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The Love Hate Relationship Between Facebook and the World

Last night, I watched Ryan Seacrest review the popularity of the American swim team by comparing their Facebook followers and comments. Even though I spent much of my day involved in social media, this still struck me as odd; several minutes of every broadcast, completely devoted to Facebook and Twitter. It’s unheard of, but you can bet it will continue to expand to news broadcasts of every kind as we move forward. Just imagine how it’s going to play into upcoming elections. . .

But social media isn’t one big love-in. Many people take to it with resigned acceptance. Steve Olenski of Forbes magazine knows this all too well. He conducted a very unscientific study into our thoughts on social media and came up with a very creative infograph detailing our love / hate relationship with the phenomena.

The infograph compares feelings from 2010 to 2012. Even though more people than ever are using social media, we’re still as conflicted as we were two years ago. On the downside, responders said that social media was so much noise, that it was a waste of time and it was reminiscent of the popularity contest in high school.

On the upside, they felt that it was a good tool for communication, a way to make new friends, and that it’s making the world a smaller place.

When asked, “what’s the first thing you think of when you hear Social Media,” the most common response was “Facebook.” (32%)

But as much as people complained about it being a brain and time drain, the overwhelming majority believe it will continue to thrive.

That’s both sad and encouraging. Social media is bringing us closer together. It’s elevating the comments of the everyman to that of a reporter and that’s how it should be. This week, it’s making the Olympics even more of a global experience than ever before.

I grumble about Facebook all the time, but I believe in the power of social media. I just think it needs a little more tweaking in order to get the love side of the meter to rise up higher than the hate.

To see the full infograph, just click here.