After reading this weeks reading, I realized that many things about Facebook that have frustrated me in the past others are unhappy with as well. Gehl makes the valid point that Facebook has many downfalls however because it is such a large part of society today we feel that we need to have Facebook in order to maintain our “existence”. I agree with this 100%.
When I first got Facebook I wasn’t concerned with who saw what I posted. As I have grown up I realize that not all things in your personal life are meant to be public to you professional life. Facebook makes this very difficult with their constantly changing security settings, in which many of us don’t want to take the time to even read the small print. This has resulted in my participation on Facebook to become very minimal. I can’t be bother to have to analyze everything I post, wondering “Would I be ok with this on the front page of the paper?” So if I don’t often post anything why do I bother keeping my account? Gehl had me considering this and one of the main reasons is because I think I would feel like an outsider. This sounds funny, however without Facebook I would not longer have the ability to “creep” my “friends” and keep up with all the gossip.
Although I have not deleted my Facebook account, I have attempted to clean it up. I had to many “friends” that I didn’t even talk to or hardly knew at all in the first place. I decided I would clean up my friend list and if I hadn’t talk to the person in over a year they likely were “unfriended”. Ironically a few months later one of my good friends told me that someone had told her they thought it was ridiculous that I would “unfriend” them when they hadn’t even done anything. Using this word “unfriend” makes me apologetic, but it’s not that I had any problems with anyone removed from my friend list; I was just annoyed with seeing updates from people I rarely talk to. Facebook has ruined the word friend and has changed the expectations people have around the word.
Gehl discusses the idea of who is receiving value from Facebook. Personally I think I get very little value out of Facebook. Communicating with a committee I volunteer for is about the only thing I do on Facebook that I need to do, otherwise it is one of my best procrastination methods. Facebook has become an addiction, without it a void would have to be filled. What would I do when I’m bored? … Check Twitter?
Society has become reliant on our constant connection with the world and Facebook is benefiting from this. Because we have become “addicted” to constantly checking, updating, liking, and friending Facebook has us trapped. When Facebook was relatively new you updated your status however you wanted. Now, when changing your status it asks you how your feeling, what are you doing, where are you located. Just by making one post they are now trying to collect extra information from you. As Gehl informs us, Facebook is using us like a focus group and we are providing them with free labour.
Even after reflecting on the reading and agreeing with many of Gehl’s dissatisfactions with Facebook, I still do not plan on deleting my account just yet. However, I think that Facebook has started to lose its “cool” factor and before long we will all be moving on to the next Internet trend.