Monday, 13 October 2008

Use Facebook responsibly

I'm not quite as rabidly anti-Facebook as I thought I was. Indeed, I've found myself defending it against some non-users in the last couple of days. Mostly because, you shouldn't criticise something if you have no knowledge of it.
I've been on for about a year, and whilst many of the 'applications' are superflous, offensive or just plain pointless, the core funcionality of it is quite useful. Being Superpoked or being told 'someone is checking you out' or, worst of all, those dreadful chain letters that ask you to hug someone back before sending a hug on to ten of your other friends. Ugh.

It's simply a way of keeping anyone you might want to talk to in one place, not some fabulous new way of life. I'm not planning on phasing out any if the real relationships I may have and outsourcing them to Facebook. I'm not sitting there night after night in the vain hope that Jeff (my security guard friend from Newport) will throw a sheep at me.
It's just a quick way of getting a snapshot of people you know, sending them a quick message, or for looking at their holiday snaps.

I joined Myspace originally, but was quickly disillusioned as it seemed to be a competition as to how many friends, particularly famous ones, you could accumulate. That defeats the object for me, and just leaves you open to encounters with people you don't know. I know all my Facebook friends in some capacity or other. They're just real friends, people I know from work, or friends from the blogging community I've got a little bit closer to.

The blog formerly known as Five Centres, but now known as Bar Six,whilst the blogger himself remains known as Five Centres (or TBFKFCNKBSWBHRKFC for short) has a good post on Friends Reunited today. FR has quite a limited shelf life for people as there is only so may people you can reunite with. Once you've established that contact, it's far easier to chuck them into Facebook and keep tabs on them (or ignore them) with everyone else.
My own experience with FR resulted in short-term contacts with some ex-school chums which were quickly forgotten. I deleted my profile a couple of years ago and have never been back.

It's funny to watch the divisions now between 'new Facebook' and 'old Facebook'. Stick a few humans in a new society, real or virtual, and they'll find a way to quarrel and war.

7 comments:

Ishouldbeworking said...

I'm lost on why people take such an impassioned anti-Facebook stance. Surely these things are all about how you use them? Set your privacy settings high, ignore most of the weirdos, don't click on any adverts, and it's just a moderately useful tool for communication. If you fear you won't be able to control yourself, then don't bother with it. But calm down!

It's nice that you've made a new friend in Jeff, though, VS. I hear Dean Friedman is touring; perhaps you can go along together?

Beth said...

I don't like facebook because I don't understand all the gubbins, I'm not against it, I just wish it was a bit less...well, just a bit LESS, generally.

I did re-connect with someone I knew at College via FR, just in time for him to clear off to Vietnam. It's never told me anything useful about anyone I might have been ineffectually trying to sort-of cyber stalk, a little bit.

(I am Dean Friedman's only friend on Lastfm! True!!)

Bright Ambassador said...

I've deactivated my Facebook account. On account of the fact that I was sick of all the spam email it was sending.
A 'real' friend of mine went apeshit because I'd deactivated as he 'couldn't get hold of me'. Completely forgetting, of course, that he has my phone number, mobile number, two email addresses and a postal address.......

Do I miss not finding out what someone I've never met is up to? Nah.

Valentine Suicide said...

I don't really get any spam from FB, but then I don't really bother with any of the applications. When I have received unwanted spam, I've always been able to disable it. The other thing that people whinge about is the targeted advertising, but where don't you get that these days?

I went and had a look at your friends on Lastfm, Beth, and there he is, large as life. I nearly added him, but that would spoil it for you, I think?

I AM tempted to go and see him (but not with Jeff, who's not actually a Security guard, but an eighteen year old super model. Gah! Treachery!) if only to see his perform 'Lucky Stars', which is almost brilliant in it's utter awfulness. He's also got a song called 'Fuck Buddies', which I think needs to be heard?

Ishouldbeworking said...

Learn to play 'Fuck Buddies' on your new guitar, VS. Then you can impress the family with it at Christmas.

Valentine Suicide said...

I'm already looking at the chords to 'Lucky Stars' and I'm looking at YOU for the duet. Better start learning those words....

Ishouldbeworking said...

What are you, crazy?

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