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Old 02-11-09, 09:31 AM   #1
SonataInFSharp
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Help Me "Get" Facebook

Okay, so due to peer pressure, I signed up for Facebook the other day and so far I have spent way more time than I am willing to admit getting aquainted with it.

I don't get it.

I mean, I understand it, but I don't "get" it. It's neat to have my friends on there, but I talk to them every day anyway. It's neat to have friends I used to have in college on there, but I didn't really care about them after college which is why I haven't been talking with them, but they "friended" me and now I am supposed to care about their moment to moment thoughts?

It just seems like a total waste of time, completely superficial and frivolous.

I thought that since 12 year olds can do this stuff, so can I. But I guess not. I am almost 31 years old and there are people far older than I am who get it, so where has my mindset gone wrong?

Oh, and talk about creepy. So, some my kid cousins (one is 14 but I still remember her as a toddler) "friended" me. So I looked at her profile and photos and couldn't believe how many "does your mother know about this" type photos she has for everyone to see!

And how does Facebook know who I might want to be friends with? A list of 35 people came up and I knew every single one of them!

What is with the "News Feeds" and "Live Feeds"? They aren't even in order of time sequence!! Do I have to read the whole page each time I visit Facebook to keep up? Do I get an update and then go visit friends' walls, or what?

I already have 15 friends and I can't keep up. How do people keep up with 314 (like my kid cousins)?!

I spent time Googling this question too, e.g. "I don't get Facebook" and "How to use Facebook". And while many others share my thoughts and concerns, there are no answers out there other than "how can you not get it?"

But I do get FOO.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:36 AM   #2
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As one of my marketing professor's said in my MBA, "If you don't get the ad, you aren't the target."

Facebook isn't for you.

I'm the same age, don't regularly talk with my college buddies, but like knowing whats going on with them. Every now and again we do a reunion. I don't get caught up in apps and I'm not a fan of anything but my church (for the "whats going on updates").
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Old 02-11-09, 09:38 AM   #3
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Oh, and how they know who might be your friends is a pretty simple algorithm. They use the people you have friended as a priority one. The scan through those friends and looks for common friends that you haven't yet friended. There's a good chance that if 5 of your friends know someone, you do to. They take this a few levels deep and build the web. Different things affect the probability. Pretty simple, really.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:38 AM   #4
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I'm with you. Facebook is a tool for the narcissistic. But since it's part of my job I use it every day. It's actually beginning to replace email in a lot of ways. I got friend requests from my friends 13 year old daughter who's a real nice kid but no way.... no way. You can always delete friends or ignore them. But for the most part I agree except it is kind of cool to touch base with some people you have not seen in a while. The whole concept of what is a friend is changing.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:41 AM   #5
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Well,

1) You don't care about the people you met in college. Well, maybe you don't, but I do. And for that it is awesome. Not only as a way of keeping in friendlike contact, but also as a way of connecting professionally, finding living space, etc. Also, it's nice to visit that friend of wayyyy back who now lives in some weird country you happen to be visiting on holidays.

Again, it makes it easier to keep track of people. You don't NEED to talk to them. I have a 150-ish 'friends' on there and I rarely talk with the majority of them.

2) How does facebook know your friends? Well, you have 15 friends, who have mutual friends...what do you think are the odds of you knowing these people as well?

3) The 'does your mother know this' type pictures. Well, everybody has a different concept of what that is. For one, don't have your parents on there....it's annoying. Also, I have plenty of things I have no problem sharing with my 'friends' but I would not share with me family.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:42 AM   #6
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Aww geeze. You just reminded me that I have one too. I buckled down to pressure too because I was told all the family pics were on there - that if I wanted to see them I'd have to do a facebook. I saw the pics and that was pretty much it.

How do I get rid of it?
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Old 02-11-09, 09:45 AM   #7
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Here's how it works:

You get born
Spend your life updating your facebook profile, while avoiding the outdoors.
You die.

When you get to the Pearly Gates, Saint Peter checks his iMac.
"Looks like you've got 44587 friends. Welcome to heaven."

I'm not sure what the cut-off point is, but I hear that it's high.

Sadly, I don't believe in heaven, so I have no need for Facebook.
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Old 02-11-09, 09:52 AM   #8
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Old 02-11-09, 10:14 AM   #9
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Haha, these thoughts are great from both sides!
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Old 02-11-09, 10:26 AM   #10
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I use the Facebook IM protocol, but I use the site itself mostly for posting my notes and study groups. I'll try and see if I can help you "get" it, though it really isn't for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
Okay, so due to peer pressure, I signed up for Facebook the other day and so far I have spent way more time than I am willing to admit getting aquainted with it.

I don't get it.

I mean, I understand it, but I don't "get" it. It's neat to have my friends on there, but I talk to them every day anyway. It's neat to have friends I used to have in college on there, but I didn't really care about them after college which is why I haven't been talking with them, but they "friended" me and now I am supposed to care about their moment to moment thoughts?

It just seems like a total waste of time, completely superficial and frivolous.
That is mostly a social status thing. Do you think that the girl with 1,000+ friends talks to every single one of them? (It's mostly women that have a huge web of friends, so it seems.) I have close to 800 "friends" on the site, but I talk to less than 10 at most.

The irony of this is that when I've tried to cancel my account, everyone (and I really mean everyone) thinks that I'm dead or something. It's bad enough that I'm not on campus, but it's perceptually worse if I'm not on Facebook. That's how powerful that social net is.

What I don't understand are those people who request to be added to my network of friends, but refuse to respond to any messages I send to them! That actually annoys me. Lots of people are "social" enough to add me on FB, but are not social enough to actually talk to me or let me talk to them.

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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
I thought that since 12 year olds can do this stuff, so can I. But I guess not. I am almost 31 years old and there are people far older than I am who get it, so where has my mindset gone wrong?
Are you extraverted?

Oh, and talk about creepy. So, some my kid cousins (one is 14 but I still remember her as a toddler) "friended" me. So I looked at her profile and photos and couldn't believe how many "does your mother know about this" type photos she has for everyone to see!


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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
And how does Facebook know who I might want to be friends with? A list of 35 people came up and I knew every single one of them!
It uses any associations you have, as well as your reported location and any affiliated networks to guess who might be your "friends."


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What is with the "News Feeds" and "Live Feeds"? They aren't even in order of time sequence!! Do I have to read the whole page each time I visit Facebook to keep up? Do I get an update and then go visit friends' walls, or what?
This was a relatively new addition to Facebook (two years ago, maybe). I've tried to turn it off, but there is no way to do so. I think its intended purpose is to make it easier for people to keep tabs on other people and whet the appetites of addicts that spend incredible amounts of time browsing their social net. You don't have to read the entire page; you do what you want.


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I already have 15 friends and I can't keep up. How do people keep up with 314 (like my kid cousins)?!
Look at my post above. The number of friends is supposedly proportional to your "coolness" or social awareness. I think that this is flawed; as I said above, I have nearly 800 friends and not only lack a real best friend, but associate with less than ten or so people daily. I'm hardly the social butterfly Facebook makes me out to be. In fact, I think I'm going to start deleting people.


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Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
I spent time Googling this question too, e.g. "I don't get Facebook" and "How to use Facebook". And while many others share my thoughts and concerns, there are no answers out there other than "how can you not get it?"

But I do get FOO.
Social networks are a new phenomenon, and associate closest to my generation and those after me. It's a great way to socialize with many people, propogate thoughts and discussions and expand your real social network. The older generation can benefit from finding a central location to track down their classmates of old and long lost friends.

While it no longer upsets me that it lost its collegiate exclusivity, what does upset me are the proliferation of applications a la MySpace. They don't seem to serve much purpose right now. When they allow custom page editing and embedded songs/video, then I'm gone.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:30 AM   #11
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To each their own. As DallasSoxFan said, if you don't care what friends are doing, apart from those you see everyday, then you may not have much use for it.

I went to boarding schools, and the people I attended school with are now scattered far apart. It's a great tool to keep up with people I had lost contact with years ago.

I also find it's nice for day-to-day chatter.

The same question could be asked of this forum: what's the point of an Internet group dedicated to discuss riding bikes? Why not just not go out and ride your bike?
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Old 02-11-09, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind View Post
Aww geeze. You just reminded me that I have one too. I buckled down to pressure too because I was told all the family pics were on there - that if I wanted to see them I'd have to do a facebook. I saw the pics and that was pretty much it.

How do I get rid of it?
Log into your Facebook, mouse over "Settings," then "Account Settings." Then click on "deactivate." I just saw that they added any tagged photos on the top of the page to try and entice you to stay; if you're not tagged in anything, then I suppose you won't see this.

Click "Other" on the reasons to deactivate, and type anything. Opt out of receiving emails, and then click "Deactivate my account."

You can access your account at any time by logging in with your old information.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:38 AM   #13
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I have never even been curious about Facebook... and now I am finding that I am losing interest with the morning TV news since the local news broadcast has a facebook page and actually wastes airtime to "report" on the crap that people send them on their facebook page...

Of course, the fact that they got rid of every on air person over 25 years old probably is part of their master plan too...

I need to see if there is a station that still has real news people.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
I mean, I understand it, but I don't "get" it. It's neat to have my friends on there, but I talk to them every day anyway. It's neat to have friends I used to have in college on there, but I didn't really care about them after college which is why I haven't been talking with them, but they "friended" me and now I am supposed to care about their moment to moment thoughts?
Its also a good networking tool if you use it that way!
Don't Friend people you don't care about

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It just seems like a total waste of time, completely superficial and frivolous.
Depends on how you use it. I use it to keep in touch now that I've moved, to network with people I know in my industry, etc. As well as post crazy photos. I've got settings that allow/disallow groups of people from seeing certain things (professional contacts don't see my dancing on the bar pics, for example).

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Oh, and talk about creepy. So, some my kid cousins (one is 14 but I still remember her as a toddler) "friended" me. So I looked at her profile and photos and couldn't believe how many "does your mother know about this" type photos she has for everyone to see!
That's why I won't "friend" my mom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
And how does Facebook know who I might want to be friends with? A list of 35 people came up and I knew every single one of them!
Based on other people you know, your networks, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
What is with the "News Feeds" and "Live Feeds"? They aren't even in order of time sequence!! Do I have to read the whole page each time I visit Facebook to keep up? Do I get an update and then go visit friends' walls, or what?
Facebook Stalking
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Old 02-11-09, 10:51 AM   #15
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I can't help you because I don't get it either. The story I give everyone is that I'm too old for Facebook (I'm 32). Truth is, I work at the university where it started as a big popularity contest and their HQ is across the street. I will walk by their HQ on my way to lunch today. Because of the big deal everyone makes of it and how really unimportant, wasteful, and useless it is, I can't bring myself to join. Heck, I guess as some subconscious backlash, I ended up neglecting my LiveJournal account 5 months ago.

All of my wife's family back east is on Facebook and they peer-pressured my wife to try it. She had her account for about a day, couldn't handle the volume of email from friends, relatives, friends of relatives, relatives of relatives, relatives of friends, friends of friends, distant Norwegian family, etc., etc. etc., and deactivated it.
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Old 02-11-09, 10:55 AM   #16
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I like it. It is useful for me to talk with family members and friends.
I have also been chatting with other members of my bike club that I have yet to meet. Many of them are in areas far away from Colorado.
A few of us post our rides on facebook in addition to the club's website.
If you do not find it useful then you don't.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:19 AM   #17
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6 months ago I was contacted on Facebook, by a by a woman I dated in high school and college. Tomorrow I'm flying to Boston to see her for Valentine's weekend.

I'll let you know what I think of Facebook next week.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:35 AM   #18
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6 months ago I was contacted on Facebook, by a by a woman I dated in high school and college. Tomorrow I'm flying to Boston to see her for Valentine's weekend.

I'll let you know what I think of Facebook next week.
Next up: Facebook disasters, more details at 11

Haha, good luck man!
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Old 02-11-09, 11:39 AM   #19
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I find it is useful to keep in contact with friends from overseas and those who have moved.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:46 AM   #20
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OP, your situation is somewhat similar to mine. I joined last thursday and almost immediately was "friended" by 15 people with whom I went to high school and/or grad school. honestly, there are only 4 or 5 of them, that I have any intention of maintaining contact: either for professional reasons or I just plain like them and they don't live near me. I had fun loading up a few photos and spent a few hours the first 2 or 3 days, but it's not a tool that'll get much of time. It's kind of neat though.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:46 AM   #21
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I 'get' Facebook.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:47 AM   #22
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I find it is useful to keep in contact with friends from overseas and those who have moved.
Maybe that's it too. I guess if you've lived in the same area for a long time, you don't feel the need. However, I have lived on two different continents, used to live in an international dorm, moved all over the place and soon I'll be moving to another country (where I've never lived before) for 4 years.....quite possibly to yet another one after that for another few years. Then, hopefully to yet another country for an indefinite period of time.....

If you live in the same place, you tend to have fewer friends as well. That is, I get a new 'set' of friends every time I move....if I'd be in the same place, that many friends would be impossible to handle.

And yes, facebook can be a massive waste of time....sometimes I find myself bored with nothing to do and just refreshing the page to see if anything happened....I used to read at such times (and I'll kick myself in the ass as soon as this starts happening much again).
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Old 02-11-09, 11:54 AM   #23
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it is what it is. after some time with it, you'll figure out how to use it according to your needs.

i view it pretty much as an online phonebook. if i don't have someone's email, address, or phone number - it's just another way to make contact.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:55 AM   #24
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I'll let you know what I think of Facebook next week.
My, that's a gamble. Good luck.
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Old 02-11-09, 11:58 AM   #25
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It's a forum, with family and friends in it. Every posted photo or comment is like a thread. You only respond (comment back) on those you are interested in.
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