The Book of Faces

So, having received a couple of friend invites and heard a few people talking about it, I’m on Facebook now. Readers, should you actually exist and not be a figment of my egocentric imagination, will find me under the imaginative pseudonym that is my own name.

I had to overcome my initial resistance to joining up to another online widget/networking site, partially because I spend quite enough time arsing about online instead of writing or reading a book or something else semi-worthwhile, and partially because my experience so far has been that subbing to a new site means I forget one of the earlier ones – there are fora I used to be on all the time that now lie neglected in the darker reaches of my favourites list, while (to cite a recent example) I’ve used Flickr a lot less since I subbed to Last FM.

Still, having been on for a day or two I can certainly see Facebook‘s appeal – it’s very easy to use, for a start, with minimal sign-up time and no need to fiddle around with HTML or any of that.

While its arguably a lazy, anti-social form of socialising, Facebook does very successfully and painlessly keep you in touch with people who you might not get around to contacting very often. If you’re the kind of person like me who is always chasing deadlines and generally time-wasting, then chances are there are plenty of people you don’t get around to phoning nearly as much as you should – Facebook allows you to see what they’re up to (providing they add it to their profile, and basically let your PC do all the work of keeping in contact. Bad you, good PC.

Because the default option when signing up is to bombard everyone in your contact list with friend invites, Facebook is also spreading like a virus at the moment, and seems to have a remarkable number of people I’ve known on there. How long this current rate of expansion continues is hard to tell.

It’s very much online thing of the moment for me, but then there’s been plenty of those before and it’s longevity that counts in this area. It depends, I suppose, on whether it proves an essential social tool or just a neglected, glorified address book.

Mark

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June 2, 2007. Tags: . Uncategorized.

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