A few years back we mapped Religious Attendance against Facebook popularity. The sample was small but there appeared to be a correlation worth considering. Facebook was redefining how we think about community in a post-modern world.
Today I just want to explore this idea at a more granular level by mapping the correlation across Europe.
Perhaps not as clear cut as the original sample. But the original sample was based on Church data. This sample is based on a 2008 Gallop Poll.
Anyway it led me to contemplate alternative explanations to the adoption of Facebook across Europe.
And so I tried the OECD and discovered a data sample based on the simple question: "Do you trust other people?"
Here's what I found.
I still think the original proposition holds up. Facebook adoption is a reflection of our changing attitudes towards community. But perhaps better understood as more of a Trustbook, than a Faithbook, in the developed world.
So I added a few more into the mix.
And discovered the pattern was fairly consistent.
Facebook reflects our ideas about society. At least our trust in our fellow man. The big question for advertisers being can it, like TV has done so successfully over the past couple of generations, shape our ideas about society?
The next question worthy of consideration is: Does a correlation between increase social media usage and social dysfunction (or indeed visa versa) exist?
We'll begin by mapping the number of Psychiatrists per Capita against Facebook adoption.
Followed by the Divorce Rates against Facebook adoption.
And finally the Suicide Rate against Facebook adoption.
Does a correlation between increase social media usage and social dysfunction (or indeed visa versa) exist? I'll leave it up to you to decide. At this stage though it would appear the most compelling case for Facebook disruption is community.
Postscript: Winter 2021
It's been 8 years since we first examined this question
In that time the evidence of how social media has fundamentally chnaged our ideas about community has been gathering pace
With perhaps the most symptomatic expression of this being how couples now find their partners
What is interesting is the S-Curve of the original desktop web adoption cycle moving into the next phase of the mobile web