Does what’s written on Facebook, stay on the Facebook?

Adam Maguire is not impressed with Facebook… Personally, I love it. The thing that really marks it out for me is the newsfeed which makes it both fun and more useful than the more passive resource of LinkedIn. But if you want to get really paranoid about the former, check out this little number…

  • Was going to mention this in my post but decided not to as it was away from my point.

    When I signed up to facebook first I was filling in all the information, one of which is “Relationship Status”. I put in it “In a relationship”, as I am but then realised that this was going into my public profile.

    As with my blog, I like to avoid making reference to my personal life wherever possible – partly because it’s no-one’s business, partly because it often means revealing details of someone else’s personal life too but mainly because no-one really gives a fuck (people talking about their private lives in blogs bores the hell out of me, anyway).

    So I quickly decided to revert my status back to nothing, so that there would be no reference made to my relationship status in my profile… when I did that, however, my mini-feed stated “Adam Maguire is no longer in a relationship”. What the fuck? Where’s my “Adam Maguire has decided that his relationship status is inconsequential and/or none of your business” option?!

  • face book

    Adam,

    Think you are totally missing the point with facebook etc.

    Couple of points:

    1) You can delete items from the mini feed so no one needs to know the volte face on relationship status.

    2) There are various options for privacy – you decide who gets to see what.

    3) Suggesting social networking sites are merely a ‘blog for people who don’t blog’ completely misses the point of sites like facebook. Anyone who has developed friendships with someone they don’t get to see often will see the utility of face book. Yes you can use existing methods, but this line of logic also questions e-mail – you can still write a letter, phone someone etc…

    4) Perhaps you wanted to sound like a grumpy old man, but there’s more to f’book than you suggest.

    5) Online privacy concerns go far beyond social networking sites. As far as I’m aware with facebook the individual user is in control of the amount and veracity of the information they reveal.

  • parcifal

    Mick, when the men in black visit you, you’ll know you’ve been quangoed. I have the same problem, its just they wear white coats instead 😉

  • slug

    Face book

    Heres a question for you. Suppose I am a little infatuated with a certain person on facebook. I log in every day, look at her profile, photos, etc.

    Will she know I do this – and how often?

  • face book

    slug – as far as I know you can leer without fear. But you should probably pluck up the courage and be open about your feelings. This sounds like it may be getting out of hand. Mr M Fealty is clearly a fan of facebook, perhaps he has encountered other souls like yourself and could offer counsel and advice!

  • JG

    Facebook is great, also everybody is on it so you can find old friends and all that. Hard to beat…

  • slug

    Thank you face book.

  • Mick Fealty

    parci,

    I have to (finally) take my hat off to you… That must indeed be the strangest visitation we’ve had on Slugger to date!

  • Think you are totally missing the point with facebook etc.

    Well given that my blog post is titled “what’s the point of facebook?” it’s quite clear that rather than having missed it, I’m actually quite keen to find said point. Having read your reply here I’m still looking for it, by the way.

    Couple of points:

    1) You can delete items from the mini feed so no one needs to know the volte face on relationship status.

    Yes, that’s something I found after the fact.

    2) There are various options for privacy – you decide who gets to see what.

    Again, I found this out after the fact but I don’t remember accusing Facebook of falling short in privacy terms, did I?

    My anecdote was based on the fact that the site chronicles your every action unless you tell it not to – being a new user at the time I had not set the boundaries and I hold no one else responsible for that. (Don’t worry, I don’t plan on taking any legal action in relation to the presumptuous and possibly libelous comments Facebook made about my relationship status.)

    3) Suggesting social networking sites are merely a ‘blog for people who don’t blog’ completely misses the point of sites like facebook. Anyone who has developed friendships with someone they don’t get to see often will see the utility of face book. Yes you can use existing methods, but this line of logic also questions e-mail – you can still write a letter, phone someone etc…

    I said that Bebo always struck me as a ‘blog for people who don’t blog’.
    The fact that I even bothered to give Facebook a try whilst already having a personal blog suggests that I saw more potential in it than Bebo, don’t you think?

    Now; you say that questioning the point of communication via social networking as opposed to email is like questioning the point of communication via email as opposed to snail mail.

    That is a completely invalid comparison.

    Email is instant and so trumps snail mail in terms of urgency.
    Social networking is no quicker than email and as a means of communication, so whilst it may be more easy on the eye or interactive than an email contacts list it’s not any more efficient.

    4) Perhaps you wanted to sound like a grumpy old man, but there’s more to f’book than you suggest.

    Perhaps you wanted to sound extremely patronising but I find it very cynical of you to suggest that just because I question the advantages of facebook I must want to look like a grumpy old man.

    On behalf of grumpy old men I also find it very patronising of you to assume that their age and disposition automatically makes them Neo-Luddites.

    5) Online privacy concerns go far beyond social networking sites. As far as I’m aware with facebook the individual user is in control of the amount and veracity of the information they reveal.

    And I’ve already commented on another site that if someone were to read my blog from start to finish and trawl through posts I’ve made on a few fora they’d probably know my life story.

    Now if you’d bothered to read my actual post you’d see that I make no mention of privacy concerns on it (bar a reference to the reason why I don’t use bebo) – I talk about facebook’s advantages to me, or lack thereof. Perhaps you could respond to me on that issue there, rather than by proxy here?

  • My god that Facebook person was over-arrogant. Given the site was pretty much rudderless and without any direction for so long, I find it ironic now that they lecture anyone on not getting the point of the site. Show us your businessplan again? Yeah.

  • al

    (Network Computing graduate here)

    Used both Bebo and Facebook. Facebook is so much more complex and powerful and probably looks a lot nicer but it is just too fiddly and not intuitive enough. Bebo on the other hand, despite obviously being simplified for the younger audience it seems to attract, is so simple nearly anyone could get to grips with it straight away. I do get bored of the OTT “skins” and auto-playing music videos that every other person seems to have on their profiles though!