Get your face out of my Facebook – Published 26 Apr 2007

Another day, another new online community. I joined facebook yesterday. I didn’t really know why or what I’d get out of it. I just knew everyone else was doing it and I went with the flow.

Strikes me that these things are like a kind of hula hoop craze from the 50s. Some stick and some don’t.

Everyone suddenly had a flickr account (it was easy to see the point of that), then a myspace (less so with that one), now a facebook… 

I joined a community called Kaboodle and one called Digg a few months back and never, at any stage, fully understood their purpose, just did what the Romans were doing.

What I instantly felt uneasy about about with facebook was the assumption that I want all my friends and all my family in constant contact. It is uplifting to hear from friends, and that’s what we want from this sort of thing, a little uplift at various points throughout the day.

But at times Facebook feels like I’ve signed up for an ongoing invasion of privacy.

It doesn’t seem to account for the fact that people like to have moats around their social groups. Facebook doesn’t seem to get that actually you might love someone to bits but you don’t want to have them in your virtual social circle – all the time.

Or that in might be a bit uncomfortable when they try to latch on to someone they don’t know in your lists of friends.

The concept of “friend” is like the concept of “liking a song”. There are gradations. Some are with you for life, some you like for a week and then seem pointless. But all are treated equally with facebook. And it’s near impossible for a polite person to reject someone who asks to be ‘added as a friend’. 

I’d hate it if someone did that to me.

Anyway, the answer might be the next craze. What ever it is, it’ll take a little pressure off being part of this one. I’m looking forward to where you share the shape, colour and density of your morning plop, with your mates, some people from work and then your mum and dad.

Web 2.


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