Profiling change on Facebook: it’s more than just a hangout

Facebook was a thing of the past for a solid four years of my life. Now, as a freshman in college, I realize that Facebook still holds a large amount of power in the social world.

Where Instagram and Twitter are concerned, it is not uncommon for a student to be inactive or uninterested. There are still sprinklings of students who choose to not be a part of Facebook either, but they tend to be more of a rarity.

The social world used to be dependent on Facebook, as it was one of the first successful social media in the 21st century. Now it competes with at least a dozen other social sites, each offering a chance to connect with others in a new way.

Its widespread success may be linked purely to the fact that it has been around long enough for people to latch on indefinitely, but it also seems to be constantly evolving.

The evolution that I have witnessed is not so much in the site itself, but in the way that people are beginning to utilize it.

More often than not there are open and closed groups discussing real-world problems and politics, rather than birthday parties and puppy grooming.

Baylor students are no strangers to Facebook groups. Students who want to be heard are finding more and more ways to reach out to others.

It is no exception that nearly every club on campus has a Facebook page or group. Regardless of your involvement or interest, people are constantly trying to gain an audience.

Even when scrolling through my feed, I am constantly seeing videos and statements that call for change. Thousands have shared, viewed and reacted videos that point out disasters and heartache happening across the world.

Facebook is also continually used to share personal views. The number of anti-every-presidential-candidate videos and statements that I scroll through daily is incredible. Those who previously didn’t express their political stance now have a voice and an entire network to share it with.

Not everyone shares the views they agree with, but often the satisfaction of liking or commenting on a status can give those with less stable belief sets some ground to stand on.

Facebook is also growing in marketing. Every retail store and local photographer now has a page that they avidly push, giving them the chance to have customers that might otherwise never seen or bought from them.

With this comes more pressure to have a strong presence on social media, leading to other sites and advertising. Typically, it either stems from or leads to a Facebook page.

As the technological generation ages, there may be a change in the social media standing, but currently, Facebook is a common tool for those who wish to connect with others.

Social media is no longer a place to store excess photos from your most recent family gathering -although that is frequently a use of mine- it is now also a place where voices are being heard. The way people choose to interact continually turns to the internet, with Facebook as a gateway to change.

Liesje Powers is a freshman journalism major from Hewitt. She is a staff writer for the Lariat.