‘Slummies’ meet on Facebook

Who would’ve thought that topics such as “Slummies”, Friesland milkshakes, Numbers Dance Club and Nahoon Beach would find themselves in the global arena?

By - July 18, 2007
'Slummies' meet on Facebook

With the latest Internet craze to take the world by storm, all of this has now been made possible.

Facebook, described on its own site as "a social utility that connects you with the people around you", has fast become one of the leading digital social networking tools.

Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, the site originated at Harvard University in the United States and was originally designed to put students on campus in touch with each other.

It has has since exploded and today claims to have 27 million users worldwide.

South African online trend watcher Tyler Reed said although it was difficult to put a number on the amount of people who use Facebook in South Africa, "our calculations put it at around 160000 ? fast approaching 200000".

Reed, chief strategist at the Johannesburg-based social media marketing company Younique, added: "The South African user-base grows at an average of 2000 to 3000 new users per day."

In the Eastern Cape, this Internet phenomenon has taken with students and special interest groups alike.

For instance, Facebook users can belong to "You Gotta Love Slummies". At 1607 members, this reflects how Facebook can be individualised and localised.

Here users can discuss various aspects of East London including Friesland Milk Bar's world-class milkshakes, the beauty of Nahoon Beach and the previous night's social scene at Numbers Dance Club.

At Rhodes University in Grahamstown, Facebook's popularity is also evident. The Rhodes network boasts 3577 members and students access the Facebook site over 700000 times per day, according to figures for March, supplied by the Rhodes IT department.

Rhodes student Kyle O' Hagan said that Facebook was more "interactive than e-mail" and "a lot more fun".

"It's really useful in a little community like Rhodes because it helps organise one's social life and at the same time saves airtime," added another "Rhodent", Rogan Kerr.

But some lawyers, students ? and parents ? yesterday raised concerns over the pitfalls of Facebook.

Some say that the privacy of Facebook users could be compromised ? even though there is a disclaimer on the Facebook website.

Lawyers the Dispatch spoke to warned that those who chose to divulge personal information on Facebook, did so at their own risk.

"I would keep my personal information close to my heart on a site such as this, as I've seen so much identity theft in the past," says Elna Smit of the Commercial Crime Unit in East London.

"A negative aspect of Facebook is that one might describe it as being slightly addictive. It can be a distraction from work," commented Sembene Hamilton, a first-year journalism student at Rhodes.

Parent and teacher Adele Pfiffner said that she had no problem with children using Facebook, as long as they were aware of the dangers it could pose.

Another parent of two teenagers emphasised concerns that Facebook could be addictive and inhibit teenage social skills. On the other hand, she acknowledged that technology was "the way of the future".

Parents needed to effectively monitor sites their children log onto, and actively get involved, she added.

"As with everything these days, everything in moderation."

Comments

 

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – more technology images

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

How would you rate South Africa’s Mathematics and Science education quality?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Eskom starts stage 2 load shedding

Stage 2 load shedding Eskom

Eskom will implement stage 2 load shedding and load curtailment from 08:00 on Saturday morning.

Tech-savvy tourists get a raw deal in South Africa

technology 2

Country has to jack up its wi-fi connectivity and tourism businesses need to spruce up their websites if they hope to attract sophisticated tourists, writes Sharon Gilbert-Rivett.

Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet – what to expect

Ubuntu

The next version of Ubuntu is in final freeze and set to release soon.

Big savings on gadgets and tech products

Sale

You can score big with Incredible Connection’s Cyber Sale, Makro’s latest deals, and Dion Wired’s special promotions.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
X
bool(true)