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I’ve Tried Facebook and Fail to See the Point

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[Preface: I am glad to have reconnected with some people on Facebook. If you’re one of my Facebook friends, keep that in mind as you read this rant.]

I figured, everybody older than seven and younger than 90 is doing it, so there must be something to it, right? I mean, something this popular has to be either really fun, really forbidden, or it helps people make money. So I signed up and started gathering “friends” like flies.

People I haven’t talked to since elementary school were inviting me to be their friends. At least one person who I was more than happy to have lost contact with found me on Facebook and invited me to be her friend.

I ignored her invitation. Twice. Yeah, I’m kind of a jerk like that.

So now I get inane little updates from people I haven’t heard from for decades. Rebecca is going to do laundry now. (“Ahhh,” I think. “Rebecca is going to do laundry now.”) Kara is really tired and is going to bed. Pierre still has openings for his course. Don’t you want to sign up? Want to buy Lauren’s natural miracle soap?

I mean, as if the Internets weren’t already vapid enough, I now get “cute” little Facebook pokes and gifts and, oh! what’s this!? I’ve been kidnapped and am being held for ransom! Or I’m the lettuce in Hannah’s BLT. Its text messaging writ large with graphics and color—a world that is hostile to any exchange more significant than liking something up or down and posting your latest golf score. The only thing missing from this surreal stew of insipidity is the Hello Kitty background, and that’s probably coming. If the medium is the message, then we are well and truly screwed.

You exaggerate, you will say. You need better friends, you will say. True, true. But what if all the time spent on Facebook were instead invested in building your Niche Blitzkrieg sites or generating income by filling business needs in your area? That’s a lot of wasted productivity, if you ask me.

Yes, I’m the old guy in your neighborhood who is always yelling at the kids, “Get off my lawn!” Any other questions?

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4 Comments

  1. I do think Facebook has networking value, but I agree that a lot of the apps, tags, and groups can be a bit overwhelming. I suggest using it on a limited basis, and only for the reasons you find valuable. If keeping in touch with old friends is the purpose for you, great! If you want to meet new people in your industry, perfect! If you want to become a pirate and fight a zombie, even better! As long as you’re meeting your goals, it’s not a waste of time.

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  2. I could not agree more with your evaluation of FaceBook. I really do not have a need to know if one of my friends is drinking coffee or what they are watching. I found that like most things it can be addicting while being a waste of productive time. Hey–I didn’t mind finding out that I should be living in Paris and that I am most like Grace Kelly but did those quizzes make me any money? From a legal standpoint I have privacy issues with FB and other social networking sites. We complain about the government becoming “Big Brother” when in fact just go to FaceBook–people waive their privacy act everywhere. I use Twitter for politics and news and FeedDemon for a quick read of topics that I subscribe to. Steve is right–I need to spend my on line time wisely. My FB experience lasted two days. What ever happened to the telephone. The friends on FB actually set up text to phone and they are right here in my area. I don’t get it!

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  3. I’m a middle aged person like you; I signed up for Facebook and I found it unbelievably boring. Why would I want to meet only people I already know ??
    OTOH,
    I’ve had a MySpace for about two and a half years and I love it …I find out things way before they ever get in the news and I’ve met some people I wouldn’t trade.
    Your point is very well made about the use of one’s time.

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  4. Yes, Facebook is kind of a time waster…but boy is it fun! I play all kinds of games on it, like My Farm, My House, Metropolis, Fish Wrangler, etc. I do take advantage of posting my Associated Content articles to it, though, so at least I generate a few extra pennies now and then through social traffic.

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