Monday, September 22, 2008

Is Facebook Social?

By Robin Bulanti
I stalled. I fought it. I said never! But I was curious. I kept hearing “Facebook Facebook Facebook.” I stalled and I waited for as long as possible. But as it started to seem like a business tool I was missing out on, I decided to jump in…

Yes, I’m finally on Facebook. And it’s better and worse than I anticipated. My worst fears confirmed immediately—it’s a distracting, addictive, strange and surreal mash-up of childhood pals, college friends with too much time on their hands, professional colleagues and clients, and in some cases, complete strangers who want to add me as a friend (who are they?).

It’s an ever-expanding social “utility” for pastimes like photo sharing, networking and socializing, new applications, along with the less-than-useful silly quizzes and time-wasters (and sure, I do those too). Does it have a shot as a serious business contender? Will it help mobilize individuals for social change and causes? Who cares, I’m hooked. My poor, neglected Yahoo! has been officially upstaged by Facebook.

In a strange way, what I don’t like about Facebook is also what I love about it. Online, we’re more AND less connected than ever. I miss real letters in the mail, personal connections, face-to-face meetings and phone calls (texts don’t count!). But like everyone else, I have less time than ever. And Facebook (like Twitter and others) requires practically zero effort to follow my friends’ ups and downs, every move and random thought. Now I may not have spoken to someone in 10 years, but I know what they ate for lunch…now that’s weird.

The world (and my network) is larger and smaller than ever before. It’s a little big brother, it’s a little thrilling, and for now at least, it’s pretty fun. But feel free to write me a letter and pop it in the mail, I still miss that.


Anne Herreria said...

I'm so there with you is totally addictive and yet odd to know what your high school friends had for lunch, in some cases every single day! (Can I add you as a Friend?!)

Robin said...

Wanted to add something I just's pretty funny! "How Social Networks are like High School"