Yeah! To Facebook , or not to Facebook, that is the question, I had been debating for quiet sometime (rather a long time) !!! FB might still not be considered a verb as xerox or google, but it does have a very significant impact on the people social lives. The recent security stint helped lot of people move to one end or the other and few even log off of fb completely.
But that really has not created any major dent on the followers for fb in general, and the company had been pouring out new collaborative features continuously. I had signed up for the service during the initial days to check it, but never got to using it full fledged. Today I lay out my (current) thoughts on how I would (dis) like to use the service going forward.
One major pull towards fb, for me, is it lets u easily connect with your lost buddies. I was able to get the mobile # of a old time school friend from the site & gave a casual call. During the same learnt about his wedding which I would have completely been unaware of otherwise. FB does help you to connect with people.
Image Courtesy : Acquisio.com
But at the same time some of the downsides , or factors restricting me away from the same are
- Connecting with people should be in the real world, there is huge potential of sitting behind the desk being so very social online, connecting with people- only to realize you had not gone out of ur home for 5 days continuous and the only person you had talked to was the pizza delivery guy – yeah I am exaggerating , but u get the point !
- One size cannot fit all. The current categorization of FB friends – pools in ur immediate family, relatives, close friends, friends, acquaintances, business relationships, online strangers [kind of in that order] all together. Different relations require different level of bonding and different quality of discussion. Getting them all mixed up under one umbrella, would cause confusions in the long run ! [downside to fixing this would result in making the fb control console complex :) , but that is the challenge – how would this be tackled without making it complex for the user !]
- fb is in control of the data. It is so hard for the user to identify and define what and who see the data that is created. This becomes all the more significant , because of all types of relations having same level of access (ur either a friend or not) .
Slightly digressing, one key points is – whatever… WHATEVER… u want to remain private, don’t even think of getting it online. Does not matter if it is within a group of friends, or on a particular site etc. If it is online, it is pretty much deemed to be public.
Online Privacy is probably an oxymoron.
So, for now this is what I have decided, what do u think – do share on comments below !
- Would predominantly use fb as a tool for reaching out to people , where as the actual connection might really happen in the real world.
- Because of the way the fb does the friend’ing – you end up exposing the data meant for one group to the other with out your knowledge. This predominantly happens when you have one common person between two groups. Hence I might refrain to get any business acquaintances onto my network. I know that this defeats the purpose in some case, but that is a call I am taking , at this point :) , and change is not something that is constant !