Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Why I am not on Facebook

I've avoided getting on Facebook up to now, because I know what happened to MySpace. If you try to tell me that nothing will ever replace Facebook as the social networking Place To Be online, I'll laugh in your face. And, with the speed of the internet culture, chances are good that Facebook is headed the way of MySpace any day now. So should I spend all my time on Facebook only to have it burn down in a few months?

Yet despite myself I am drawn to it like a siren song. Something deep within me prods now and then. "You're disconnected. You're out of touch." That's the allure, I suppose. Peer pressure of a sort. Everyone is doing it. I've never been one to follow the crowds. If I was, I'd have been playing World of Warcraft all this time, not City of Heroes (link). But the crowds are what defines a community. If there's no crowd, why would we be networking socially anyway? I know people. More people than I can track in my head or even properly on paper. To be figuratively linked to them through this medium entices me, and perhaps it's time I stop holding out.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Even without joining I've got a few friend invitations.
PPS - But that's probably the case with every non-member.


Miv said...

I'm surprised there wasn't a light side / dark side of the force aspect to that post.

Although I can understand the sentiment. Having finally succumbed (?) to the facebook phenomenon, I can see how it can become extremly addictive.

The idealist in me hopes it will remain fairly popular, perhaps being upgraded and modified as it continues rather than crashing and burning as all its predecessors have.

John said...

I don't think there is a light and dark side to this. Just popularity. Now, for certain counter-culturals, when a social networking site gets popular, they can no longer be seen there because it's too mainstream. Those would be the people who leave first. There's always someone willing to leave for some reason.

Who knows? Facebook may become the one social networking site that keeps ahead of the game and lives on strong. I guess the big question is: what did MySpace do wrong? Maybe it was the perceived shift to more of a direct marketing model. Instead of being a place to connect with your friends, it started to become a place for advertisers to find you and try to drum up hype for their wares.

littlemissrandom said...

MySpace is the slutty sister of Facebook.

Facebook is the demure and pretty one who doesn't lift up her skirts or try to pimp out her boyfriend and his band and YouTube clip and song and every other thing possible.

That's what MySpace did wrong. They made it too personal.

John said...

Is it possible for a social networking site to be "too personal", then? I guess I don't quite understand what you're getting at there.

Datadog said...

In answer to your near-month old post, there's actually a lot of socializing strength behind Facebook that I haven't seen in any other site. Since I've joined, I've been reunited with about 70% of my graduating class and been invited to several more parties this year than I have in the last five. It's been a pretty impressive socializing tool so far.

A major thing about what MySpace did wrong was basically let kids turn every page into a badly margined graphics/color hell. Facebook is more cleanly organized for the mostpart. But it's also more idiot-proof when it comes to organizing events, photos, and finding new people. Even my grandparents have figured out how to use it.

John said...

That's good to know, and honestly I think I'll be signing up before too long. You know, when I get around to it.

I still think social networking sites should be interoperable. I should be able to add friends from MySpace to Facebook, or bring my entire network with me if I choose to change services, even if my friends stay where they are.