Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why we really go on Facebook

I came across an amusing (and insightful?) article in Newsweek the other day. It is entitled Facebook Made Me Do It: Seven lies we tell ourselves about social networking. The article lists the reasons we tell ourselves we use Facebook and the reasons we actually on go on Facebook. I must admit that I have very little experience with Facebook, but judging by my more extensive experience with Myspace the article hits home on many points. As we discussed in class, people online tend to be more open when it comes to divulging very personal information (sometimes uncomfortably so) about themselves and their friends. We often blame the social platform for our verbal vomit, rationalizing to ourselves that “it’s what Facebook is for” or “everyone else is doing it.” I also found it interesting that the author likened Facebook to a reality show, where people can get into each other’s business and find juicy information about friends and foes, all relatively anonymously. The author asserts that we may tell ourselves that we use Facebook to keep in touch with old friends and aquaintances, but we're really just nosy. People have always been nosy, Facebook just provides us with a newer, convenient way to snoop. I have to admit I have been guilty of this nosy obsession, but this probably would not be the case if people were not so open with their private lives on these social networking sites. So, instead of shifting the blame to Facebook, I shift the blame to those overly candid Myspace-ers and Facebook-ers. You know who you are.

There are more interesting insights in the article; hopefully some of you can look it over sometime. I’m interested in what those who frequent Facebook have to say about this article, especially since I don’t have much experience with online social networks like Facebook. Does it ring true or is totally off base? In addition, does anyone have any Facebook stories they would like to share that relate to the article above?