Friday, December 26, 2008

Do You FaceSpace?

While Rye gave me the nudge to do a baseball post in his most recent comment on the previous post, I'm going to steer clear of that for a while (at least until the next post). There's only so many times you can complain about how much the game you love is so out of whack it makes you want to scream and shake your fist. (Awesome - my last sentence fulfilled my clause with Coovo that I'll maintain a 1-to-1 ratio between "normal" use of the word whack and "stupid" use of the word whack (description of the clause does not count, so I'm only up one, not three). Coovo doesn't like me going urban on you guys all the time for some reason.)

The purpose of this post is to explain my general attitude towards the vast number of social networking sites, the most popular being MySpace and FaceBook. Most of you know that my career revolves around web development, so one might think that I would be all over these sites. Not so much.

Probably the biggest reason I have not jumped into this pool is related to privacy. I have no desire to lay out the details of my life for the internet's consumption. I did create a FaceBook account some time ago out of curiosity. As I recall, the site wasn't of much use until you started using FaceBook applications. And to use the applications, I was immediately presented with some "let's get to know you a little better" forms that wanted to know things I didn't tell my wife until we were on our honeymoon. Like my stint in San Quentin. That was the end of my interaction with FaceBook. I understand how hippocritical this sounds, as I am expressing this complaint in a blog. But, I actually take great care not to give too many personal details in this blog. I view the blog as a fun way to try to generate discussion amongst my cool friends.

Somewhat related to privacy concerns is a lack of desire to meet new people. I suppose that if I were single, these sites would be plenty useful to me. Even as a married guy, I'm sure I could meet some interesting folks or reconnect with a longlost grade school buddy. Somehow this benefit doesn't outweigh the cost of posting all my info out there, or even reconnecting with someone with whom I don't really want to reconnect.

The last thing I'll whine about is the user interface. MySpace in particular, has to be the most poorly designed site on the internet in proportion to the size of its user base. Besides the fact that I find it visually cluttered, it's functionality is incredibly Web 1.0. If I'm listening to a song or watching a video on a user's/band's page, and see that there is a blog entry about that song/video, I should be able to read that entry without interrupting the song at all. Instead, music stops, and I'm navigated to a different page. That is incredibly, incredibly, stupid. Or perhaps better said - that shit is WHACK!

So now that I've made myself out to be an old curmudgeon who doesn't like to try anything new, I would like to hear the experiences of you all. Do you guys use MySpace, FaceBook or any other social networking site? Do you agree or disagree with anything I've said? What good or bad things have I left out? It's entirely possible that my impressions of these sites are unfair, and I could enjoy some of the benefits they offer while disabling the capabilities I griped about.

Hopefully this post will generate some discussion about this topic, and I already have a follow-on post about the aspects of social networking that I do enjoy, as well as the gaps in the current offerings that could easily be filled.


Ryan said...

Hey Rollz. Although I agree with a lot of your complaints about aesthetics and usability, I've found facebook to be a decent place. MySpace is really trashy, I get bombarded with porn sites there.

Even as a single guy, though, I never tried to meet people that way. You can also block facebook from showing any info to even your friends. YOu can deny people from being your friends, and they don't know. And those little apps do suck, you can always deny them or not do them.

Facebook has turned into a half decent way for me to keep up with current and slightly past friends, in terms of emails and pictures. I think it's an overall great idea. I log in at least once a week, although I know some get sucked into the addiction of it.

Zambrano just requested I be his friend.

Coovo said...

The pressure on me to use facebook from my college (part duex) friends is enormous. I have resisted. Too many skeletons in this closet. I think that as this generation gets older, they will realize that having a forum where someone can expose secrets is not in someone's best interest.

I've gotten several e-mails from people who have just signed up for facebook. The first 3 were friends of which I don't see very often but do consider good friends. The 4th was a friend's ex-wife and the 5th was college friend who I haven't seen in years. i have no desire to faceanything with these last two people.

This is more like it. 3 dudes bloggin' commentin' and bloggin some more . . . I'm takin' what they're givin' cause I'm bloggin' for a livin'.

Austin said...

Tough call. I;m not on facebook. I might join just to see which category of Tim's friends I fall in.

Roller said...

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. I suppose I'm not as against it as before, but I already don't have a ton of free time and probably wouldn't keep up with it well if I did sign up.

Marty promised me a long comment, but I get no love from Coovito.

Tommy said...

Roller, I'm not on facebook and apparently not on TLATL very often, despite my initials being all over the place. Your concern about privacy is very real. As a single man, privacy might be at an even greater premium: If you are actively dating, the bulletin-board transparency into your life that such sites afford can be awkward at best, if not downright dangerous. Vive le resistance!

Roller said...

Tommy, my advice: your status should always be set to "It's complicated." When questioned about that by a dame, just shake your head, look distant and say "You don't wanna know." Chicks love a mystery.