At the urging of my young Italian cousin, Luisa, I have recently joined FaceBook. I have been on LinkedIn for a while, thinking of it as a professional network. The function of LinkedIn has been to reassure me that as I face a huge transition in my life, there are people to whom I am connected–and that those bonds will follow me wherever I go. But what does FaceBook do? My husband John asked me “do you like it?” The answer is…I don’t know yet. Clearly, it makes me notice the difference between being old and young. There is a whole new lingo to learn (really, what does it mean on FaceBook to tag someone? To poke them?) and then there is a level of discourse that does not really conduce to deep conversations. I still have to find my way around it.
Would love to hear what other people are getting out of these social networks and how they use them….
In the meantime, I remain confident that
Life is Amazing! Live Well.
I’m 23 and was one of the first people among my peers to use Facebook here when it first became available in SA over two years ago. I’m also the only person among my peers who LEFT Facebook (well, I tried, you can’t actually delete your account, only deactivate it). Like you said, the kind of conversation you can have on FB is not conducive to really meaningful conversations. The way I came to see it is that it all depends on what you intend to use the app for, as well as what kind of a person you are. I’m a one-on-one conversation kind of person, I don’t like niceties and small-talk as a general rule. So Facebook wasn’t for me. I guess the keeping in touch with friends who live far away or you don’t see often thing is cool, but in that case I would prefer to keep in touch via email. I think Facebook gives you the impression that you’re in one another’s lives, when actually all you’re doing is watching each others lives and that’s not the same thing.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments and interesting perspective. I am also the kind of person who relates well “one on one”…maybe that is why FaceBook still does not convince me.
There is a recent article on The Economist that others might find interesting.