would alter in the developing areas. The people there could have a stronger voice that had been vulnerable to suppression. Facebook has established itself well as a social networking site, but now it can use its 21st century resources to advances itself all around the world. Facebook could be known as both an ultra-successful international business and a social influence for civilized progress. Facebook sphere of publicity could go even more global.
In 2013, Facebook became a member of The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI). The alliance is a coalition of technology companies that aim to broaden the access of internet in developing nations.
Facebook cannot progress worldwide if there are still places that do not have internet. Like the light bulb, it could not be a global commodity if people did not have electricity. China will likely not allow Facebook to be legal in their country anytime soon. In the meantime, Facebook should continue its work with the A4AI in bringing affordable internet to developing nations.
Similar to how non-profit organizations give basic tools and instructions to countries on journalism, Facebook, as a private company, could give basis Internet tools that can give a voice to the developing world. To do so, Facebook should begin with these country’s universities, and practice with them similar to how Facebook originally began. From there the students and professionals could bring in the use of the internet and the social network to the rest of their communities. It worked relatively quickly in the United States, so it could work swiftly elsewhere.
Mark Zuckerberg is thirty-two years old and his net worth is 55 billion dollars. The man has an unwritten future that no one can predict, but I believe that Zuckerberg should look into a career in the international arena, and as crazy as this may sound, Zuckerberg should consider one day to run for President of the United States.
Zara Stone from Forbes noted that “In 2024, Zuckerberg will be 40 years old, just two years younger than Theodore Roosevelt was when he took office. Zuckerberg has an enormous reach—around one billion people use his platform everyday; for reference, there are only 342 million people in America. He’s someone people trust, and he has a huge fan base of millennials—who will make up a large percentage of the voting public in 2024. And as the 6th richest person in the world, he’ll have no problem funding a campaign.”
Facebook, to some, is just a regular social media site where one could see what their friends are sharing online, but it has evolved from that. I, personally, am not afraid to sustain long distance friendships. I am allowed to do so because of Facebook. I could be a part of events in people’s lives and gain interests in events worldwide. Earlier this year, I began to follow Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the first foreign politician I’ve followed.
In doing so, I can reflect and react on policies and debates happening in America’s northern neighbor. If Facebook is successful in connecting its service with developing nations, that global conversation could expand, and by connecting with the universities, collegiate communication could be the staple of the global conversation, and global conversation that Mark Zuckerberg could campaign on if he decides to take public office or present himself on the world stage. Facebook’s public relations could be one that reflects a global discussion, and would be one that connects with the future.