My love for Facebook is waning. I know every relationship has its ups and downs, but I’m about ready to quit the site and be done with it.
I can’t though. The problem is that the internet has turned into an exclusive club where you can only get in if you flash your Facebook membership card at the door.
Much of my Facebook activity has involved tightening my security settings in a constant effort to protect my personal privacy, but despite best efforts, I’ve failed.
Many of my close friends document their entire lives on the site, therefore, when I’m with them anyone can track my exact movements over the course of a weekend.
And I’m sure its not just me being paranoid (although this has crossed my mind) – other people out there must value their privacy too. And, for us weird and unsociable type people, its only going to get worse.
Enter Graph Search…
Imagine this – a funny video appears on your timeline. You hit ‘like’ – who doesn’t’ like *whatever you find funny*, right? Then someone, let’s say a prospective employer, heads into graph search and searches for *whatever you originally found funny*. There’s every chance that you will appear in the search results as someone who has ‘liked’ said video.
Now this could be something nice, like cats, or it could be something weird. Say its something you find amusing but wouldn’t want to be known as ‘the person who likes that thing’. Say it could even be misconstrued or misunderstood as offensive. Bang goes that positive first impression.
I know you’re thinking “get a grip – just be careful what you like” but people tend not to follow this advice – remember the people who got fired after posting statuses about fake sick days and stealing office supplies and such? People are stupid.
But the thing that truly irks me about Facebook is that although it’s a ‘social network’ by definition, it seems to be anything but social. It creates friction, encourages arguments and is generally quite an unpleasant place to be at times.
Admittedly, Facebook does present some great opportunities; like the ability to chat with long lost acquaintances, like that girl I worked with seven years ago, but do I bother? No. I don’t need to – I know everything about her life through her status updates and photo uploads.
Knowing everything about everyone’s life has all but ruined me – I know exactly what a guy who I see only briefly now and then has for dinner every night. I know what his bathroom looks like, who he is dating and what he watches on TV. Do I have a reason to ever talk to him again – no… for someone I barely know, I know too much already.
Call me old fashioned, but social networks can’t ever beat real, live social interaction. Yes, it’s keeping me connected, but in a weird, incredibly lazy way.
I desperately want to take a stand against it, but for all its antisocial properties, without my Facebook account I know that I’d be the one sitting at home on a Friday night when my friends are out doing stuff organised via Facebook.
Damn you, Facebook.