Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some say "No thanks" to Facebook

Tyson Balcomb quit Facebook after a chance encounter on an elevator. He found himself standing next to a woman he had never met — yet through Facebook he knew what her older brother looked like, that she was from a tiny island off the coast of Washington and that she had recently visited the Space Needle in Seattle.

“I knew all these things about her, but I’d never even talked to her,” said Mr. Balcomb, a pre-med student in Oregon who had some real-life friends in common with the woman. “At that point I thought, maybe this is a little unhealthy.”

As Facebook prepares for a much-anticipated public offering, the company is eager to show off its momentum by building on its huge membership: more than 800 million active users around the world, Facebook says, and roughly 200 million in the United States, or two-thirds of the population.

But the company is running into a roadblock in this country. Some people, even on the younger end of the age spectrum, just refuse to participate, including people who have given it a try.

One of Facebook’s main selling points is that it builds closer ties among friends and colleagues. But some who steer clear of the site say it can have the opposite effect of making them feel more, not less, alienated.

“I wasn’t calling my friends anymore,” said Ashleigh Elser, 24, who is in graduate school in Charlottesville, Va. “I was just seeing their pictures and updates and felt like that was really connecting to them.”

To be sure, the Facebook-free life has its disadvantages in an era when people announce all kinds of major life milestones on the Web. Ms. Elser has missed engagements and pictures of new-born babies. But none of that hurt as much as the gap she said her Facebook account had created between her and her closest friends. So she shut it down.
Read the rest here.

Don't look for me on Facebook.  You won't find me.


sjgmore said...

I got on facebook when it was still limited to people with college email addresses, and I joined after I had received my college enrollment stuff but before I actually left for college. I was convinced it was going to help me make friends at school since I would get to know them before I even arrived.

Wrongo. Suddenly I had thirty or so "friends", a few enemies, stalkers, and countless others I couldn't actually bring myself to speak to face-to-face. I had grown so comfortable with the internet illusion we were all projecting of ourselves that I couldn't stomach being a real human being for them, or allowing them to be for me. In all, facebook has noticeably depreciated my friendships with people I actually know, and has only helped me to make one, new, actual friend.

Jason said...

Twitter > FB

Eventually FB will die off, possibly from user fatigue.