Halcyon Days

Columns and reflections by Terry Britt

Archive for August 2009

Facebook Losing Face With Me

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I’ve joined what I believe to be swelling ranks of Facebook users who feel the social networking site’s heyday has passed.

I think I have been in a period of denial for a few months, but can no longer ignore the stark truth — given that it stares back at me every time I log on and see my “home” page.  For a time, Facebook seemed to be serving a useful purpose, putting me back in touch with former work colleagues, current friends and high school classmates.  But then the latest redesign for the site took hold, shoveling all sorts of lists and application-based doings and pointless information about anybody and everybody on my friends list.

To wit, my complaint and reason for falling out with a site I once appreciated such a short time ago:  I really do not care what everybody’s five favorite (fill in the blank here) are, nor do I need to know what movie character you most closely match.  The same goes for whatever you are searching for or what you got points for in whatever silly game somebody has coerced you into adding to your probably overpopulated applications list.

Then there are the people who apparently see Facebook as yet another avenue to display their personal drama skills and/or utter lack of anything resembling good taste, public decorum or basic mental aptitude.  If you need to see proof on your own, look no further than one of the best examples of Internet-based cynicism I’ve ever clicked a link to:  Lamebook, the brainchild of a couple of Austin residents who are probably as bemused as I am at some of the information that finds its way onto Facebook every day.

What I do care about is occasionally chatting online with other people far away in the physical realm.  I don’t mind replying to a really interesting or witty status update.  I would like to think Facebook still has potential as a work/career/business networking tool (but why will people continue to try using it for that purpose if they have to hack their way through the jungle of application drivel?).

I really wonder about Facebook’s future and its relevance therein to its users.  In my opinion, it has become social networking’s answer to bloatware and may be on the fast track to becoming vanquished in the same sense as MySpace before it.  I still have a MySpace account but only because the site developed something of a niche identity as an online music source and I do love streaming music I enjoy.  Twitter now seems to be everybody’s favorite flavor, but somehow I doubt I’ll be Tweeting anything anytime soon.  I just don’t see the value in it for myself or anyone else.

It’s the same as what I’ve started to feel lately about Facebook.


Written by terrybritt

August 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm