Recently I put a profile up on Facebook. You’d have to live under a rock not to have heard of it and MySpace, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I’m still not quite sure.
So far, FB seems like a huge online timesuck. You could spend hours searching for new friends, inviting and answering invites, writing on walls, checking everyone’s updates and adding your own. I guess some people get emotionally invested in increasing their number of friends. And by the complexity of their pages, you can tell that some have spent hours customizing and adding info.
As a cousin wrote, for me there’s just too much “social spam.” How are people I’ve never heard of finding me? Some I have friends in common with, but some I don’t. Maybe FB should include in the friending invitation info about how that person found you. I don’t yet understand all the side applications (and I think I read somewhere that some of them aren’t completely safe and might track your internet usage, etc.).
And what is the point of things like “green patch” and “friends for sale?” Someone bought me as a pet, and wants me to click to find out how much I cost. What does that mean? Nor am I that interested in playing the various games I’ve been invited to.
Maybe I’m too old to get it, or maybe I just have a different definition of fun.
Do people really meet new people via these sites? Do they connect with long lost contacts and friends…and if so, in a meaningful way? I’d bet if people took all the time they’re spending on Facebook/online games, and invested that in their careers or with their live friends/family, they’d probably get a lot more accomplished. But perhaps in today’s world, some find online relationships more satisfying than being face to face. Or…remember this…talking on the phone.
Let me know what you get out of Facebook. And maybe I’ll finally understand why it’s so popular.
The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick says
Facebook definitely can become a time suck if you’re not careful. I’ve deleted several Applications since first joining and only keep a select few, despite how many new ones other people send me invitations to join. I’m probably still going to go through and weed out a few more soon, too. But when someone “sends” you something for an application you currently have, I figure the most energy it takes from me is clicking a button to accept or not. No big deal. I also make a point of typically only checking Facebook first thing in the morning, at the same time I read the list of friends’ blogs that I frequent. Occasionally, I may pop back over at lunch time, when I’m sitting at my desk reading the news online, etc. So, I wouldn’t be working or writing during these times anyway, thus no waste of my time there. I do see, however, how some people can make it a social outreach. I just like having the built in network mainly for other writers I connect with. Also, I figure come the day I’m published, I already will have a built in network to market my books. Never hurts to have a head start there. I’m doubtful I’d even have the page if I wasn’t thinking ahead of ways I can make it beneficial in the future. 🙂
It’s another thing on my list that I haven’t done. The list is long. There are zillions of networking sites. My introvert side is coming out.
Don’t totally write it off! For a lot of people who don’t blog but spend “hours” on their profiles, its just a different way to put themselves out there. Plus its a really good way to stay in touch with friends who live far away but you’re not quite good enough friends to call on the phone all the time. I am very application cautious–I totally don’t get most of them–but some are fun. I am actually doing PR for The LIfe Changing Box these days, and it is the only one in which you can win prizes just by clicking along while you browse photo albums. Maybe it won’t change your life, but there’s a good chance you could win an LCD TV or a trip to NYC.
I found one long-lost friend – we had both moved to different countries and probably never would have found each other again without FB. We had a great time getting caught up. As for the rest of FB? I can think of better ways to waste time, and the way they ‘own’ any content you post is scary.