Facebook: A complete waste of time?


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lol @ Amanie

But yeah - the quest to have the most 'friends' is ridiculous. I certainly know people who I am pretty sure added me for that reason alone. Some girl who was part of a social group I got ousted from because the alpha male decided I was "gay" way back in grade 6 or something added me to Facebook, she wasn't a bad person at the time or anything, so I messaged her to say hello and ask what was up and where she had gone in life, and she totally ignored me. Don't really care, but why ad me if you have no intention of ever talking to me?

One thing I have in praise of facebook and the like is that at least they are pretty open and dynamic communities with plenty of good and bad areas... you to some extent don't get the same kind of screwed up stuff happening on tightly controlled things like Suicide Girls, where the administrators and moderators are just as petty as much of the community, if not more so.
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Exactly. Every community online and in the real world is going to have good and bad things about it (other than ProductWiki of course!). Facebook is big enough that you see those up and down areas. One thing that is KIND of backfiring on me is that I thought the whole applications thing would be great for cool applications. But instead it is turning into an almost MySpace kind of overkill where people are putting a ton of stupid applications on their page and it can become a real mess. The problem is further compounded is that these damn applications use the built-in Facebook message spamming and so the number of notifications/events/messages I'm getting is just exploding! And most of them are annoying and useless.

I guess I could look into it, but I hope that Facebook lets you limit the kind of message/events that you receive. I think that's starting to become a bigger complaint among the users and I've already seen bitching on one blog.

I'm hoping that because it's all new that these are problems that will be sorted out eventually. Just being able to limit the kind of stuff you get would go a long way. And maybe limiting the kind of applications that you see on other people's profiles would help as well. Like, I only want to see applications that I've allowed, or that have been voted on by the Facebook community as being the best. Everything else just start off collapsed and I can expand it if I'm REALLY curious to see their "top 5 friends" (not bloody likely!)

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Omar reminded me of another thing that bothers me about facebook. I believe that a big reason why its so successful is because of the email invitations and notifications, and not because of the quality of the service. It pre-empts word-of-mouth.

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Oh that has gotta be my number one pet peeve, where it goes in and sends an email to everyone in your address book who doesnt have an account. Some of these newer start up sites even go so far as to repeatedly send you emails if you dont sign up, or the classic "submit your info for your friends address book" and when you fill the info out it makes you an account automatically. >_<

On the facebook applications, I havent gone in and looked closely yet but theres been plenty of bad press (/.) thus far and from what I've heard I am none too enthused
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My wife is a member of Facebook, and its driving me insane!!. Instead of looking after our 18 month baby she spends hours on this bloody site. I can't see how that helps at all. Personally I'm too busy working to have the time to even look at it. From my perspective it's just a way of avoiding reality, voyeuristic, and a COMPLETE waste of time. Why doesn’t anyone create anything anymore? Have people really got so much spare time on their hands? God - I'm starting to sound like my Dad!! (Maybe he had a point!)

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OMG, I think Erik just found a kindred spirit in thelemonkid!
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Thank you thelemonkid. Finally, there is some sanity in the world!
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Since this thread was started their have been some new developments in the Facebook story:

  1. Facebook opened up as a developer platform for third-party apps
  2. Microsoft invested $240M in Facebook for about a 2% stake in the company ($15B valuation)

The first point changes the game significantly I think. There is quite a bit of promise in Facebook as a platform, leveraging it's social graph and you can't deny the power of the network (see Social Networking in Plain English). I've changed my position slightly from apathy to more of a curious interest in whether or not the apps thing will take off. And not just vampire or zombie apps!

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The sad thing is the stuff being developed is mostly crap - the blessing of some of the really useful and interesting 3rd party apps is offset greatly by the sheer quantity of garbage on most peoples profiles now.

I find another down side is people who use it all the time often expect you to use it all the time. Some people treat the wall like its supposed to be instant messaging and everyone is watching their email for facebook notifiers and replying right away. I want to check it a couple times a week at most but I'm ALWAYS getting emails about new PMs and invites and other updates, most of which I'm not interested in, but still have to go and look at so i don't have too much to go through later.
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If you want to cut down on Facebook clutter, just turn your profile into a limited one. For some reason that has the strong psychological message of "Don't communicate with me" even though they still can. I know two people who have done that, and they said messages and everything just stopped almost instantly.

And the whole app-spam is very annoying. Early developers are screwing the later ones by just inundating people with requests/invites etc which turns people off to the whole concept. But there are SOME useful apps available now, and hopefully more in the future... :)

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