3.06.2008

All networked out: I join Facebook, and am bored already

News item: Traffic to social networking site "Facebook" leveled off or declined recently, depending on what you read.

I recently joined Facebook, I did this not so much to join another 'social network' -- I have always found this to be a bizarre construct, when is a network not 'social'? -- but for work. I am a recruiter and I had read more than one account of recruiters sourcing candidates from Facebook/myspace. I then had an encounter with an immodest young man who had been previously sourced by another recruiter off of a page on one of these sites and that finally spurred me to sign up.

Now that I'm on board, however, I'm not liking it very much. I have always been very dubious about this whole concept: One of my vague original ideas behind this site, was that it is sort of a parody or sendup of social networking, my blog stands apart as a solitary and disengaged (and uncommented-on) document, there is little sense of community here. "I have no (online) friends."

Facebook began as a site for students and one thing I quickly learned learned is that I am from a generation that predates and is mostly not participating in this technology trend as only about 8% of my college class are on Facebook, and of this minority, most do not appear to be very active users. Furthermore, poking around the visible profiles of my classmates was a rather dispiriting encounter with our collective mortality, the passing years have not treated us well.

Facebook hasn't really proven to be an effective professional networking tool so far and most of the people I know in the real world aren't on the site. Consequently, the only section of the site that has proven to be somewhat useful to me so far is the Burlington network event calendar, I have learned of some events that do interest me posted there.

My disenchantment with these sites (Facebook, flickr, YouTube, etc.) is nothing new but I think that I am increasingly feeling that there's too much being said these days that does not need to shared, there are no secrets any more, and this excessive transparency is a bad thing. There used to be a private sphere and a public sphere, now everything is mixed. I'm pulling back and retreating more into my own space now I think.

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