Monday, April 11, 2011

Meeting Facebook to Facebook

Although not a fan of Facebook, I'm not adverse to it either. People seem so polarized about it. They either overindulge or avoid it like the plague and then wonder obsessively about what people are doing out there in the global community while they are be obstinate about joining.

It really isn't a big deal either way. The trick to Facebook is figuring out the privacy settings so that you avoid stalkers while allowing a few people to find you so that you can save time sending out photos of your kids. Having seen the movie the Social Network, I am amazed that Facebook is considered such a programming breakthrough. Somewhere in the back end coding it may be genius, but I pretty much think the user facing interface sucks.

For one, you can't find people who swear they are on Facebook and actually want you to find them. You spend more time e-mailing them to try different things to connect than you would if you actually flew across the country to visit.

And I'm getting sick of the generational bias people seem to think applies to social networks. I got news for you, just because someone is over 50 doesn't mean they grew up listening to a Victrola and writing on parchment. We are the generation that launched personal computing. And most of us have a rudimentary grasp of technology. Don't hate us because we can still socialize face to face without over developed thumbs from texting.

I have a Facebook, Twitter, Plaxco and Linkin account. I blog. I used to do Foursquare until I got tired of broadcasting my location to the world. I'm middle ged and I am wired, so there.

Still I get tired of hearing how social media is changing the way people communicate. There is no mystery to social media and the main way people make money off from it is by bilking people into buying the secrets of social media marketing.

I have to say that Facebook type social sites do help you stay connected to people you wouldn't have otherwise had much contact with due to time and distance. This isn't to say you maintain a robust relationship, but you at least manage to stay in the periphery of people lives.

Still, I feel no urge to constantly broadcast my status. I'm content with the random comment here and there and to post digital photos of my kids. Because although I accept Facebook for a way to stay in touch, I never want it to be the only way I stay in touch (or out of touch for that matter).

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