What with all this connecting of users to websites and websites to users and users to preferences and privacy issues and apologies – it’s all a bit much these days for the average Facebook user who just wants to post pictures and look at the photos of others.
I ran across this article: World’s Largest Social Network: The Open Web, in last Friday’s New York Times (doesn’t that make me sound well read?), and it has had me thinking…
In an effort to bring people closer together [and make gobs of money], Facebook may have managed to close people off from the rest of the interweb.
It appears that more people are spending time solely on Facebook than on Al Gore’s actual interweb as a whole. Meaning: several years ago when Facebook was exclusively for college students, the rest of the world would, “socially network” via email and blogs and actual websites.
|(I love how old that computer is.)|
Now, we just log on to Facebook, write one-sentence exchanges on one another’s walls, and log off. (Yeah right, as if we ever really log off. We’re always connected. That’s a whole other post.)
Yeah, we may be more connected to [random] people [that we may or may not care to be connected to], but we’ve developed a slight case of tunnel vision.
Now, there’s a potential argument to be made that we should probably be socially networking face-to-face, and I hear you and I get it. But that’s not always possible… say for example if you live in Mexico and your besties live in the continental United States. (I don’t know anyone who lives in Alaska or Hawaii, or Puerto Rico for that matter.)
Also – is Facebook making us lazy? Instead of seeking out interesting content online, are we relying to much on our just-as-informed (or un-informed) “friends” to recommend or “like” something that we should read?
This quote caught my eye:
“Information is becoming less of a destination that we seek online,” says Anthony J. Rotolo, assistant professor of practice in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. “Instead we are expecting it to come to us in a social stream.”
In the Facebook stream, friends, not search engines, are the trusted sources.
“Just because someone belongs to your social network, it doesn’t make them a good source,” Professor Rotolo says. “But there’s a natural inclination to assume that a person possesses reliable information because it’s person-to-person.”
Oh and get this: apparently since the viral popularity of Facebook, BLOGGING has seen a drastic drop.
Susan Herring, professor of information science at Indiana University, sees it this way: “What the statistics point to is a rise in Facebook, a decline in blogging, and before that, a decline in personal Web pages. The trend is clear, she said — Facebook is displacing these other forms of online publication.
How can this be?
I cannot even imagine a world without blogging. (Ignore the melodrama of that statement.) But really, this makes me sad.
We don’t even have time to maintain blogs because we’re too busy liking and disliking Cousin Louise’s status update that she’s in line at the grocery store and she forgot her non-paper grocery bags in her trunk?
What are your thoughts on Facebook? Is it the root of all evil? Or is it a tool for good?
I refuse to let my blog go the way of the newspaper.