You probably see people using Facebook at your library and wonder why they aren't out looking for jobs. The answer is, unfortunately, that Facebook is their job.
Facebook's success is a symptom of the poor world economy. When people have no money to spend on actual products, they find other ways to spend their time.
And Facebook is current destination for time-wasting. Everyone laughed when Betty White hosted SNL and said that Facebook was a huge waste of time, but nobody made that connection to the economy and said, "Hey, Facebook is really popular because people are out of work." Everyone just laughed at Betty's funny. And no one even wondered at how bad the economy must be that an 88-year-old woman still needs to work to pay for food.
And our free time is what makes Facebook worth any money at all. The company produces nothing. We see ads and that is what generates the most revenue. But the users produce 99.9% the content.
As long as Facebook succeeds, the recession will continue. So long as we are wasting time on it, we are not being paid to work. We give our labors away for free. To make Facebook rich.
I think someone should demand a salary for all this time spent making Facebook look good.
I don't know how many employees Facebook has on its books, officially, but there are 500 million names that need entering. And paid at least $8.50 an hour. And given health insurance. And dental.
The best I can find is that Facebook has 800 employees. And is worth, what, $33 billion (based on one potential IPO sales estimate)? And who would benefit from all that value? Maybe the top 50 employees and the investors. Would that trickle down into real jobs for Americans, or anyone?
By comparison, a company like Wal-Mart might be worth over $200 billion and employs 2 million people.
I'm not saying that Wal-Mart is better for America, but I needed something to compare.
So I'm hoping I'm wrong, but I view Facebook growth as inverse to the strength of our job market and our economy. As Facebook grows stronger, we grow weaker, based on how many people have nothing better to do with their time.
Now, if you really want to hear my kookiest theory, get me to explain how the book The Secret is responsible for the current economic recession.