I don’t normally give investing advice, and I don’t even actually trade myself – although some of my retirement money is invested in the market – but in spite of that I plan to explain my dim view of Facebook today.
Here’s the thing. Facebook is boring. Super boring, and super commercial and getting worse. It’s used anyway, by almost everyone, because everyone else they care about is already on it.
But think about how that happened. First a generation of people started using it, then their parents started using it. And Facebook did a pretty good job of making those parents welcome. Things are inoffensive and super easy to use. Inoffensive to the point of being utterly bland.
Here’s what’s not going to happen. The kids today are just not going to be interested in adopting Facebook. Why should they, when their parents and teachers and coaches are on there already, and it’s just another place where they can get into trouble with authority, not to mention be bombarded with ridiculous ads?
My theory is that some other sexier and edgier social media platform is going to come along and sweep up the next generation of users who want to get the hell away from their parents and grandparents and teachers and coaches. And it’s not Twitter, or Instagram. It doesn’t exist yet, but it will. And when it exists, Facebook will never gain another user and will lose a bunch and the entire younger generation will be embarrassed to admit they ever used it.
One more ridiculous opinion on technology for the morning. Email, I claim, is also dying. Nowadays if you really want someone’s attention you need to text them, not email them. Too many people know each others’ email addresses, so knowing someone’s phone number is really the only sign of authentic connection. And even that is falling by the wayside in our age of over-sharing and constrained attention.
My theory is that pretty soon we’re going to have yet a new way of communicating with each other, which isn’t really new but which has a privileged status. Perhaps it will require that, not only do you know my phone number, but you also have a password to indicate that your message is important enough for me to read it.