Facebook 30-Day Review
It's been just over a month since I joined Facebook. Here are my 5 thoughts about it:
1. Facebook is a virtual high school reunion. I did not list my high school on my profile, but, as I added a couple of old high school friends, other classmates from their networks have contacted me. Some of these are people who I did not know well or was not friends with. I'm not sure I feel the need to connect with them now.
2. People's Facebook profiles cover the entire range in tone and subject matter. Some of my Facebook friends have very dry, very safe, corporate-oriented profiles akin to a LinkedIn or Plaxo page. Some of my more creative, non-conformist friends, however, have gone to the other extreme, even to the point of posting photos of themselves in fetish gear. I'm trying to strike a balance in between, and believe me, the area in between is vast.
3. Some of my Facebook friends send personal messages to each other's walls, often to make plans. I'm not sure why they don't just text or email each other when they're making plans to attend a yoga class or talking about other people, and it's clearly not a network-wide announcement. It's also an example of people seeming less concerned about their privacy as they use the Internet more.
4. A month ago, I was concerned that Facebook could be a giant time suck. I was right. Some Facebook folks seem to spend an inordinate amount of time virtually throwing snowballs, sending bottles of champagne, "gossiping," playing "word twist," etc. But as with everything else, Facebook only becomes a time suck if you let it. I have been able to limit my time spent on Facebook, and have had little interest in sending or receiving virtual goodies or playing games.
5. Speaking of "gossiping," I do see that certain applications on Facebook, such as the "gossip" function, appear to be spam/phishing attempts in disguise. When I received a notice that someone has "gossiped" about me and clicked the link, I received a notice that, to read the "gossip," I would have to hand over my Facebook personal information. I have no doubt that doing so would place me on some companies' marketing lists. Watch out for this stuff!
All in all, I find Facebook instantly fun for social purposes, and potentially useful for business purposes. But, as with everything else on the Internet, Facebook should be used with care.