The Facebook Resisters

NY Times:

The Facebook Resisters

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 newborn 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.
Many of the holdouts mention concerns about privacy. Those who study social networking say this issue boils down to trust. Amanda Lenhart, who directs research on teenagers, children and families at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, said that people who use Facebook tend to have “a general sense of trust in others and trust in institutions.” She added: “Some people make the decision not to use it because they are afraid of what might happen.”
Ms. Lenhart noted that about 16 percent of Americans don’t have cellphones. “There will always be holdouts,” she said.

I have a FB acct which I use very little (mostly because many news sources no longer do RSS). Being subscribed only to family members I can’t imagine having dozens of “friends”.

[quote="didymus, post:1, topic:266277"]
NY Times:

I have a FB acct which I use very little (mostly because many news sources no longer do RSS). Being subscribed only to family members I can't imagine having dozens of "friends".

[/quote]

Then you don't know what you're missing out on. Facebook may have its problems, but just this evening, it put me back in touch with a former co-worker -- who I had always considered my best "work friend" - and I had been searching for her since she was laid off back in the '80s.

I had lost all my contact info for her, and my regular Internet searches turned up nothing. When I saw her photo pop up on my screen and realized it was really her, I burst into happy tears! :thumbsup:

Thank you Facebook!:D

[quote="didymus, post:1, topic:266277"]
NY Times:

I have a FB acct which I use very little (mostly because many news sources no longer do RSS). Being subscribed only to family members I can't imagine having dozens of "friends".

[/quote]

You don't have friends? :confused:

[quote="didymus, post:1, topic:266277"]

I have a FB acct which I use very little (mostly because many news sources no longer do RSS). Being subscribed only to family members I can't imagine having dozens of "friends".

[/quote]

Me too. Contact with absent family. Many family members prefer not to have Facebook accounts therefore I don't even store photos in my FB account, in respect of their privacy. A facility for sending messages when one wishes.I see it simply as one tool not a networking opportunity. There are phone calls and emails for that! And face-to-face.

I have no use for Facebook, but my husband enjoys keeping up with my stepdaughter and her family through it. One day, we will figure out how to use the webcam. :shrug:

I won't say it's essentially mandatory for college students, but it pretty much is.

One of the features I actually use most on it is the Chat feature. From what I understand, Facebook Chat basically killed MSN (which I haven't used in years, but it was still popular up to a couple years ago). Since basically everyone's on Facebook, when your online you can just stop and chat with people.

Also, it makes it a lot easier to plan events. For student groups it's basically mandatory, because the info pops up on your home page on the day of, so it's a really good reminder system too.

The other thing I like is being able to follow various companies and groups. Sometimes musicians will post some pretty funny stuff, or when their next concert tour is or when new songs come out. Groups will post news releases (one I follow is the Catholic League, who post all their releases on Facebook), or interesting posts (Catholic Answers has an interesting question once and a while that they post). So I guess it's sort of like an aggregator, but I'm already using it anyways so I don't have to go to a separate website or use a separate program for it.

Facebook can be useful in certain instances, but I'd rather talk to my actual friends on the phone and actually visit them. I use it rarely, and those who want me to "friend" them are sometimes total strangers.

And what will those pushing the Facebook IPO do? Just add more advertising and people tracking to the system?

Peace,
Ed

[quote="VeritasLuxMea, post:3, topic:266277"]
You don't have friends? :confused:

[/quote]

Yes, actually. People I see in person, or keep in touch via phone & e-mail. As for long-lost friends, meh. I'm not crazy about the idea of people tracking me down.

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