I must be one of the only people left in the world who isn’t on Facebook. Or in the universe, maybe, because I’m pretty sure Facebook is out there, too. All I do is blog – and even that’s pretty sporadic.
I just don’t get Facebook. Why do I have to be so available, so easy to find? Maybe I don’t WANT people that I met in my Sunday school class when I was 6 to look me up now. Maybe I don’t WANT to receive an invitation to your party en masse and impersonally along with two thousand other people who have “friended” you. Maybe I don’t WANT to see photos of you or your kids/ spouse/ dog/ mansion/ Ferrari when I haven’t seen YOU since 1987.
And maybe I don’t want to look you up, either. Maybe I didn’t like you then, so why would I like you now? Maybe I did like you when we were 15, but when you went out with my boyfriend before we actually broke up, I hated you and I’ve never gotten over it. Maybe I’m not terribly curious about whatever happened to you in any case.
Almost everyone I know thinks that Facebook is the cat’s ass, that it’s so much fun adding stuff to your own page and replying to stuff on friends’ pages. Why is it so important to put on your page stuff like your entire medical history? Just in case your best friend in Grade 6 now wants to know? Do you think he or she cares? You know, I have enough trouble thinking of topics to blog about, never mind checking Facebook and updating my bloody status every six minutes. Do I even have time for all that?
As far as communicating through Facebook, well, why? Can’t you email me or text me and me alone? Yes, I know you can send private messages on Facebook too, but isn’t that a little silly when all you have to do is open up your email program on your laptop? Or pick up your smartphone to text me? Or – and here’s a radical idea – you could CALL me! Remember phone calls? If I’m not available, suck it up, buttercup. I have voice mail too!
Friending? Defriending? Come on, if you’ve never met someone in real life, how can be friends or not friends with them? Doesn’t being a friend imply that you actually KNOW the other person? At least in the blogging world, we call each other “followers”. That makes a little more sense to me.
The lack of privacy scares the crap out of me, too. I know, I know, you can set your own parameters for privacy on Facebook, so you can be as private or open as you choose. But – and this is a big issue, I think – it is still quite possible to trace you, even if you’ve chosen the maximum privacy settings. There are people who give lectures on this very topic, most notably to parents of elementary school-aged kids, whose kids are mostly too young to be on Facebook anyway (don’t you have to be at least 12 years old?). Apparently, most of these parents are quite stunned that 1) their kids have Facebook accounts in the first place , and 2) it is pretty easy to find a kid’s real name, address, school, etc. based upon what is written on their Facebook walls and how their photos and those of their friends are tagged. It seems to be like a puzzle: follow this lead, then that one, then that one, and you will eventually find the personal info on the person you are looking for. Sometimes it takes a while, but according to these experts, it is possible almost every single time. I’m thinking: Facebook is not the safest way for a little kid to spend hours every day.
And what happens ten years down the line, when all those people who have posted all those silly photos and personal information about themselves on Facebook try to get responsible jobs? Employers check out prospective employees, and they will see those compromising photos of you and your drunken pals barfing in the alley last weekend. They will find those incriminating photos of you and your brother pretending to snort coke at that bar last month. They may even find those racy photos of you that your ex posted on their wall two years ago when the two of you were still an item. Despite your qualifications, doesn’t look like you’re cut out for a responsible job, does it? (Of course, there is the point of view that if everybody and their dog is publicizing private information and posting any and all photos, it becomes commonplace and loses any importance it has, so really, it’s no longer an issue. Maybe … but I don’t quite believe that!)
So, about Facebook? I may be in the minority, but no, thank you!