Friends, Fans, Followers, lend me your status updates. I come to bury Facebook, not to praise it.
I was of the first people among my friends, family, and acquaintances to start using Facebook. It’s hard to believe that I could be at the (sort of) forefront of something not only technological, but social, too. With the prevalence of status updates, one could comment on anything from how your day’s going to the political situation in Southeast Asia, to whether or not you think trees dream.* Anyway, I didn’t need an object lesson to realize that this wasn’t a private journal to share with only your closest friends. What you put on your wall, you might as well post on the jumbotron in Times Square regardless of your privacy settings. And we all know it’s easier to explain the infield fly rule in Klingon while reading a cell phone bill than it is to try to understand Facebook’s privacy settings. The point is, it wasn’t a good idea to post anything negative about anyone or anything that you wouldn’t want to tell the whole world.
Some people, however, seem to treat Facebook like there own personal journal, as though everyone in the world couldn’t access their page if they wanted to. People complain about their jobs, about each other, things best left said in private or not said at all become “headlines” in this 21st century town flier. Across the country, people have lost their jobs, their friends, their spouses because of Facebook. Facebook is a wonderful tool, but like any tool, if not used responsibly, it can harm the user.
I don’t really use Facebook anymore. It’s kind of boring, actually. I’ve networked my blog into it, and whenever I post, it shows up on my page. But I rarely do status updates, and I comment on other’s statuses only if the mood strikes me. The novelty has worn off, I think. It’s just for business now, and for keeping up with friends and family. Beyond that, the “social network” craze has kind of passed me by, and I’m okay with that.
Until the next big thing comes along.
*And if so, do they have that one where they’re naked in class, and they have to give a presentation on cultural economics, and there’s no pointer, and…never mind.