Kiss my Face(book)

Well I finally succumbed and activated my Facebook account yesterday.

I really never intended to bother, with two factors driving my apathy. Firstly, I really have not got any spare time, what with reading blogs, occasionally writing my own blog, obsessive twittering and being married. Oh, and an occasional annoyance known as work takes up a bit of my life too. Secondly, and I may regret admitting this, it all felt a bit, well, mainstream. Rarely in my life am I ‘front of the curve’, but over the last couple of years I’ve stumbled into an unlikely position of digital early-adopter (at least compared to the population at large – I’m still positively luddite compared to chums such as Faris) . So in other words, arrogance was holding me back too. (Moi? Arrogant??!)

On having a little mosey around for a client yesterday however, and noticing that the world and his wife seemed to be actually quite enjoying the whole social-networking thing (although I did kind of know that), and that Facebook seemed to be, well, less shit than Myspace, I took the plunge. And after 24hours, I’m addicted.

I’ve accrued over 20 friends so far (count ’em! that’s almost one an hour!) and have signed up to loads of groups (from the Alan Partridge Appreciation Society through to the Leeds United are still the biggest club in Yorkshire despite relegation gang), though I’m not entirely sure that I can promise each group my full and diligent attention.

It’s obvious that people love it. No wonder brands get so excited by it all. (Picture the scene. Brand manager to agency: “I think we should set up the Febreze Supporters Club on Facebook. It’ll be ace. Everyone will join”. Perhaps.)

Why is it such fun? It’s hard to say. Having everyone in one place helps, and the fact that you can so simply and conveniently converse in an uninterruptive way is kind of cool. The barriers that are built by physical interaction dissolve and everything is just that bit more relaxed and fluid. Even the language it uses – the wall, for example, perhaps alluding to graffiti – gives an air of freedom and liberation, releasing the user from the constraints imposed through other methods of communication.

Every friendship acceptance that you get is a little piece of self-affirmation and feeling of worth, something that we all crave, dispensed in handy bite-sized chunks. Plus, and this applies to blogging or any kind of community based activity, you feel part of something. Driven by the social angst created by the post-modern world, the feeling of ‘place’ is becomes increasingly important.

Or – perhaps it’s just because you can have a laugh with mates, new and old, while the boss isn’t looking. I’m not sure.

Although I’m left wondering if web 2.0 basically constitutes people stumbling from one fad to another, I’m going to enjoy the ride. Whether I can juggle all these ever so slightly different online identities for much longer is another question.


8 Responses to “Kiss my Face(book)”

  1. paul5458 Says:

    While I feel your pain on this, shall we become ‘friends’?

  2. Doug Says:

    yes. yes we should.

  3. Charles Frith Says:

    Great post Doug. See you on Orkut/Friendster next year.


    social media slutster

  4. Greg Says:

    Im still holding out on Facebook old boy. Too many skeletons in the closet….

  5. Nicola Says:

    Twitter was last weeks fad and now it’s Facebook. Which will possibly be the UK’s favourite site of 2007! I personally love it. Helps me organise my life and keep in touch with people. Getting slightly worried though as everyone from work and fellow planners have all been joining this week. May need to re-think the drunken photos I have of myself on there…

  6. mediawasp Says:

    “web 2.0 basically constitutes people stumbling from one fad to another”

    so true

  7. Amelia Says:

    Nice post – I too am a recent Facebook convert, literally been a couple of weeks but now I don’t know what I did before it. Though like someone else said, will need to start thinking about A list and B list Facebook friends as there is a limit to how “radically transparent” to use a Wired phrase you want to me with the entire world…

  8. Will Says:

    Ahh, one of those things where I feel like a bit of an early adopter (not really, didn’t register with it when I was a student – but then, I didn’t blog then).

    Oxford/Cambridge grads are the earliest adopters in this country, I think.. launched there first (at least in the UK).

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