Do you use Facebook?

I opened Facebook today and saw this. It made me laugh out loud:

I suppose it’s true, I have met Bill Gates once or twice, and he might even recognize my name. But still… We’re not friends in any traditional definition of the word.

Do you use Facebook? How do you find it useful? If you use it less than you used to, is there a specific reason why?

I have some thoughts but want to hear your opinions first.

27 thoughts on “Do you use Facebook?

  1. I don’t use Facebook, because it gives me the privacy creeps.

    Their “real name” policy is all about collecting personal information, for advertising purposes.

    In addition, I don’t want every word I say to be part of my Permanent Searchable Internet History, tied to my real name.

    In the real-offline world, every word you say isn’t permanently recorded, and attributed to you.

    In the real-offline world, if you go to a bar (etc.) you aren’t required to wear a name tag with your first and last name.

    Why should the online world be any different?

  2. Yes, i use facebook, i use it to stay connected wid frndz, to get updates frm their life, to let them know wht i am doing in my life, aftr schooling nd colleage life, evryone got busy in their life, jobs, career etc.. so through fb, we cn stay connected at anytime without geographical limits..
    but sometimes i dont use facebook, fb using me,
    because aftr using it makes people addicted to it, people cant stop themselves using it,
    jst because of fb, no privacy remains, out of our 500 friends, it is hard to identify who is what is thinking nd whats going on in ones mind on our personal status updates nd photo nd video uploading..
    before fb there was a life, now evryone busy in own virtual life,

    (its my own perception)

  3. Facebook has turned into a read-only service for me. They have violated my trust with ongoing and continuous privacy violations, and their founder has the explicit belief that privacy isn’t and shouldn’t be either important or expected. It’s a constant battle to keep up with Facebook’s ongoing privacy breaches, to dive into layers and layers of settings to turn off the latest way they’re trying to violate my privacy. (Tracking my web use with Like buttons? Are you f-ng serious?)

    I only use Facebook to keep up with people I don’t see or talk to often. I don’t use Facebook accounts to sign into anything except Spotify (who don’t give you a choice), and I don’t trust them either. I assume anything I post to Facebook will be also be posted publicly and will be associated with my name, or in other words, my permanent Internet record. I don’t know how something I say today will be interpreted by a future employer, business associate, etc., and I can’t trust Facebook to keep what I say private, so I stopped posting there. I stay on top of the privacy settings as best I can, and use the Privacy Fix extension on my browsers.

    If there was another, better way to keep up with those people, I would cancel my Facebook account immediately. You can certainly come up with privacy violations for Google, but they’ve kept my e-mail, calendar, tasks lists, etc. private for years with no problems at all. I’m actively rooting for Facebook’s downfall. The day people migrate away from Facebook to a better service will be a good day for everyone.

  4. Yes, I use Facebook about the same as I always have. With family living 1,000 miles away, it is a great way for them to share pictures and updates in one place with local connections.

    I don’t share much in the way of “personal” information but have found it a good venue for sharing tech and security news.

  5. I use it to either
    * to sale my profile
    * to keep relations alive by liking others post &
    * to make haters jealous of me :p

    in that order

    But never for something like “Ohh so cute!!”

  6. I use Facebook to share pictures and information with family and long lost friends. I don’t expect privacy from the system and I don’t put anything too personal out there, but with family spread across the country, it is the best way (so far) to get family news and pictures out where the whole family can easily read and see each other.

  7. I check Facebook every day, but only for a subset of my friends. I have quit FB more than once, but there are people I see on Facebook who I have no other contact with and so I take what I can get. I feed three blogs and Flickr into FB using RSS Graffiti (recommended) and know many of my friends would never go to one of my blogs directly. (Everyone I know has complaints about FB.) FWIW, I dislike Twitter even more, but it’s the same story there. (You, for example, never send me email but I feel I’m in touch with you.) peace, mjh

  8. I use it as a network to at least have the ability to keep in touch with a mass amount of people. Many family, many friends, a few acquaintances, and I often have to ignore friend requests from people who think I’m someone else, if you know what I mean.

    I browse through my feed and love just keeping tabs on people. Every now and then I post pictures and videos and try my hardest to “give good post” and not waste peoples time with twitter type status updates. Whatever happens on Facebook, stays on Facebook and is available as the RFID chip that “they” have been wanting to implant in your brain for all this time.

  9. I cancelled my Facebook account a few years back after their umpteenth privacy scandal and haven’t looked back. It frustrates me sometimes when I can’t enter certain contests or login to a handful of web sites because they’re too lazy to put a way to do so that doesn’t involve that site but the sacrifices are minimal. My friends list consisted of a ton of people I used to know who I never ended up talking to and though it sounds conceded, anyone who wants to talk to me can spend the extra five seconds to open up their e-mail client and do so that way. If not, that’s their problem. Facebook is a privacy black hole run by a CEO who has some very evil views of how information should be shared and I’m not prepared to participate in that just so people who want to talk to me can save a few clicks. I don’t fault anyone who chooses to use Facebook but not a one of them gets to bitch when their privacy is sodomized the next time. And there will be many next times.

  10. Facebook is great in the beginning to see what the people you knew in college, highschool, middle, elementary or pre-school are now doing, you may think I am joking about some of these but seriously I know people who were looking for others. But, for me, after the initial luster wore off from seeing what my highschool friends were doing (hint, it was the same as me, trying to balance work and family) I realized if I were closer friends wih these people I probably wouldn’t have drifted away from them in the first place. The people I did keep in touch with were much more my ‘real’ friends (ie people I most associate as my family) than the voyeuristic need to see how random person A was doing 20 years later.

    I have no problem with colorful language, the feeling of needing to censor myself on a forum means I do not want to use that forum.

    The fact that we now need to rely on the EU to actually hold (any) company to the fire to add in privacy controls and most people don’t even know what “Like” means for their privacy is just sad.

    Finally, The platform is further ruined by polical screeds where in each side troll bait the other without any goal of conversation/rational dialogue and just spew dogma so I do what I do at the lunch table when the arguments start, leave and go read a book. A year ago I removed of all my ‘friends’ and use it control my name-space for potential job searches and such.

  11. I have an account only because various family members spread across the country and friends have an account where they post. It allows me to see what they are up to but I am lucky if I check it more then a couple times a month and I very rarely post anything. Its not connected to my iPhone and I see no reason to waste the bandwidth. If it were to disappear tomorrow it would take me a couple of weeks before I noticed and I doubt I would miss it.

    Its kind of typical in that I have to use apps more for the fact that others use them rather then me choosing the app.

  12. No.

    Sometimes I do feel left behind on certain topics with my real friends, but it is a small price to pay. With Facebook, you are not the customer, you are the product.

    My wife has told me the minutia of what some people share and it just doesn’t make sense to me. For a lot of folks their online life is more important to them than the real world. This is the part that should concern everyone. It is a tool, not an extension of your personality.

  13. Yes, I do. I use it mostly for sharing pics with family (2 groups set up explicitly to be “secret”) and to share interesting articles with my “friends”. I also use it to see updates from friends and family and of course Like or comment.

    We also use it for our regular friend meetups (set up events and collect RSVPs that way), and also use it for messaging among friends and family.

    And kind of indirectly, since both my wife and I are on Windows Phone, we use Facebook messaging to substitute for text messaging.

  14. Bill Gates is on Facebook? LOL.

    I only use it as a signpost for old friends to find me. I never post and rarely check. I don’t have that much time to waste and I share privacy concerns of others.

  15. No, I don’t use Facebook. A few years ago, I considered it every so often, but like clockwork Zuck then made a decision that drove me away. I decided he simply didn’t want me.

  16. I don’t use Facebook much. I’m a member of a few profession-related groups, and I thus use the service to get and give support, I suppose. I’ve posted fewer than 10 status updates on my wall in the two years or so that I’ve had an account.

    A relative managed, unwittingly, to release the Facebook hounds on me. I was getting constant reminders that “John” would like to share information with me through Facebook, and I finally bit.

    I’ve tried to like the service, but it’s really not hooking me at any deep level. And I’ve been around the interwebs long enough to know it’s best to remain quiet and be thought the fool than to open the mouth and remove all doubt — forever.

    And for that reason, I’ve also essentially ignored the privacy settings. I simply assume that whatever they are, they are as constant as sailors on shore leave. So I post innocuous fluff that I don’t care if the entire world knows, but nothing truly personal appears there at all.

    I’ve close-friended my family members so I get their status updates, and if it doesn’t show up in my e-mail, I don’t know about it.

    All that said, I have considered a professional page, related to my business only, and culling from my personal account all those “friends” whom I’ve never actually met. Been thinking about it for a long time, but I’ve yet to pull the trigger on that one. Mostly I just ignore the service altogether.

    — Timothy J. McGowan

  17. I briefly had a Facebook account but deleted it months ago. Fairly primitive software, obnoxious advertising, and of course endless privacy violations. Aside from Twitter I’m just on Google+ now. More interesting crowd (scientists tend to congregate there), and Google doesn’t shove the fact that you’re their product in your face as much.

  18. The old saying holds true: The people I know and want to avoid are on Facebook, and the people I don’t know and want to meet are on Twitter. I have >1000 Facebook friends and I check in from time to time, but I am really sick of some of the saminess (political posts, pictures of people trying to lose weight, etc).

  19. Like you and Bill, I’m in Facebook but don’t really use it.

    Also, I’m getting more and more tired of those screaming about “privacy” on the internet. There is no such thing! The Internet is a public place, and privacy only comes from unplugging. Plain and simple. Sure you can get a fair amount of security, but privacy is and never was a consideration of the Internet. Especially in a web site BUILT TO SHARE YOUR INFO!!!! Stupidity on this amazes me.

  20. I used it for a few months, then disabled my account after FB kept changing the rules. Now I not only will not use Facebook, but I won’t use any service that requires logging in using FB credentials. And those types of services are getting more common.

  21. I have it, but I don’t use it. Even so I get way more updates on things I don’t care about than anybody should.

  22. Hi Ed,

    I use Facebook primarily to stay in touch with friends. I did have a go with Google+ when that launched, but only a few of my friends joined me over there, so it wasn’t the replacements I’d hoped it might be. I’ver recently rejoined Twitter (dallied with it in 2009, but quit after 6 months duel to lack of time) but use that sparingly, mainly to signal-boost causes that I care about.

    I am careful about locking down my Facebook profile as much as possible – almost everything on there is friends-only – and exert as much control as possible on what apps can do with it.

    I find the adverts and suggestions in the sidebar to be hit-and-miss – some relevant ads, a lot of filler, and friend suggestions seem overly-weighed on most recent friends I’ve connected to.

    One major annoyance I have is with the treatment of Facebook pages, forcing you to add them to an interests list in order to see all updates, and the pushing of promoted posts. The privacy issues are a nuisance, but limiting the reach of people’s posts the way that Facebook appears to be doing could be the services’s ultimate undoing…

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