May 21 2012
I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. On the one hand, I think it’s a brilliant software platform that has allowed nearly a billion people to keep in contact with one another. Like millions of others, I have reestablished connections with old high school friends, maintained better contact with family members that are flung all over the country and I have maintained online friendships with folks that I have met, or would really like to meet, in person to build and/or continue a friendship outside of Facebook. When you think about it, it’s all pretty cool that we have the technology to do this. Imagine trying to accomplish all of this with dial up! It would have been a nightmare.
On the other hand, as an avid Facebook user (at least this week), I am fully cognizant of the fact that as the user I am not the customer. My life is a product of Facebook’s. My personal details are sorted, analyzed, computed, mitigated and possibly even spindled and then sold off to marketing agencies and the like so that they know how to market their precisely to me. In a way this bothers me, but my ego isn’t so large that I think that they know exactly who I am but rather they know of my type of existence and there are probably thousands out there that are just as quirky as I am. The cranky side of me hopes I through their algorithms into a tailspin.
So while I process these things in my head and go back and forth with this love-hate relationship, it usually boils down to wanting to like Facebook more than not like it. Personally, I think the good outweighs the bad. I keep hearing how Google wants to wipe out Facebook with Google+, but I think that’s a different animal with different intentions (other than the marketing data mining).
This all being said, I can decree right now that I’m liking Facebook. It tends to be my PG-13 playspace in the online world and I welcome the interaction with friends and family alike. I see Facebook as the family friendly venue and that’s the approach I take with it. I don’t have the need for dual identities on Facebook, I have that elsewhere where I need it and I’m perfectly content with the arrangement. The only thing that one needs to keep in mind is that you need to keep it all in perspective and you need to keep your privacy and app settings up to date. Then you’ll find you love it more than you hate it, just like I do.
I think I rambled.