Magenta23 is writing a review on her facebook addiction *share*
How Important is Social Networking to You?
Member Name: magenta23
How Important is Social Networking to You?
Advantages: Speed of contacting lots of friends at once, free, great for noseyness . . .
Disadvantages: Has become somewhat essential for a social life which is a shame
It was quite a long time after my friends joined that I was persuaded to join Facebook. Of course I knew about it from their conversations, but couldn't really see the point. The people I am actually friends with I have phone numbers for and see all the time anyway. People I vaguely know but don't have numbers for I obviously don't want to contact, right? So what's the point? Also, I was new to the internet back then and was a little wary of security and didn't particularly want my mug up there for the world to see.
Funnily enough, it was almost because of this that I joined. Let me explain. One of my closest friends had become somewhat obessed with Facebook (still is) and had posted loads of old photos on there. It was only when I learned that there were pictures of me on there, that I joined. Really to monitor her activity of posting my mug on the world wide web. Then, of course the addiction slowly began to set in.
One by one old school friends, work collegues and neighbours starting adding me and out of curiosity I accepted, secretly quite intrigued to know what they'd done with their lives, of course I had no intention of actually speaking to them!
I remember perhaps a few weeks after I joined, I was living with my then boyfriend who was curious to know what I was constantly clicking away doing and was looking over my shoulder when he spied a picture of himself that my friend had put up. He was livid! Of course within a few months he'd joined up and we were both uploading pictures of each other in all sorts of drunken predicaments, 'poking' people and 'buying' imaginary farm animals.
...but I invited you on Facebook...
What a waste of time huh? Well, yes it was really and after a while I became a bit tired of it and really didn't use it much. I then found I'd been missing out on various parties and meetings because people were no longer phoning or texting people to arrange things, they were sending invites on Facebook!
Now I'm back on there checking it a few times a day. I do admit it's the easiest way to contact a vast number of people quickly and easily if you are arranging something and to have long conversations that you can reply to when it suits you. More in depth than a text but more convenient than a phone call. Although, I do begrudge the fact this has become the number one way of contact with my friends now, meaning if you don't check your Facebook (or, heaven forbid, you aren't on Facebook) you get left behind.
I also use Facebook to check up on my interests such as where my favourite bands are playing etc. Their new 'like' feature means you can click 'like' on a band, artist's or businesses page and their updates will come up on your news feed. Whilst I find this very useful and have found out about a number of things I otherwise would not of without the use of Facebook, I do get annoyed with some people who update a riduculous amount of times a day. They end up 'hogging' my news feed and perhaps stopping me from seeing something I else that might have popped up had they not been so greedy!
I use these Facebook pages both as a customer and a business as while liking other peoples pages to see what they are up to I also have a page for my own website. So far I have 219 people who like my site, and I would never have got so much interest without the Facebook page. I have also dabbled in promothing my business with Facebook ads and while proving reasonably costly, it's effective in that you can target your audience so specifically according to what is on their profile. I guess these ads are the thing keeping Facebook going, I certainly wouldn't pay to use it as it's frequently suggested they are toying with.
Miss Purple is having a wee...
Facebook has come a long was since I joined, with the introduction of many games to play, live chat, applications to waste time on and numerous seemingly pointless layout changes. Of course now there is also Facebook mobile so you can update the world on what you're doing on the bus, on holiday, in bed, during Sunday dinner with the family, in a lecture, even on the loo if you wish! Yep, there's no escape!
The number one thing Facebook lovers adore though is the photo sharing. I am a member of the facebook group 'I am drunk in 90% of my Facebook pictures.' Though now I'm getting older and more sensible I'm trying to get the percentage down to a point where I can leave the group! There used to be a time where you got your photos back and if they were awful you could hide them, burn them and pretend they never happened. Now, if you go out with your friends and take a camera they are expecting all their hilarious exploits in be online pronto so they can make endless witty comments and fill up your email inbox with 100's of Facebook notifications. Oh joy. Whilst it used to be case to take pictures for your own memories and if there were some good ones, post them online, it;'s now got to the point where people take photos with the sole purpose of having them on Facebook. "Take one of me with that guys hat on, I want it for my profile picture!"
Of course once the pictures are up there, it's a race to get to them first. If you are quick enough to get to the bad ones before your friends see them you can detag them and reduce the potential damage... and so the Facebook obsession continues.
The Lingo. Lol.
Not only has Facebook become the way in which I organise my social life, share holiday pics, and wish people Happy Birthday (cards are so yesterday), it now even has a language. Forget text speak, this is Facebook speak. If you don't know what lol means you must be martian. Personally, my biggest bug bear with the whole thing. You have a whole qwerty keyboard now and infinite number of characters, use them!!
Just don't let Granny see your profile...
Whlist this review has turned into more my history and annoyance with Facebook, I think it has highlighted the reasons for which I begrudingly use it so often. Whether I like it or not social networking is important to me, for depressingly without it I probably would lose touch with a lot of friends. I've never been a member of myspace, or bebo, but dabbled in Friends reunited for a while and look at band's myspace pages for information. I think though Facebook has the monopoly, even sparking merchandise such as 'No I'm not on Facebook" T Shirts, though if they sell I don't know, as I think most people now are, young and old. Some of my friends parents are even on there. Lucky my mum does not have a computer or indeed knows how to work 'that web thing' so I'm off the hook for now.
I can not really imagine being with out Facebook now, and I think it will last. Maybe only Twitter has rivalled it recently, though I'm not joing that...social networking takes up enough of my time already. It's important to me, but one site is enough, I think.
Summary: Now a way of life