Is Facebook getting creepy?


What with all this connecting of users to websites and websites to users and users to preferences and privacy issues and apologies  - it's all a bit much these days for the average Facebook user who just wants to post pictures and look at the photos of others.

I ran across this article: World's Largest Social Network: The Open Web, in last Friday's New York Times (doesn't that make me sound well read?), and it has had me thinking...

In an effort to bring people closer together [and make gobs of money], Facebook may have managed to close people off from the rest of the interweb.

It appears that more people are spending time solely on Facebook than on Al Gore's actual interweb as a whole. Meaning: several years ago when Facebook was exclusively for college students, the rest of the world would, "socially network" via email and blogs and actual websites.

(I love how old that computer is.)
Now, we just log on to Facebook, write one-sentence exchanges on one another's walls, and log off. (Yeah right, as if we ever really log off. We're always connected. That's a whole other post.)

Yeah, we may be more connected to [random] people [that we may or may not care to be connected to], but we've developed a slight case of tunnel vision.

Now, there's a potential argument to be made that we should probably be socially networking face-to-face, and I hear you and I get it. But that's not always possible... say for example if you live in Mexico and your besties live in the continental United States. (I don't know anyone who lives in Alaska or Hawaii, or Puerto Rico for that matter.)

Also - is Facebook making us lazy? Instead of seeking out interesting content online, are we relying to much on our just-as-informed (or un-informed) "friends" to recommend or "like" something that we should read?


This quote caught my eye:
“Information is becoming less of a destination that we seek online,” says Anthony J. Rotolo, assistant professor of practice in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. “Instead we are expecting it to come to us in a social stream.”
In the Facebook stream, friends, not search engines, are the trusted sources.
“Just because someone belongs to your social network, it doesn’t make them a good source,” Professor Rotolo says. “But there’s a natural inclination to assume that a person possesses reliable information because it’s person-to-person.”
Oh and get this: apparently since the viral popularity of Facebook, BLOGGING has seen a drastic drop.
Susan Herring, professor of information science at Indiana University, sees it this way: “What the statistics point to is a rise in Facebook, a decline in blogging, and before that, a decline in personal Web pages. The trend is clear, she said — Facebook is displacing these other forms of online publication. 
What?
Gasp?
How can this be?

I cannot even imagine a world without blogging. (Ignore the melodrama of that statement.) But really, this makes me sad.

We don't even have time to maintain blogs because we're too busy liking and disliking Cousin Louise's status update that she's in line at the grocery store and she forgot her non-paper grocery bags in her trunk?

Hmmm....

--

What are your thoughts on Facebook? Is it the root of all evil? Or is it a tool for good?

I refuse to let my blog go the way of the newspaper.

7 comments:

  1. I think I have ranted about this before, but I have gotten some feedback about my blog and basically avid Facebookers tell me, "why don't you just put that on Facebook? I would read it more if it was easy like facebook."

    What?

    Easy like facebook?

    As if going to another URL is difficult.

    I too, will not let my blog go, in fact, I may want to step it up a few notches.

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  2. I like Facebook.I like talking to some people that I normally wouldn't ever have the opportunity to.

    BUT it has occurred to me that it seems to function as total social interaction for some. Louis and I decided that we need to really really get out more and actually spend some face time with these people. Louis got so bothered by his addiction before that he totally canceled his Facebook account. He now feels like he has it more under control.

    Sorry, this is getting a bit long-winded....

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  3. I am still somewhat computer illiterate... more than the average person, so, I find facebook a good thing because i really do, only use it to keep myself updated to those I can't see in person and get a much needed laugh from those I do see. However, I would greatly miss bloggers such as you (of course), and AthenaBee and two peas, also one of my very favorites, Grumbles & Grunts- I secretly adore her and her family! I guess that is my 2 cents... but might not be that applicable since I cannot use the internet to its full advantage yet! :)

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  4. I find myself wondering how a person can NOT have a Facebook page. There are people in my extended family that don't have a Facebook page and it drives me crazy. And then I realize that it drives me crazy because I want them to get a FB page so I can be a lurker and find out what's going on in their lives. And that IS CREEPY.

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  5. I agree -- Facebook breeds laziness. :) I attended a marketing seminar about social networking recently, talking about what social media outlet is the best "hub" for your personal or business social networking. In other words, you can have Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc., but one should be the hub that all the others lead back to. And the panel of experts all agreed that a BLOG is the best of all possible hubs. Your Facebook, Twitter, company/personal website -- everything should feed back into the hub. So we're all doing the right thing, it seems. It's just that Facebook is trying to hog all the action. Oh, and people (including me) are lazy.

    (I love that Professor Rotolo is a "professor of practice." Do they also have "professors of doing"? Heehee.)

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  6. I'm beginning to think Facebook might actually be evil. Obviously, everyone in your "friends" list is not actually your friend... so it's important to be careful what you say. I've come to realize this lately and have been less active on FB because of it... and have starting "removing friends"... people I don't want to see me complain about my job or know my personal biz-nass.

    Also, I think people feel like they can say anything to you because they don't have to actually BE there to witness your reaction. Some social skillzzz go out the window. I have been guilty of this (like discussions about politics, which I try now to only talk about on my blog).

    I think FB CAN be good, if it's used thoughtfully and not as the root off all social interaction. That is totally scary. I'm trying to avoid that, however, I'm nosy. I'm trying to be better about that too.. and tell myself "do you REALLY care?" Usually, no.

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  7. It IS a bit creepy! I actually have a post written about facebook that I have been meaning to put up once I get to blogging regularly again. :(

    I think it is a nice addition to keep in touch with your friends when you are older but it is getting a bit too much and I do agree that it can make people lazy. I am also a firm believer that it is NOT the best outlet for children/teens. But that might be a whole other blog post!

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