November 4, 2010

What will it take for us to unfriend Facebook?

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:50 pm by Jennifer

I’m honest about my love-hate relationship with Facebook. It isn’t even a guilty pleasure at this point; it’s an annoying necessity for me to keep in touch with a number of people. My “network” goes from Toronto to Sudbury, Ottawa, BC, Chicago, Rochester, Florida, the UK and then back again. I think there are a few more internationals on there currently in Korea, but you get the point. That’s a lot of emails and letter writing, and no one really has time for the number of update phone calls it would take to stay well connected with people who’ve moved far away. (Can you imagine the phone bill?!) Being able to peek in on how someone is doing, send them a message or let them know you’re thinking of them instantly is so much easier. This is why I consider Mark Zuckerberg an evil genius. The man is one lab accident from evil supervillain bent on world domination. (Okay, maybe not. But he’s a bit too powerful for my liking.)

Why the rant? In case you haven’t yet heard the news Facebook is launching a new application in their long line of recent tools that slap the face of privacy right across the cheek. The disarmingly named “Facebook Friendship Pages” creeps me out. Basically, they show how you are connected to mutual friends, displaying photos, attended events and public conversations you have had with eachother on one summary page that’s supposed to represent the online face of you friendship. Don’t like the idea of this? Too bad. You can’t opt out of it.

Yes, this information is already technically “public” but what is the added value of being able to snoop on the history between two people? Unless you like to cyber stalk members of the opposite sex on your current partner’s profile I don’t see the point. I know why I’m friends with the people I am friends with, I don’t need it laid out on a separate page for a third party to review. I don’t even remember what I’ve posted on a friend’s page a month ago let along a year ago. I hope it was clever.

Does anyone else feel put off by this, or do you think this application is a step forward in social networking?

Oh Facebook… I wish I knew how to quit you.

In other blog related stuff, I’ve recently updated my Flickr account. Feel free to take a peek and let me know what you think!

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3 Comments »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Karen Nussbaum, Jennifer Ouellette. Jennifer Ouellette said: Facebook's new "Friendship Pages" – what do you think, cool or just plain creepy? http://tiny.cc/xls4l […]

  2. Sean Ward said,

    I think this is just another example of Facebook being way ahead of the mainstream in terms of not just privacy issues, but verily how we communicate and what our expectations are of each other.

    Maybe I would think differently if I was a girl and I had a creepy stalker for an ex-boyfriend but being me and being a social media enthusiast, I think this is just another step in our march to an all-knowing, all-access world.

    Full disclosure: I am a big fan of the idea of all knowledge there is to know, organized and neatly presented, on-demand, free to all.

    • Well said Sean, but then again I’m not that surprised at your position. You’re probably one of the most engaged people I know with online social media. From Youtube to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, image sharing… I can’t name something online that I haven’t seen you use and use really well.

      I guess that level of visibility is great for some people, and a nighmare for others. Like me. 😉


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