Month: August 2007

Facebook Must Own You

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you know about Facebook.

Why? Because you’re on the Internet, and Facebook is almost as prevalent, at least in my corner of the world.

For those that might not know… Facebook is, at it’s core, a bare-bones social networking site, a blank slate allowing people to create their own groups and announce events, as well as adding a bunch of programs to enhance communication. Some of those latter programs include giving people a virtual drink, sharing your favorite books or movies, or playfully turning your friends into zombies. (And what I just described is the itty-bitty tip of a huge iceberg of applications.)

That blank-slate nature is part what’s responsible for the popularity of the program. The way one person uses Facebook isn’t how another person has to. The other part of it’s pervasiveness is the fact that everyone else is doing it; you better get on board too.

I’ve heard so many people state their hatred for Facebook; an understandable and expected reaction towards something that everyone else is doing. The desire to go left when everyone is going right… but with Facebook, all those lefties keep drifting right. And I don’t notice people laughing and saying “I told you so,” they’re just accepted in, and bitten into a Facebook Zombie, while writing on their wall and sharing favorite movies.

And this point, it’s not really because it’s popular… it’s because it’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere, and everyone is using it. It’s easy and fast… it’s the telephone all over again. And when people started using the phone, they stopped writing as many letters. It’s working it’s way into every home, or at least every internet user. It started out as any number of these websites, with a focus on college students keeping in touch, but it’s gone way beyond.

Everybody’s looking for everyone else in their past on Facebook. And you’ve got to join if you want to be found… you don’t want to languish, not hearing from you’re old grade school chums, right?

If I sound down on it; I’m not. I got in touch with a pair of half-sisters, as well as one good friend I’d lost and lamented, till we raised a pint again recently. That’s a few examples of the friendships and relationships I’ve had another chance to have in my life, and that’s mostly thanks to Facebook. Some people have flagged security concerns, from worrying about the level of personal content they choose to divulge, to the view that anyone on the system can and is being watched by the CIA. None of these are anything new to the Internet, and so in that I see no worries.

What I’m worried about are those people who aren’t on Facebook. Because if they’re not on the system, how will we ever find them? How will we get in touch?

Facebook is so much easier than the phone, right?