I Don’t Get Facebook

There. I said it. Let the ridicule begin. Another old fogy doesn’t understand social sites. As my niece says, “What ‘ev’.”

I started social networking on MySpace. Yeah, I know — I’m a little old for MySpace, regardless of what the experts claim. I signed up to see what my daughters were doing online and to see what all the noise was about. Noise is right. MySpace is awash with clashing colors, huge background images, and tiny fonts. And the noise isn’t limited to visual. I’m blasted with bulletins on whether my teenage friends enjoyed their last kiss, whether they prefer Pepsi or Coke, if they’re double jointed, and if someone’s smacked them in the butt in the past week. Let’s hear it for transparency…

I joined Facebook when it opened to non-college students. I liked the clean interface, no soft porn masquerading as dating site ads, and no Bambi’s wanting to be my friend so I could visit their websites. People use their real names so I didn’t have to remember who “<3 Y0ur Fa\/3 [jk]” is.

Unfortunately, Facebook changed when it opened up for external aps. What a mess! With MySpace, if I find a cool widget, I can put it on my profile. No mess, no fuss. When I add something to my Facebook profile, Facebook wants to spam all my friends with requests to put it on their profiles and then every time I change something, spam them again. What’s worse, most of these “cool” apps don’t seem to work unless my visitors also installs the same apps on their profiles. What?!

Of course, my friends are installing these apps, and I’m getting spammed with requests to compare tastes in movies, be a pirate, and see if someone has clicked “YES” on me (oh boy!). I’m ignoring most of this stuff and probably upsetting my friends in the process. So much for Facebook helping me in the friend arena…

Now Facebook seems to think they can publish my online purchases made on other sites. If I want you to know I bought Rogaine, Cialis or just a new Telecaster, I’ll post it here. I don’t appreciate Facebook making money by telling my friends my secrets.

Guess I’m just unsociable.

P.S. Oh, joy! I just logged on to MySpace and discovered that MySpace is going to spam my friends, too.

Update: Hugh Macleod at gapingvoid posts on the same topic, “Why Facebook Might be Consigning Themselves to the Slushpile of History.”

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4 responses to “I Don’t Get Facebook”

  1. Any Donkey Avatar
    Any Donkey

    LOL. I thought Facebook would help me reconnect with long last friends. Guess what? Those friends are lost for a reason – they don’t care about me and I don’t care about them . . . otherwise, they wouldn’t be lost.

    My existing friends found me on Facebook and we connected. Great.

    Still no lost friends found me and I spent very little time looking for them. The couple I found – old girlfriends – just didn’t seem appropriate to contact. . . what would be my opening line?

    “I heard your husband has put on 95 lbs since you married him.” Or, “So, don’t you wish you hadn’t dumped me now?” Or worse, “How’d you like to get together for coffee and chat?” Seriously now . . .

    At least when I blog, I know my three friends will stop by every few days or so. And blogging has the benefit of me not boring my family with my rants . . .and now I am ranting on your blog.

  2. Brent Logan Avatar

    Yup, just ignored another “notification” on Facebook today. I’m not a good friend…

    And I wouldn’t count on people visiting a blog, either. You either do this stuff for yourself, or not at all. But that’s another post…

  3. John Kewley Avatar
    John Kewley

    I don’t get Facebook either. After waiting until NOW to dip my toe in – and I’m an ad guy, for Gawd’s sake, I’m supposed to be a networker extraordinaire – I finally signed up, spent a grand total of nine minutes as a Facebooker, and deleted my account. It was this: the word ‘friend’ is a very powerful word. I realized almost immediately – it took eight minutes, plus another minute for the cancellation – that 93% (maybe 99%) of the people in my address book are not really my ‘friends’…

  4. Brent Logan Avatar

    Your comment reminded me of Robert Scoble’s business card.

    So, do you have a LinkedIn account with lots of “contacts” instead? ;-)