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Social media is like a disease that spreads, and then dies

Disease models can be used to understand the mass adoption and subsequent flight from online social networks, researchers at Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering say in a study released Jan. 17. The study has not been peer-reviewed. Updating traditional models on disease spread to assume that “recovery” requires contact with a nondiseased member — i.e., a nonuser of Facebook (“recovered” member of the population) — researchers predicted that Facebook would see a rapid decline, causing the site to lose 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.

Basically, Facebook users will lose interest in Facebook over time as their peers lose interest — if the model is correct. ”Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,” write the researchers.


We can say the same for just about any entertainment product generally. Contrast with art which ages as a fine wine instead of rot like a cheap beer.

Being hardcore neolithics, my wife and I have never, ever, exposed ourselves to facebook or twitter.
This has kept us healthy, and sane. The question remains, though, that never having been exposed to these diseases, will we now have no acquired resistance to them?

According to the study, people such as yourselves are the antibodies.

That's both astute and hilarious.

External factors play a role though: Facebook has lasted far, far longer than Myspace as the predominant social network, mainly due to user flight from Myspace - mostly because of Myspace's incredibly bad web design and UI.

Remember opening some idiot's profile and having 3 "Screamo" videos and a Dane Cook standup routine all start playing at the same time, and said idiot had loaded their profile so full of hi-resolution custom images that you had to hunt around the suddenly huge browser window to find and shut them all off before your computer(or sanity) tanked? Myspace didn't realize that half their users were trailer trash morons, who, given the power to customize their own web portals, would make them nearly unusable.