You know there’s a lot of people who decry facebook for being the flagship website that chains us to a digital world and keeps us from actually living our lives.
I agree it is perilously easy in this day and age to live primarily online and not really experience the real world, but that does not mean that facebook is inherently evil.
I like Facebook. It helps me keep in touch with people I haven’t seen for ages or don’t get a chance to regularly interact with on a daily basis. As an atheist, skeptic and general opinion-head it helps me connect with like-minded people and also not-so-like-minded people to stimulate discussion and debate, which is something I love.
It helps me coordinate my band’s events and keep our fans up-to-date. It also helps us market our sound and garner new fans.
There are those who say “who the fuck cares what you ate for breakfast this morning!?” To this I can only say, the people who regularly update with things such as “mmm…breakfast waffles” and accompany the offending posts with images, are the kind of people who would do something similar in person without provocation anyway. And you still wouldn’t care about their breakfast. It wouldn’t stop them from boring you anyway.
People are information channels, and people’s profiles are another way to access those channels. Like most of the time, there may not be anything worth ‘watching’ but it doesn’t make the channels redundant in and of themselves. It’s so much easier (and so much more polite) to ignore someone’s inane post on facebook, than to ignore their inane comment in person.
If you don’t like facebook, it’s clearly not for you. There are levels of usage and their conform to the usage needs of the user. If you would rather update people through your profile and live vicariously through their profiles never experiencing the world, that’s entirely your choice. You’re crazy, but it’s entirely your choice. I personally enjoy catching up with old friends, keeping current friends updated on some of the more major aspects of my life (my band, job, debate etc…) and using the service (which is what facebook is after all) to coordinate events I’m interested in and sharing interesting articles, links and information with anyone and everyone.
I would do all this stuff without facebook, but it would take more time and effort and some people would be overlooked in my laziness but the same processes would still occur. Used properly facebook simply streamlines this process for me.
If your issue is people fall into the trap of living too much in the online world, that’s an issue of dependence and social integration, not an inherent flaw in the system. It’s an inherent flaw in human nature. People don’t spend inordinate amounts of their days playing online games like World of Warcraft to the detriment of their social lives (and sometimes their health) because WoW is evil and part of the Web 2.0 trap that wants to enslave us in an online world. They do it because it simply provides a service that they enjoy. Their life, their choice.
If you don’t like facebook, that’s fine, but ask yourself why. If none of your reasons why are to do with how you interact with it personally, then facebook isn’t the problem: how people use it is the problem.