shervin

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"All we need to do is make sure to keep talking." (Prepare to be Astounded)

Posted on August 30, 2010 at 4:04 AM
A friend of mine on Facebook shared a series of inspirational postcards made by his friend. One of them had a headline saying that 1,330 years are spent on Facebook everyday based on a citation that 700,000,000,000 minutes are spent on Facebook everyday. I was about to click Share on the photo but decided to do a quick check on the math.

First, I searched for that fact. I found the link below from Facebook saying:
 
 
People on Facebook

More than 500 million active users
50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
Average user has 130 friends
People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

I quickly shot a message over to the creator of the postcard correcting his citation and saying that's a monthly stat not a daily stat. 
 
Then I decided to do the calculation myself. I expected the the number of years to go down. However what I got was this:
 
700,000,000,000 minutes = 1,328,172 years per month
 
1,328,172/30 days = 44,393 years a day spent on facebook
 
Let me write that again. 44,393 years a day. 1,328,172 years a month.



 [Slide created by Cory Jim of Empowered Presentations]

This made me think of a quote from from Stephen Hawking:
 
"For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind's greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn't have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking." This was used in Pink Floyd's song "Keep Talking" from their 1994 Album "Division Bell." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aNugsnUuIs]


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Faebook has unleashed an unprecedented conversation. The world is talking. We are talking  in the micro-scale and the macro-scale. The social graph is much about a conversational graph as it is about our physical connections that tie us together. In the end, as Hawking points out, humanity's saving grace could come from continued talking. This conversation can never be bottled up again. The pandora's box of conversation has been unleashed and we can never be muted again. No government can ultimately stop it. And this organized conversation is not a tower of babel but a tower of meaning. In all this historic time spent people from around the world are coming closer together, reconnecting and re-architecting the landscape of our shared humanity.
 
The good that will potentially come in the decades ahead from the world coming together in a way and scale never before seen will be Facebook's legacy.  That legacy will be defined by the very product decisions made by Zuckerberg and team. I have said before that Facebook's product and policy decision have more effect on humanity than most governments let alone any other companies.  It is a heavy burden to have but one that holds so much potential for good if handled well. The key is make those decisions and make sure that they are learning from and informed by the very character and evolution of humanity's conversation. 
 
Finally, as a research nerd, seeing these staggering numbers makes me yearn for more efforts to support science and research projects like SETI and genetics research. More product innovation in the future could be done to support education and reading. Imagine a social Khan's Academy for example. Some of these innovations could come from Facebook and others by other developers building on top of Facebook. Facebook if leveraged this way at this scale, using simple social game mechanics, could potentially contribute to the solutions to many global issues through the crowd-sourced contributions of millions of people. Wouldn't that be something? 
 
-Shervin Pishevar
www.shervin.com
 
 
 

Thanks to Cory Jim of Empowered Presentations for the inspiration. 

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44 Comments

Reply chloe23
4:13 PM on August 30, 2010 
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Reply dina2189
11:33 PM on September 2, 2010 
thanks for the post. .
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Reply drew12
6:44 AM on September 4, 2010 
thats good.....

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Reply aloha hawaii
3:14 AM on September 17, 2010 
yaaahhhh really great. . . :)

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Reply scott
3:03 AM on September 18, 2010 
i share your sentiments
Reply Veer Dehaas
5:04 PM on September 19, 2010 
Although it is important that in our conversations with others we overcome cultural and religious obstacles. In this respect we need all to some extent a certain cosmopolitan education that learns us to deal with differences and to talk to each other on a respectful way. We need more talking based on mutual understanding. Great post! Thanks.
Reply John
8:23 PM on September 19, 2010 
Looks like I'm the first non-spammer to comment! Facebook is an oxymoron in itself. Your article supports the point that even though it's a "social" network, Facebook makes people less and less social the more time they spend on it. I try to limit my time on Facebook and this article encouraged me to work on that.
Reply kim23
6:21 PM on September 25, 2010 
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Reply swweep keeper
8:47 PM on September 25, 2010 
I don't think Facebook is all that great.
Reply Alireza
7:21 PM on September 26, 2010 
سلام، آقی پیشه‌ور،‌در مورد سرویس جالب و تازه شما یعنی توییت رولت و همچنین خود شما مقاله‌ای دروبلاگم به فارسی نوشتم. خوشحال میشم نظر شما را بدونم. من یک پزشک ایرانی علاقه‌مند به فناوری هستم و خوندن داستان زندگی و پیشرفت شما بران خیلی خیلی جالب بود. من از تایم استارحتم در بیمارستان برای نوشتن این پست استفاده کردم و اینقدر از نوشتن این مقاله لذت بردم که این موقع شب،اصلا احساس خستگی نمی‌کنم. ساعت الان ده دقیقه به 3 است. لینک مقاله من:
http://1pezeshk.com/archives/2010/09/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%88%db%8c%d9%
86-%d9%be%db%8c%d8%b4%d9%87%e2%80%8c%d9%88%d8%b1.html
ما در ایران خیلی آروز داریم که بتونیم استار اپ‌های موفقی راه بندازیم ، با اینکه ایده خوب زیاد داریم، اما فرصت و مجالش را کم داریم.
Reply Mostafa N
12:36 AM on September 27, 2010 
Dear Alireza,
Thanks for posting that interesting article about Mr. Pishevar in your blog. I enjoyed it and that's why I followed the links and here I am now! ;)
I feel really proud to see genius Iranians like Mr. Pishevar who are making difference in the world. They are indeed role-models for many of us.
Alireza says...
سلام، آقی پیشه‌ور،‌در مورد سرویس جالب و تازه شما یعنی توییت رولت و همچنین خود شما مقاله‌ای دروبلاگم به فارسی نوشتم. خوشحال میشم نظر شما را بدونم. من یک پزشک ایرانی علاقه‌مند به فناوری هستم و خوندن داستان زندگی و پیشرفت شما بران خیلی خیلی جالب بود. من از تایم استارحتم در بیمارستان برای نوشتن این پست استفاده کردم و اینقدر از نوشتن این مقاله لذت بردم که این موقع شب،اصلا احساس خستگی نمی‌کنم. ساعت الان ده دقیقه به 3 است. لینک مقاله من:
http://1pezeshk.com/archives/2010/09/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%88%db%8c%d9%
86-%d9%be%db%8c%d8%b4%d9%87%e2%80%8c%d9%88%d8%b1.html
ما در ایران خیلی آروز داریم که بتونیم استار اپ‌های موفقی راه بندازیم ، با اینکه ایده خوب زیاد داریم، اما فرصت و مجالش را کم داریم.
Reply snowbear
11:50 PM on September 27, 2010 
Mostafa N says...
Dear Alireza,
Thanks for posting that interesting article about Mr. Pishevar in your blog. I enjoyed it and that's why I followed the links and here I am now! ;)
I feel really proud to see genius Iranians like Mr. Pishevar who are making difference in the world. They are indeed role-models for many of us.
Reply snowbear
11:50 PM on September 27, 2010 
hi..thanks for the post!
Reply T Pletch
3:02 PM on October 1, 2010 
thanks!
Reply Roshu
2:54 AM on October 21, 2010 
Facebook should be used on weekends not on working days killing time like child do!
http://freegenuinedataentry.blogspot.com
Reply Billy Bob Stevens
4:12 PM on October 28, 2010 
Interesting statistics. I especially enjoyed your New Declaration on your July 4th post.
Reply Billy Bob Stevens
4:12 PM on October 28, 2010 
Interesting statistics. I especially enjoyed your New Declaration on your July 4th post.



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9:17 PM on November 9, 2010 
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Reply Jim badcredit
5:48 PM on November 16, 2010 
its unbelievable, but we need to remember that most of these people are probably playing games like farmville, so you could call them Zynga users!
Reply marieisabelle23
7:34 AM on December 3, 2010 
yah