Did You Know?

Mark Zuckerberg:

If Facebook were a country, it would be the eighth most populated in the world, just ahead of Japan, Russia and Nigeria.

Marco Arment:

Right, except its demographics would be a bit skewed.

There would be no children and no elderly.

Half of the population would be dead, flopped over in their houses, with nobody noticing or caring. But they’re still counted in the census!

A quarter of the population would be marketing consultants yelling advertisements at everyone. They’re counted, too.

And nobody, including the government, would be making any money or producing much of lasting value.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. And nobody, including the government, would be making any money or producing much of lasting value.

    Clearly, someone has a grudge and doesn’t really bother to actually investigate the things he is lambasting so easily.

    People do make money on Facebook.
    And people do things of lasting value.

  2. I don’t buy the whole “if Facebook was a country” argument… it’s just the social networking hype-mongers trying to do what they do best… hype web 2.0. No one ever says, if Facebook was a country… but if TV viewers were a country, they’d be the largest country in the world.

  3. There are both children and elderly on Facebook … the former having lied about their age ;-).

    I know people in their seventies who make good use of Facebook. People are just biased.

  4. Whatever quibbling we may do about the actual numbers, the sentiment of the retort is spot on.

    Yes, Facebook is popular, and yes, it’s incredible that so many people use it… but being a member of a social networking site is a lot more ephemeral than being a living, breathing citizen of a country.

  5. I’ll second Chris’s sentiment, but add the fact that the argument even gets made is a big part of what gets in the way of the whole Ed2.0 thing.

    Sure the political debates are fun, and get your readers riled up and get you a high technorati score. But when the dust settles, no one’s moved, which means no one has actually gotten better at what they do, which means there are probably better ways for me (at least in a professional sense) to spend my time.

  6. what’s a ‘living, breathing citizen of a country’?

    that sounds hard, complex, and something that one needs to pull off without a username and password.

    and I bet one can’t get by on 140 characters or less.

    (sorry for mixing up platforms)

  7. For the record, this dude Marco Arment invented a little slice of Web 2.0 called Tumblr (maybe you’ve heard of it) so it ain’t exactly like he’s some axe-grinding Luddite like yours truly.

  8. dan, that’s exactly why I think he does have some inherent bias.

    Tumblr, in some ways, competes with Facebook—especially for people’s attention. No doubt he would like to think the Facebook crew never makes anything of value. Except people actually use Facebook; not many use Tumblr.

  9. Mrmeyer fans-

    I teach in New York, and we are in the process of going through some serious cuts for this upcoming school budget vote in March.

    Has anyone else gone through this before?

    I am most curious about what other schools have done in the past and are going to do this time around. I’m trying to find innovative ideas for what areas to cut.

    Can anyone shed light on this?


  10. What a strange discussion. I don’t even use facebook, but I’m trying to understand why this discussion is even taking place. Strange.