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Facebook: Why use it? Why not? etc.

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*** Mod's note: Split topic from here ***

*** I'm taking Grames' suggestion (below) to split this out into a separate topic. -sN ***

I have trouble seeing it because I have no facebook account.

It gets tiresome when people assume everyone has one.

Very true. I swear I'm the only person at my college (teachers included) without a facebook.

Edited by softwareNerd
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No, there are two people posting in this tread, alone, not on facebook. You presume, and arrogantly insist on it when called on it. Go to Hell.

The easy fix here would be to just sign up for facebook.

Totally uncalled for and outright rude. Also, your reasons against facebook are other people complaining about something you don't understand, and privacy issues over keeping things you can only imagi

Maybe I do not want to. There are plenty of people who don't.

Like it or not, there is a rising generation of people for whom Facebook effectively *is* the internet. Everything they do on-line flows through Facebook one way or another. They view e-mail as a bizarre old-fogey holdover from a bygone era. (You can imagine how this makes me feel... I still read *Usenet* on occasion. Get off my lawn!)

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Well that much is obvious.

What irks me is the casual assumption that of course everyone is on Facebook, and the attitude from people like JASKN that you'd have to be crazy not to be on Facebook.

The Colorado Springs Tea Party got off to a slow start because the organizers initially tried to do everything on Facebook. They changed their minds in a hurry.

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Not to hijack the thread, but what good reason is there not to use facebook? It's a service, just like the entire internet, which also happens to do a good job. Everyone you know is on it, which makes it even more valuable. It's actually inconvenient, in net (and like now), not to use it.

Back on topic, I'm with those who think the interesting part will be next week, when more theaters are added and the established fans have already seen the movie.

I am seeing it Wednesday, but thanks to Grames I am not anticipating much more than the novelty of watching a book I admire rolling out in life before me.

EDIT: "Of course" everyone is on facebook because everyone IS on facebook. If almost everyone you knew wasn't, such an attitude wouldn't exist.

Edited by JASKN
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Like it or not, there is a rising generation of people for whom Facebook effectively *is* the internet. Everything they do on-line flows through Facebook one way or another. They view e-mail as a bizarre old-fogey holdover from a bygone era. (You can imagine how this makes me feel... I still read *Usenet* on occasion. Get off my lawn!)

Well I remember when MySpace was the big thing. That disappeared quite suddenly didn't it?

Well here is my second-hand experience with Facebook. When I am face to face with people the only thing they have to say about Facebook is to bitch about what people put on their "wall." Whatever that is. Sounds like an ulcer generator to me. Between that and the recurring privacy issues (it seems like every six months or so I read that FB has added some feature and used it as an excuse to default everyone's privacy back to "nonexistent"), I think I'll pass, and wait for this fad to die.

On the other hand when rap was first inflicted on us in 1987 I figured it'd go away in a couple of years, and it didn't. It's an odd thing though; this is not just a case of old fuddies complaining about the new thing, because I note that rap accomplished one thing no one had ever managed before--it got large numbers of teenagers and 20-somethings to listen to their parents' music. No one in my generation or even the half-generation or so after that (just before rap came out and ate up everything else) would have been caught dead doing that.

Usenet? It's still around? I kid of course; I still hear about it from time to time. I delved into it back in the mid 90s and it looked like a bottomless sewer of what we now call trollage. There was even a whole group for dumping on someone (who happened to be the brother of someone I know). I am glad there exists moderated fora such as this one.

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EDIT: "Of course" everyone is on facebook because everyone IS on facebook. If almost everyone you knew wasn't, such an attitude wouldn't exist.

No, there are two people posting in this tread, alone, not on facebook.

You presume, and arrogantly insist on it when called on it. Go to Hell.

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You presume, and arrogantly insist on it when called on it. Go to Hell.

Totally uncalled for and outright rude. Also, your reasons against facebook are other people complaining about something you don't understand, and privacy issues over keeping things you can only imagine private. And it is obvious to me at least that this thread doesn't represent all internet users, probably your acquaintance/friend base, and definitely my acquaintance/friend base.

Because I am in the mood to argue over something trivial (and because you were rude): according to internetworldstats.com, (facebook and possibly internet numbers have likely increased since):

344,124,450 estimated population for Northern America in 2010.

266,224,500 Internet users as of Jun 30/10 and 77.4% penetration rate.

149,054,040 Facebook users on August 31/10, 43.3% penetration rate.

Edited by JASKN
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Well that's hardly "everyone" is it? Despite your arrogant insistence on the term earlier.

I return rudeness for rudeness. Your attitude has been that people not on facebook are nobodies.

I guess it didn't come across online, but "everyone" was an exaggeration used for effect, and any attitude that came across was only directed at the "anti-facebook" mentality and not simply being a non-facebook user. But didn't I explain all of this in the preceding posts?

Anyway, hijack ended.

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I don't have a Facebook account. I don't have a webpage either, so why would I need Facebook to be a gatekeeper for my non-existent secret clubhouse?

I move that the thread be split for a Facebook debate, so someone can explain what the hell Facebook is good for. All in favor say Aye!

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Good idea to split.

Facebook is good for keeping up with people you otherwise couldn't or are not in close enough proximity to maintain a more robust relationship with, although some may argue that the internet relationship is robust enough. Facebook does a good job of organizing the various personal goings-on of people you like or care about, where you would otherwise have to keep up with every blog/website/message board, and so forth. For this same reason, it is also very easy to spread information you want spread. Furthermore, many people who would not have kept a webpage instead use facebook, so you can keep up with the lives of people you certainly would not have otherwise, even had you wanted to, thanks to facebook.

The idea that facebook is some terrible wall to get around doesn't make sense, as anyone can sign up, it is easy to use, and anyone can backup their time investment (save pictures and info) if they want to leave. Coupled with the aforementioned benefits, and since most of the people you know are probably already using it (extensively), why would someone not sign up? It makes your life better and easier.

EDIT: Addressing the Myspace comparison, facebook organizes, where Myspace didn't. Also, facebook is easier to use and better to look at.

Edited by JASKN
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I was on the anti-facebook bandwagon right up until I graduated high school, now I'm on it all the time simply because it the easiest way to stay in contact with my friends who despite living in the same city, have different schools/places of work, making Facebook the easiest way to stay in contact.

I can understand where the anti-facebook people come from though, if I had gone twenty years without interacting with my highschool/college friends I probably wouldn't care to reconnect with them via the internet.

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Facebook combines these functions:

1. contact list

2. email / instant message

3. message board

4. photo album / yearbook / alumni

5. quick resume / biography

and adds this element:

6. sharing

consequences of the above are:

7. convenience of having all of the above in one place

8. connecting with people from your past because many people are joining

Functions 1-5 are not unique to Facebook.

Function 6 is probably the biggest source of disagreement because it ventures into these territories:

a ) individual vs. collective

b ) privacy vs. transparency

As for me, I joined Facebook when it was brand new and quickly canceled. It seemed invasive. I joined again a couple years later and the privacy controls appeared to be better, so I stayed.

I'm not a very social person (around 50 acquaintances on "friends" list). I don't understand how people maintain a friends list of 4,000+ people.

My wife and I both have small social circles that are scattered geographically, so it makes sense for us.

By the way, I've created a Facebook group for this discussion, you can all join it here, just kidding.

Edited by Sirius1
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I don't really have a problem with Facebook itself, but the insistence by my peers, family, and even one of my teachers that I sign up for an account (as Steve mentioned above). Facebook does combine a lot of things into one as Sirius mentioned above, but I do not see what I can gain from all this since my phone already does the same thing (e.g. contact list, email, instant message, picture messaging). As for the others, I honestly have no interest in seeing pictures of my friends daily events, I'd rather hear them tell me about them. The biography that Facebook provides is largely irrelevant since I would assume anyone who is your friend would already know those facts. I would say my social life is moderately active, and to this date, I have never experienced a need for Facebook even though almost everyone I know is constantly using theirs. I have nothing against Facebook and the second it proves it can increase my productivity I will sign up. Just my two cents.

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The gist I get about Facebook is nothing more than "everyone else is doing it!" Connecting with people from the past is only plausible based on the idea that everyone else is doing it. Not because Facebook is somehow amazingly unique, but because it's popular. There is little incentive to get into Facebook beyond that reason. I in fact use my google mail account for contact lists, instant message, photo album, etc. If I want a place to show a resume, I'll either email it, or make a web page. So that point is quite irrelevant. Message board features are irrelevant to me; I'd much prefer to have a moderated forum to discuss topics most interesting to me.

The only essential feature to Facebook is the sharing, and that's what really drives me *away* from Facebook. Otherwise, I'd be indifferent. I'm not even sure I'd call it sharing as much as a narcissistic announcement that people are automatically interested in what you have to say. When personal information is simply laid out like that, there is a decreased incentive to get to know someone if they tell you what they like and dislike before you even say a word. I'm not opposed to people filling out profiles like those on this site, but with Facebook, the purpose of the site *is* the profile. At least on a forum like this, or on every other forum I know of, the purpose of a profile is really just to indicate some additional interests to people who likely already share some similarities with. For some, a forum/website/whatever is common interest enough so sometimes a profile isn't even needed at all.

I very much see it as an individual vs. collective thing. Faceborg (no, I didn't come up with that term) comes across as a way to merge into the hive mind. It isn't so much about being an individual as much as it is trying to be a part of something. Personally, I have no need or desire to let anyone know very much about me beyond what I have already listed on my profile here. I'd much rather people *ask* me questions. I'd gladly share music tastes with someone, but I don't want anyone to know what those tastes are unless I'm asked, since it implies interest in me as an individual. What Facebook does is simplify and de-personalize that process. Friends of mine still have more to learn about me, and not all friends know the same things about me. I discriminate the information I tell people to a high degree because there are friends who I value more than others. I don't believe there are multiple "levels" of friendship on Facebook; either someone is a friend, or they're not. In truth, there are many categories of friendship. To post things on Facebook - even if you set it so only "friends" can view - suggests a lack of discrimination about friendships. I see that as very destructive, and promotes egalitarianism implicitly.

Plus, the medium promotes shortening of thoughts, when that is a *main* method of communication. Even if full sentences are involved, you don't need to think in a manner of organizing a lengthy chain of thought. Most Facebook posts I've see are no more than a few sentences. If you wondered how to make Newspeak a real language, and make Idiocracy a reality, Faceborg is the first step. And Twitter, can't forget Twitter...

What I would love is to see more of is people connecting on an intellectual level, rather than on the simplistic level of what kind of movies and tv shows you like - the only thing Faceborg is really any useful for.

Edited by Eiuol
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Friendships, and any kind of relationship for that matter, are not free. They require energy, sometimes money, and always time. When you call up a friend do see how he's doing, your spending your time and energy and in return you get pleasure in the form of a sense of companionship, or perhaps inspiration. And the fact that your friend is using his time and energy to talk to you makes it even better. It's nice to know our friends care about us. I think this is what friendships, meaningful friendships, are about.

This is not what I feel when I go on Facebook. (Yes, I have an account. Still trying to figure out whether it's worth it.) On Facebook, each user is spending time and energy, not towards any one person, but towards an immense diffuse sum of "friends". You can go from profile to profile sending messages and looking at pictures of different people as quickly as you want so that none of those resources have to be wasted on any single person. You don't log on to facebook to talk to or keep tabs on a single person, but rather people in general. This seems a little fishy to me. At the very least, I think Facebook is watering down the concept of "friend".

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It seems like a lot of people complaining about facebook in this thread have spent a total of 3 minutes using it, if that. Either that, or they have a very low-quality set of facebook friends, which is more of a personal problem than a problem with facebook. I am saying this because there are an awful lot of false/completely wrong conclusions and statements about it on here which seem to have been the victim of either exaggeration or (innocent) ignorance.

Edited by Jennifer
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The Colorado Springs Tea Party got off to a slow start because the organizers initially tried to do everything on Facebook. They changed their minds in a hurry.

Looks like they are still on Facebook. Of course, starting ANY movement using only one venue is not a good idea, which doesn't speak well of the Colorado Springs Tea Party in my opinion.

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I'm kind of shocked that whether or not people use or don't use Facebook would evoke such emotion on here. I've been in Abortion threads that were nicer than this. sweatingbullets.gif

Facebook is very useful to quite a large number of people and I honestly don't see it as a "fad".

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Looks like they are still on Facebook. Of course, starting ANY movement using only one venue is not a good idea, which doesn't speak well of the Colorado Springs Tea Party in my opinion.

Yeah they also made a website, and started sending out e-mails. (This was back in '09.) So now it's a two pronged approach. But the point was... another person casually assuming that anyone that mattered had a facebook account.

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I'm kind of shocked that whether or not people use or don't use Facebook would evoke such emotion on here. I've been in Abortion threads that were nicer than this. sweatingbullets.gif

:lol:

Facebook is very useful to quite a large number of people and I honestly don't see it as a "fad".

I see it more that way as well. It's definately useful, but for me, it's not.

I used to have a myspace, but not long after I had it, I deleted it. I'm not even sure why in the hell I even created it in the first place. :confused: When one person messaged me there after seeing me pop up in Rand related forums there, it quickly changed the course of my life, and not long after her message I was done with that social networking site, because I was sending all my words to her, not anyone else there. And then many months later, I wasn't sending any words to her and I really got into my own writing, and then all of a sudden one day less than a year ago, I suddenly stopped reading and writing altogether. Haven't picked up a book to read or a pen to write with, since. But anyways, I'm way more into talking and discussing my interests than I am in meeting people so I go to various forums where the focus is more on that. Facebook is of no use to me, because I don't have friends IRL , and people in my past, well, are in my past. and plenty of other reasons why it's not useful to me right now.

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