Thursday, 28 February 2008

Facebook ...

late to the party, I let myself be assimilated by the Facebook borg a little before christmas last year.


Curiousity. Students used it, it was mentioned on a couple of podcasts I regularly listened to, and it seemed to be taking over the world. So I joined it. And initially it was kind of fascinating. All these people I know who were on it, news of former colleagues, reconnecting with old friends, etc. Definitely a rush. We're social beings after all.

And well, what's it for? Jokes about "well the earth moved for me" alerted me to yesterday's small earthquake in england, but otherwise not much. Yes sure you can play games with friends far away, share photos and the rest, but you can do that anyway. What Facebook sells is the illusion of community in an increasingly fractured socially disconnected online world, allowing you to conenct with people that you sort of know and to keep up with their doings.

In short facebook is a sociological phenomenon, not a technical phenomenon, and something that says more about the way we live and how tenuous our connections are with people we consider friends. There's an xkcd cartoon that seems appropriate.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've pretty much left Facebook. My account still exists, but with no info in. There seemed to be no real benifts to be against the time wasted.

Since you are thinking about this stuff, you might find this post about the need for transience in online "friends" interesting: