Wednesday, May 2, 2007

FaceBook - Should I, or Shouldn't I?

It started with AOL. Then MySpace. Now all the rage in social networking is through a Website called Facebook ( I can't count on both hands how many requests to join I've received over the last few months. Each one, I quickly passed over, thinking I spend waaay too much time online as it is. I don't have time for this now. . Every time I caught up with friends, and even family, I was asked if I'm "on facebook", and told how highly addictive it is. Old friends enthuse to me that they've located an old elementary school classmate, and he's living in China now! My best friend calls one night excited: you'll never guess who I found on facebook!. What on earth is so fascinating about this Website?

So last night, I decided to bite the bullet and join. Within minutes, I had notes on what they call my "wall" (looks sort of like an open forum) welcoming me to this highly addictive social community. I quickly added some of my friends (those dozens who had sent the requests over the months), and looked through THEIR friends, many of which I also knew. I got excited as I scrolled through the lists and recognized faces: Oh my gosh! I remember him from grade school! Wow, that is what so and so looks like now? She got married? Moved to BC. Is engaged. I was flooded with all of these faces from my past. Is this a good thing?

Some tend to think not. One person described the site to me as a place for "losers who can't let go of their past." Another said he started receiving requests to be "friends" with old schoolmates that he had "spent years trying to get away from in the first place!"

Why are these sites so popular? Is it a need for affirmation that one has friends? It's certainly a good feeling to have someone "confirm" their "friend" status with you. Is it a need to know you're remembered by those you've crossed paths with in your life? Or is there a voyeuristic tendency to learn whatever came of that guy that you hated in high school, or the girl you had a crush on in kindergarden?

Whatever the reason, it seems like everyone I know, or have ever known, is "on" facebook. I haven't figured out the inner workings of the site yet, but I'll definitely be visiting again to see what new faces pop up. Whether it's curiousity, or simply the fact that I'm sicking of being asked if I'm on the site, it looks like I've jumped on the bandwagon. Until the next "hot" site comes along....


Marta said...

Your story is very similar to mine. For months I was getting requests, and I was being told how great this site is, and my answer, always was that I already keep in touch with everyone I want to keep in touch with. But after being bombarded with e-mails I finally gave in. For the first few days I kept on asking “ what is they hype” and than is started, the friend requests started pouring in, and I realized just how many people I have not kept in touch with.

I am not going to say is the best site ever, however is nice to keep in touch with old friends, co –workers , and people from our of province. I hope you will enjoy your face book experience.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not you like it Facebook is a juggernaut. It is a great social networking site, and offeres a way for those who have not seen each other in years to get together, keep in touch, exchange stories and pictures.

It's probably so addictive beacuse of the constant barrage of emails that one receives exclaiming that there is a message on their 'wall' or that their pic has been 'tagged'. It's almost like a tamagotchi that wont go away :)

It is not an unhealthy thing (unless you are stalker OR are someone looking to see if an ex is still available!)

Is it for losers, maybe. I guess that there are a lot of losers out there in cyberspace then.

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi anonymous,

I completely agree. This is my first time joining an online social network of any kind, so perhaps this is why I feel so overwhelmed by it. Other social networking "gurus" might not react so surprisingly. As for the constant e-mails, I had no idea this would happen! But I'm taking the advice of a friend: just delete them all, and log on when you want to. It does pique one's curiousity, though, to see each time someone comments on a photo or writes a note to you. My guess is that the initial fascination wears off eventually, and log-in times become less and less frequent over time.

Thanks for commenting!

Lindsay said...

Christine you are right! As I am a college student I did not think I would have neither the time nor the energy to commit myself to a social networking site such as Facebook. However, after sitting through some quite dull 3-hour lectures on the ever changing economy I found myself on Facebook skimming through the pictures of those who I once knew, still know, and possibly of those who I never was and don't see myself ever being friends with in the near or distant future. Facebook can get addictive; however the addiction does wear off. Final exams come and all students who plan on passing all their courses try to stay away. “TRY” being the key word in that statement.