Friday, April 03, 2009

My Take on Facebook

To a certain extent I thought this friend of mine is smart when he insists not to join Facebook despite the constant pressure and "discrimination" we put on him. Well, to be honest I was awed at how cool the online social website was when I first signed up. Cool and elegant layout, simple and user friendly. And another reason was because I found a lot of old friends' contacts there. These friends whom I never thought I'd be able to keep in touch again, now are just a click away! And that meets the purpose of online social tools - to keep friends in touch with each other.

However, as Facebook evolves into something more than just an online social tool, when they add in a lot of applications and games which are supposely to further encourage the interaction among the users, and when I am too frequently informed of some unexpected behaviours of my friends in Facebook, I begin to wonder if Facebook is really that awesome now.

If you were to check out Facebook's blog or follow up with their chronology, you'd realise that Facebook has improved over time. Or at least I do think so. Previously the privacy level was very low. For example, what application you added, or quizzes you took, will all turn up in your friends' News Feed. And they will read about it. Of course, some of us may love the attention, but apparently some of us don't really like it to be this transparent. Hence soon we got to choose to hide certain information from being announced out loud. We can now choose to make it appear only on our own profile silently, and let those who're really interested to check it out with their own initiative, or, not to appear at all, and only you yourself will know the stupid (and sometimes funny) result of the quizzes.

I have been silencing a lot of unwanted infomation about my friends in the News Feed. For example, the result of the quizzes. Seriously, those quizzes are plain lame. But of course it's not wrong to give it a try. And if it is something funny, friends will comment about it, and there goes the interaction. However, sometimes there are just things I am totally not interested to know. For example, if one is a good kisser/lover or not. Because everyone seems to have positive results of ALL the tests. That explains basically all my scepticism towards the credibility of the quizzes.

Besides, as other online social tools, it cannot prevent your "friends" from stalking you on the web. Or worse, according to Cleo 2009 April issue (OMG where's my Gaya UKM?), some couples even stalk each other on the web! And soon you have this friend who knows that your boyfriend who accepted a sunflower Growing Gift from a popular rock-star friend of his who is a neighbour to your friend's relative who score 116 in his IQ test. And I haven't started about the inside jokes we shared among ourselves as we leave pictures/notes/videos comments which then become a public thing as long as that person is approved as a friend of yours. Right. All one need is an unsuspicious approval from you, and your friends (hence he'll have the Common Friends to draw links with) and there goes the exploration.

All this while I have been very careful on the approval thing. If I am not sure who that person is, I will check out his profile and pictures if possible to force myself to recollect someone named XXX. If at the end of the day, I am sure I don't know this person, then I won't feel guilty at all to ignore that fella. If I have no access to that person's profile, I'd send him a message asking him how we know each other (politely, of course). If that person didn't bother to reply, then of couse I will ignore him from then. Sometimes I don't even bother to check one's profile when I am sure I never have a friend named YYY.

And I have unchecked a lot of notification to be sent to my email account, giving myself some peace of mind. I value messages in Inbox and Wall in Facebook. That is how I love interaction between friends to be - real conversation with words, to a certain extent that I don't mind if you were to drop by and vandalise my Wall by typing some random words. Because I know you miss me, hee hee~ I don't mind if you don't send me FunToys everyday, although they are really cute.

Oh yeah, till here, I would like to announce that, I have not signed into Facebook since four days ago, and will not do so until mid of May. I have no way to sign in because I gave my password to a friend of mine whom I trust, to change it and keep it from me until I finish what I am suppose to pay attention to now. I believe he will not abuse my identity and will not infringe my privacy, too. I need to take my mind off Facebook a while. Surprisingly I have yet to long to sign into Facebook since then, and I have been feeling sick of the endless unnecessary applications and nonsense quizzes, and, some friends' behaviour. Sometimes it is best I don't know that they have a tendency to do such things so that my perception towards them will always remain positive.

*Until this point I can't help but to realise this post has very bad structure.*

But I still hope that smart friend of mine will get himself a Facebook. It is more fun to talk bad about someone right at their face lol. And because spamming on Facebook Wall is more fun than spamming in his near-forsaken blog.


нαиcнυεn said...

wow..a really long post indeed. btw, it is better to have actual communication with friends. Facebook for me is just an upgrade version of friendster

Gine said...

lol upgraded version of Friendster. Yeah, at some point I do agree on that! and haha, I didn't realise the post is this long as my fingers typed out my thought, before I hit the publish button lol

Penny said...

Haha :) I guess it's unfair to judge Facebook based on our own preference.

Every user uses Facebook for different purposes. As the trend is becoming mainstream, many individuals, organizations, or even corporations have started tapping onto this social media platform, hence the phenomenon today.

Personally I use Facebook to stay in touch with my friends whom I otherwise cant, due to the physical limitations (eg. distance). It's served its purpose well, as far as communication is concerned. That's why I dont add most of the apps unless necessary ;)

There's much more to interactions among people that social media (eg. Facebook) has enabled. So it's good to keep an open mind to see what's going on. Most of the changes are there because there's a demand, but some changes are actually the result of our behaviors.

My 2 cents ;)

But more importantly, as I am busy dealing with my projects (which will due in 2 weeks time :o), I think that Facebook is a necessary procrastination for me! Hahahahah! ;p

Gine said...

Thanks Penny for your comment! It's a good point regarding the trend becoming mainstream. I'm not sure if it's related, but it reminds me of invitation to activities I received, which I am really interested in, through Facebook. That is cool, that everyone is coming into Facebook, more variety of events, and more invitation being sent out and spark new interest.

Don't get me wrong, I like communicating with my friends who're now studying/ working/ staying/ traveling all over the globe through Facebook, just like you do. But not the application part. That is why I appreciate Facebook for giving us an option to block or partially hide certain things. More control on our side, that is =)

Now go do your project! ;p