Undone by success

There is a growing trend in Facebook bashing (a type of conservatism claiming that the original versions of Facebook were best), Facebook criticism (Facebook would be better if only one detail or another were changed), Facebook denial (Facebook is never going to be useful/important/worthwhile), Facebook disbelivers (what is Facebook good for) and anti-Facebook purists (Never used, never will use FB).

Whether you are a FB believer or happy user or belong to a basher group it is difficult to ignore the fact that FB is being used to an amazing degree.

Some bashers, for example, Cory Doctorow: How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook“. (Nov 2007) explain that FB will collapse because eventually you will have to accept people you dislike to be your FB friends. Cory writes:

For every long-lost chum who reaches out to me on Facebook, there’s a guy who beat me up on a weekly basis through the whole seventh grade but now wants to be my buddy; or the crazy person who was fun in college but is now kind of sad; or the creepy ex-co-worker who I’d cross the street to avoid but who now wants to know, “Am I your friend?” yes or no, this instant, please. ”

So I agree with these types of criticism eventually someone, or several someones, will demand to be added. We are back in the seventh grade playground and you are (once again?) no longer the center of your own world – which was the promise of a FB centric world.

My problem, and subsequently my form of FB bashing, is that it is not that the creepy people that concern me but rather all the nice, harmless, friendly, acquaintances that want to be my friends. At present I have just under 200 friends on FB, but the strange thing is that most of my “offline” friends don’t have FB accounts. In reality, and this may be a sad admission, I don’t have almost 200 friends. Many of the people who have befriended my on FB are acquintances (which is ok), online contacts (which is ok) but many are people whom I do not know – which is almost creepy.

Therefore to me the reason FB will fail is that it will never actually do anything. It’s goal, and measure of success is the amount of friends – but achieving this goal is not difficult if you do not care who you add as friends.

But I guess this argument rests on the foundation that Facebook has a point. If it is pointless then I don’t know.

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