Facebook is so weird. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don't.
On the up side, it's the easiest way to let almost everyone you know what's going on with you... whether you want to announce that you're pregnant, starting a blog (wink wink) or heck - doing the dishes! It's also a simple way to share pictures with friends and loved ones that you don't see very often... On the downside, it's easy to spend way too much time on facebook, doing nothing at all. And nowadays there are more and more questions related to privacy issues with all the information we provide to friends, friends of friends or anyone who wants to take a peek at our lives via this social networking site.
I check it every day. Often more than once. It's a distraction from whatever it is I should actually be doing (these days... usually some sort of house work). I go through all the status updates that come up on my home page and try to think of something witty to put for my own status (which often doesn't actually get posted cause I think it's too lame to share with EVERYONE). I check out my notifications and (most often) systematically ignore all the opportunities to add new applications and accept all the new friend request (unless I really have no idea who the request is coming from). And... like almost everyone I know, I find myself passing far too much time peeking into other people's lives... and sometimes (I'm a little embarrassed to admit) spying on my husband to see who he has been adding to his list of facebook friends (!)
I have 305 "friends" on facebook now and I've heard that a lot of people have way more than that. But what does that even mean? It certainly doesn't mean that I actually have that many friends or even that that many people care to check out my facebook page. Most of my "friends" are people that I have at some point crossed paths with. Some are current friends, family, co-workers - we send each other quick messages through the inbox or wall applications, we check out each others pictures and (sadly) sometimes use our contact via facebook as a replacement to actually getting together, picking up the phone or at least writing a more substantial e-mail. Some are old friends that I've found or who have found me - it has certainly been interesting to touch base with some of the people who have touched my little life so far (childhood friends, travel companions from when I was studying in France, etc.)... and of course... there are those that I'm not sure I was ever actually friends with. Weird.
Who else is looking at my facebook pages? Recently, I've heard a lot of weird things about the privacy issues that surround facebook. Some people are saying you shouldn't post pictures of your children because pedophiles might be looking at them. There are conspiracy theories that the government is using the site to develop personal profiles on citizens without having to ask for information. I've also heard that advertising companies are targeting users based on their profiles. The first one scared me for real. When I heard it, I went and changed all the privacy settings on my photo albums. The second and third one... quite frankly... they make me smirk. If you don't want your "info" to be public then the first step is NOT posting it on the Internet.
There are so many other things to say when it comes to the whole facebook phenomenon but I think I'll stop here. I've heard that twitter is different and that a lot of people like it better. I haven't ventured there yet. Maybe one day... although I don't know how I'll keep up with facebook, a new blog, tweeting... all the social networking. Does it make me old to think that way?
Now... if you'll excuse me...I'm going to go share this new post with all my facebook friends!