Why I am still a No Facebook zone

I have given in a little bit to the social networking trend that I have generally resisted by adopting Twitter for certain purposes.  It’s useful for running an occasional headline feed of my life and activities or for publishing a running commentary.  While it has the followspam problem, it’s relatively easy to hide in the crowd.

From fairly early on, I have had a Facebook page.  But almost from its inception, I have set its status to say in no uncertain terms that I will not respond to friend requests.  I got the Facebook page because certain aspects of my life required interaction with undergrads who live their lives publicly and mostly use the Facebook Internet to manage their social lives, as I pay attention to one or two undergraduate-run campus cultural organizations.  Suffice it to say that since that time, these organizations have failed to pique my interest, but I have kept my identity “parked” on Facebook anyway, rather than delete it.

Nevertheless, I admit that I have never found a good way to articulate my dislike of Facebook and its reasons. However, Valerie Aurora has done so for me (incl. link to great Wired article).

Facebook’s internal messaging system is 100% pure evil and completely representative of what I hate about Facebook. I can get an email notification that someone has sent me a message, but replying to them via email requires me to look up their email address on their profile by hand – so you don’t, you just reply using internal Facebook messaging, which requires me to go back to their damn web site every time I want to communicate with this person. I can see this being very attractive if you have a sucky email provider with bad spam filtering, but you could also write this in such a way that it integrates smoothly with your existing email account. Facebook didn’t, because they want Facebook Internet to partition from Real Internet, leaving them with far more control over your online data than Google could ever dream of acquiring.

That said, despite the temptation of Gmail at times, I have not allowed myself to become too well-integrated into the BorG for now, as I am a little bit paranoid of them too, although it’s true, they are still not as problematic as Facebook.

Woohoo, first substantive post!


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