Whilst meandering through cyber-space this cold, wet December morning, I stumbled upon an interesting image created by one of the brains working for Facebook. Now as everyone knows, Facebook is a worldwide networking tool that enables people to connect and share content with seemingly anyone, anywhere. Off the top of my head I can think of friends and family spanning the globe that I can communicate and interact with – a cousin in North Carolina, my brother working in Singapore, university friends now living in Australia, and a host of other acquaintances in South America, New Zealand and Asia to name but a few. There’s even a guy from school who lives in a remote part of Russia.
The image I mentioned above, is a graphic realisation of all of these Facebook connections, based on the frequency of their occurrences between locations across the globe. The result of which is at first glance a map of the world, but with a few glaring, anomalous omissions. China, the world’s largest country by population is nigh on nonexistant; Africa is more or less a coastal outline; Lord knows where Russia has gone (maybe we will get the 2018 World Cup after all!), whilst mainland Europe and North America are solid chunks of white, defined by the sheer number and close proximity of all the connections within. This may be explained by how developed these countries are in terms of technology, and how readily available that technology is to its citizens.
So whilst this image is pretty to look at, it also gives a very good representation of how heavily dependant the majority of the world has become on virtual communication. And this only shows how far Facebook has spun its web – it would be interesting to see what similar graphics for the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn would look like. As we invest more and more of our time in nonphysical means of communication, it becomes imperative that we back up as much of our data as possible, in the event of anything going wrong in cyber-space. One means of doing this is via SocialSafe – a digital diary backing up your online social content from Facebook. With new updates soon to incorporate Twitter, this piece of software keeps your version of that theoretical blue and white picture safe and sound on your hard drive. So if you do need to start your Facebook journey again, at least you’ll have a map of the world to help you get there.