Posted by Ron Coleman on June 15, 2008
I’ve come out in favor of Facebook, ultimately. In terms of professional networking and business development, it seems almost certainly to be well-nigh useless. I am also a little surprised at just how few people I went to school with here, there or anywhere are on the thing. I’m not that old! But I think it’s a great way to actually get to know other bloggers a little bit better. In particular I am fascinated at how the rightosphere has kind of coalesced into a number of interlinked groups of “friends” on the program. Of course those few tunnels across to the “other side” are interesting, too, but mostly they’re symbolic of good will and little more.
I also think it’s notable to see who is too snotty to respond to a “friend request” from within what one would expect to be the same community. And, again, who you might think would be, but is not. (It was also interesting to see one particular blogger’s momentary spurt of blogger-to-blogger matchmaking on Facebook, at once heartwarming and yet a little odd in the execution.)
On the whole, though, this is a really good thing: bloggers expanding the substantive space in which they social-network and developing human-like online relationships. It could really add up to something even better, I think. I’m not sure what. I’m not a visionary — I mean I have to spend almost $500 on glasses just to see across the street. Still yes, I think this is a good, good thing — but:
The key to enjoying Facebook, for adults, is this: Don’t add pretty much any idiotic “apps” if you are over 30. Delete, without apology, most of the ones you foolishly already added. You mostly need to be able to write on other folks’ walls, find more friends and friends of friends, plug your RSS feed into your profile, upload media files without going nuts self-obsession-wise — mostly utilizing the native features of Facebook, in other words. But most of the open-source applications either don’t work, take over your space, are really, really debasing or are just plain, uh, stupid.
And make sure your friends know it’s nothing personal when your ignore their “app”-generated “request.” It’s not that you wouldn’t want to be hugged, or have a pie thrown in your face, or be ranked by pulchritude, or to join the Free Egg McMuffin “cause” if the request that you do so involved only them. It’s just that from anyone else (and if you don’t use Facebook, the point is you have to actually add the application to “play” at all, and then it takes over your life) that “app” is probably going to be really, really annoying. Like the kind of annoying that gives a headache. Headache bad.