Thursday, August 16, 2007

As if I need another distraction

The cover story on the Aug 27 issue of Newsweek is about Facebook and how oh my god, everyone is doing it! This probably wouldn’t have phased me, except that I keep hearing from coworkers and friends that oh my god, everyone is doing it! The founder of Facebook (I can’t remember his name, so I’ll refer to him as Opie) says that the site is not for social networking. Rather, says Opie, it’s about connecting to the social graph that already exists in the world. Tap into it, and you have a company that went from a Harvard experiment to one that Yahoo offered $1 billion to buy (Opie said no.) Facebook, according to one of the dudes on the board, is now valued at $7 or $8 billion. And they’re probably taking it public, anyway.
What I’m trying to figure out is how people even have time to be addicted to Facebook. I can barely keep it together to do my job, blog once in a while, visit my own favorite websites, attend to Gmail, call my friends and family, read books, keep up with Entourage, work out, clean the house, feed my cats, and occasionally talk to my boyfriend. Now you’re telling me I need Facebook? A site that, according to some members, people can spend 4-5 hours a day on?
MySpace still has a lot more members than Facebook, and I understand that it’s pretty addictive, too. But a 22-year-old I know told me that Facebook is so much better than MySpace. MySpace, she said, is ugly and disorganized. Facebook is clearly where it’s at. I understand this, because this woman joined Facebook in college and it became a big part of her social life. But now my friends in their 30s are all about how Facebook is a must for any professional. Why? What exactly is Facebook going to do for your career? Seriously, someone tell me.
I tried Friendster for a while 5 or 6 years ago. It was so stressful! It was just like staring at the stack of magazines that piles up in my living room, taunting me for subscribing when I have no time to read them. I wonder what it is that the people who spend their time on Facebook are giving up. For some, like my aforementioned friend, I suspect it's work. She says she spends much of the day bouncing between job responsibilities and Facebook responsibilities.
But what if, upon trying Facebook and finding a bunch of my friends or other like-minded people to spend my time with, I found it just as addictive? The danger is great. So I think it’s best that I stay away, unless someone comes up with a truly compelling argument to join Opie’s gang that doesn't involve me giving up sleep or food, or result in me getting fired.

6 comments:

Joe said...

Opie would be the name of a guy who started a website connecting people who know the joy of fishing with a bamboo pole.
Based on its roots, how about Harvy for the Facebook founder? His wife's name is Ivy.

Sarah said...

Clearly you've never seen this guy.

Daniel said...

Addiction is funny. Take me for instance. I'm like a chocoholic, but for booze.

Kevin Fitzpatrick said...

I got on Facebook about a month ago, part of the wave of people 30-55 who are now swarming to it. It has not changed anything in my life at all, and is not useful professionally so far. Did I see some funny pix from a friend I have not actually spoken to in 4 years? Yes. Did I learn a college roommate has 4 kids? Ditto. Other than that, it is a time waster.

John said...

So I've said it before and I will say it again "GET ON FACEBOOK". Luckily it is part of my job to be on it. But I have to say I have been able to do a great business deal recently due to connecting with a former acquaintance on Facebook. And just yesterday a girl that I hooked up with when I was 16 added me as afriend. Turns out we both live in NYC now.. Who knew? And yes Facebook is better than MySpace. And Friendster? So 1999...

Sarah said...

I love the differing opinions here. Thanks for the comments, guys! I'm mostly just referring to Kevin and John. Sorry comedians...