I’ve been on Facebook for a few weeks now and while I think it’s great in that I’ve gotten to connect with old friends that I’ve not had contact with for years, I also find it really bizarre. For instance, with Facebook you can set your status.. a little blurb like “I’m feeling this way” or “I’m tired” or whatever. I find it really… wierd… that people have statuses like “I feel sick” or “I’ve been sick all night” and so on. I mean, really… if you’ve got a bought of the runs or an upset stomach or something, the last thing I would be doing is hopping on the computer to update my Facebook status to indicate it. It’s like they rush to the toilet then rush back to Facebook to let the world know they’ve just rushed to the toilet. It’s very bizarre.
It’s also interesting to see how much time people invest in Facebook. For me, it’s a communications medium.. I get in contact with some people that I’ve not talked to in a decade or more, which is pretty neat. I’ve found one of my best friends from school on there that I’ve not talked to in about 8 years, an ex-girlfriend that cheated on me (Lord only knows why she wanted to be added to my friend list, but…). My point is that for me, Facebook is a great way to talk to people that I’ve not talked to in a long time or wouldn’t necessarily take the time to phone or email (provided I had their number or email address). But with the number of discussion groups and little applications I see on people’s profiles, I can tell they’re spending a lot of time on Facebook. I find that odd that people want to spend time sending people “naughty gifts” or “virtual drinks”, etc. Call me wierd but that has absolutely no appeal to me at all. Yet people have their pages absolutely littered with these useless little apps and keep sending me drinks/gifts/hamsters that, if I accepted, would add the same crap to my profile page.
Being the paranoid security professional that I am, I don’t want these third-party apps having blanket access to my personal info (not that I have more than the bare minimum in there anyways). I wonder if all these people who put their phone numbers, email addresses, etc. realize that by authorizing these 3rd-party apps, they’re essentially opening up one more hole to their personal info. An unscrupulous app writer could easily obtain that info in some way, I’m sure.
Anyways, I find the whole social network “phenomenon” both worrying and fascinating. I worry about the people who don’t think about real issues like online privacy, and I’m fascinated with the amount of time they spend on this thing. Me, I’d rather spend time interacting with real people (like my wife and daughter), playing games, or coding. I guess that’s just the geek in me. Maybe Facebook needs more geek appeal. =)