I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. It is, by far, the biggest time-waster next to television. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy passively keeping up with friends (old and new), but there's so much noise sometimes it drives me bonkers.
I originally signed up for Facebook to use in place of classmates.com. Classmates was a great site but there was no way I was going to pay money to find old classmates that I hadn't kept in touch with. It worked out great until my brother joined.
Once he joined, I felt compelled to connect to other family members and then suddenly I was even extending my "friends" to people I had barely known in high school. Not that I didn't like them then; I just didn't know them. If there's one thing I'm honest about, it's my need to have a very small circle of friends. I'm not popular and I don't want to be. I could care less whether my friend count is 1 or 1000 (at least, as far as "friends" go - when you're talking "business friends" I'm all about the numbers; I'm no idiot). Before I knew it I had friended people who just went to the same school as me, even though they graduated a different year and I had never met them (or at least, I couldn't remember having met them).
I admit it's awesome to know what my brother and parents are doing on a daily basis, which I wouldn't know otherwise. And, it's been fun reconnecting with friends I've known since elementary school. It's interesting seeing what people are up to every day, and neither of us have to "make time" to have lunch or coffee or whatever. I love the pictures people post and the interesting things they say.
But what do I hate about Facebook?
- Being told when it's somebody's birthday. I hate knowing it's a birthday but I don't sign on every day and then I end up being the only person who didn't post a message on your wall. If I wouldn't have known it was your birthday without Facebook, do you really care whether I post a birthday message?
- I hate it when the only thing people post is Bible verses. I don't mind the occasional verse, but I didn't friend you to be preached at; I friended you to find out what's going on in your life. If the only thing in your life is God, well, I feel sorry for you (not because you're religious, but because here on Earth, there is so much more).
- I hate it when people only post about their business. Please, create a page and if I want to like it, I will. Leave me alone about liking your business.
- I hate game requests/invites. I don't play games on Facebook because then they get access to everything you've ever posted, your friends list, and all kinds of other stuff. Since I'm a firm believer in privacy (and yours too), I don't play games and don't give access to every app that comes along (reputable businesses may be excluded; obviously my blog posts to Facebook).
What do I hate about Facebook itself? The constant changes in privacy. The fact that you have to opt out of everything instead of opt in. The arrogance of the company itself. The stupidity of the whole thing. Oh, and the fact that instead of doing something productive, I'm wasting time there. Of course, I could be talking on the phone to one person at a time instead, so there's that.
I've toyed with the idea of giving up Facebook, but the truth is, the good stuff is pretty good. Until the bad stuff becomes too bad to bear, I'll stay on. I'm just pretty careful about what I post (unlike some people).
What do you love or hate about Facebook? Leave a comment; I'm curious whether I'm the only one who has these mixed emotions.