I’ve been on Facebook for several months now, giving it a try. I skipped Myspace when it was all the rage, mainly because it was painful to look at and seemed to be full of teens. But Facebook seemed to have more structure and less mess, making it at the very least readable.
I wasn’t on Facebook long before I started getting contacted by old classmates from high school. My 20th reunion is coming up and they are using Facebook as a way to locate and keep in touch between now and then. It’s actually working pretty well to keep a group of people in touch. I’m doing the same thing with my family reunion, building a group of “friends” – in this case relatives – by looking for someone I can find and then using their friend list to find other people.
So now I’ve gathered a decent list of “friends”. I log in once in awhile to check what they have to say. I automatically pull my posts on my blog sites into Facebook via RSS so I’ve got a running list of entries for my Facebook friends to read. But guess what? No one, and I mean no one, comments on my articles. Not one of my friends writes any type of article themselves or writes anything with any content. Yes, there are a few things of interest – one girl is using the site as a way to keep all her friends up to date with her pregnancy. But for the most part, my Wall is filled with STUFF. “I’m eating X for breakfast”. “I just took a shower”. “Blah blah blah Mafia Wars”. I’ve got to sift through so much junk to see if there’s anything important stuck in there that I missed.
I guess I expected more. I expected actual conversations about things of importance. There are significant things happening in our world today, and not one of my 33 Facebook friends has anything to say about them. The one time one of their friends make an offhand political comment, I responded, and after a few volleys back and forth, they quit right when it was getting fun.
I’ll probably stick with it for awhile, but I’m very tempted to just email out my regular email addresses and abandon Facebook. If it weren’t for the reunion stuff, I would have ditched it already. It may be a useful tool for some, but for me it’s just another online persona that I have to keep up.