Monday, June 20, 2011

Everyone's A "Friend" In the Unreal World of Facebook

Maybe there's reason to hope after all. Facebook has competition from new services, such as Diaspora and Path, the next steps up the evolutionary ladder  of internet services.

Do you sometimes wish you could divide your facebook friends? Do you sometimes hurry to check your page, other times dread clicking on, or almost?
What is the point of facebook friends if you are close enough to hear of wedding details, but not close enough to be invited? Where does anyone draw the line with facebook friends? I know of someone with a large collection of facebook friends, over 2500, not just close friends. Many of my friends don't like facebook, or won't use it for one reason or another.

 Friends seems to be the new catch-all for old friends, new friends, business and school acquaintances who might or might not ever be friends, and family, who are a separate, group in their own sphere. I suppose it sounds friendlier, optimistic and idealistic to call everyone your friend, and yet it cheapens the word, in my view, and isn't very realistic. 

Now, Linked In can be useful for some people. Not everyone wants to fill in the blanks at this website. It can take precious time. Who can blame someone who doesn't want to take the time to play the game, and perhaps give up some privacy? Are social media sites slowly turning into obligations, like paying taxes?

I know popular sites, such as Active Rain - for people in the real estate community - have caught on, expanded and become very successful, and charges to participate. It starts with membership at a dollar a month, and then asks sixty a month after two months. It's not a professional obligation....yet.

The catch is, to make the sites work, your friends and acquaintances have to join. Google's Buzz social media network site didn't catch on in a big way.

Who knows whether a successful site might not at some point bill users to participate, and then  find a way to punish users with fines if they don't sign up? Let's hope it doesn't happen.

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