Why bother at all with Facebook?

Right: Dean Koontz’s The Face book

I am now on Facebook and like starting this blog back, phew, don’t know….March this year, I am beginning to wonder why. Let’s get one thing out of the way first though: Google will not buy Facebook, Apple Inc or another innovative company. All this speculation online and in newspapers about Google and Facebook and Apple and Motorola and Sony etc etc is nothing more than summer space filler. I am not critical of Damien Mulley’s approach to this in his column in last Sunday’s Tribune – because I happen to think Damien’s one of the few people not hung up on the print / web divide. And this is a good thing. However, speculation about a very large company buying another large company is wish-fulfilment of the best kind. One big super company to take on those b@stards in Redmond WA – “then we’ll see who’s king of the nerds” kind of thing. No no no. Not going to happen.

As for Facebook, I signed up last week because a friend (an actual friend) of mine invited me. I spent some of Friday – when I should have been working – checking it out. I found my brother, some peopleI actually know in real life and a few of the regular readers of this blog too. They have real names you know? My real name is Eoin O’Mahony and you can see my ‘real’ life here. You can also see me on Flickr via my profile. This brings into question why I chose to blog anonymously of course but more to the point: I have friends in the actual world. You know? The world where photos are things you can hold in your hands and laugh over; where odd things happen to you and not only to guys on skateboards in Montecito whose friends have camera phones, and; the real world where I can pick up a phone and fifteen minutes later I can be sitting in another house eating Hob-nobs and thinking about how I’d really like BBC4 at home.

I found Kav, Swearing Lady and a few others there too and they’re now my Facebook friends. But I already was their friend, their ‘blog friend. right guys? Right? Hello? Kav doesn’t need to know me nor I him for either of us to be happy. I like his blog, I read it occasionally and sometimes I suppose he reads mine. I don’t want to call around and give him advice on plumbing though. Sweary doesn’t need my tips on how to be happy in her job. Facebook is good for keeping in touch with distant friends I suppose. I have a Skype account for that though, and a Flickr account. Oh yea, and e-mail. This whole thing reminds me of Robert Puttnam’s bowling alone stuff: interesting enough but so what?

Can someone tell me a reason why I shouldn’t cancel my Facebook account? It’s no reflection on the friend who invited me (thanks Martin, y’aaarr) but will probably erase the thing by the end of the day. If a tree falls in the forest etc etc.

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7 thoughts on “Why bother at all with Facebook?

  1. I’m in full agreement with you, I don’t even have the time to check the bloody thing often and given the fact that I set it up in order to stay in touch with a relative (who I can contact at the touch of a button on my mobile)I’m thinking I don’t need it either.

  2. Blimey (see, you’ve made me say it more now!) that’s weird. My brother sent me an ‘invitation to be his friend on Facebook’ today. I signed up, then felt sorry for myself as I had one friend (and he’s a relly for God’s sake) and deleted myself again. I did see some people I like, oh and some people I don’t. I’m happier with anonymity frankly.

  3. Bless you. Oh, hang on, I thought I was persona non grata, being ‘overweight and over here’ he he

  4. So did you delete your Facebook profile? I have been finding it quite useful for keeping in touch with people I don’t see very often, such as yourself. Of course, now that your blog finally has an RSS feed that may become easier! Hope all is well.

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