Facebook Fatigue

Posted by: Michelle Conlin on October 31, 2007

facebook pic.jpg

A few months ago I found myself lunching in midtown Manhattan at the Mario Battali of Greek Food: Anthos (pass if you’re an Atkinser, as a life without the Anthos olive bread and desert melange is a life unlived).

I was enjoying the sumptous fare with a former colleague who has gone on to great and interesting things. I am Gen X; she, Gen Y. Thus she has, over the years, done me the kindly service of acting as my digital sherpa, leading me to all things webby, un-analog, and au courant.

“You’ve got to get on Facebook,” she urged me.

And so I did. And I am.

The things is—though I’m loath to admit it—I still kind of don’t get it. I thought Facebook would help me with my work. But so far it’s only creating more work.

It has also created something of a social media deluge in my inbox. “I’ve added you as a friend on StumbleUpon,” went one recent missive.” Beckoned another, “Join Kiva.org!” Then came the onslaught from Facebookers themselves: “Join the Campaign to lose the mandatory “is” from status updates!”

So far all the social-media come-ons are amounting to more digital clutter. A giant time suck.

Is it just me? Help!

Reader Comments

HR Wench

October 31, 2007 4:36 PM

No! It's not just you. I hate Facebook. I hate MySpace. I hate them ALL. I refuse to network dammit.

Brandon W

November 1, 2007 7:33 AM

It's horribly addictive, isn't it? If you wish to use it for more professional purposes, go into Privacy settings and turn off all kinds of notifications. Then... don't add a million "poke" applications! If one more person "takes sexy back" from me, I'll shoot them.

The novelty of the applications and silliness wears off eventually. Facebook does become a convenient way to keep in touch with friends and colleagues and I think, for that, social networking sites hold a great deal of value.

Michelle, I assume you can see my email address from this post; feel free to add me on Facebook if you wish.

sam

November 1, 2007 3:25 PM

I agree, between Facebook, College.com and school I have 0 time left in the day.

Mari Smith

November 2, 2007 3:26 PM

I definitely hear your perspective!

However, it all depends on your objectives. I've found Facebook to be an incredible tool for connecting with successful, quality contacts - people who were otherwise "uncontactable" beforehand.

There seems to be an instant rapport among members - like belonging to a 'club.'

Yes, there is a ton of what I call "visual noise" (all the ridiculous, extraneous applications), that business and professional users would do well to block. Privacy settings can be tweaked to avoid the "noise."

I've conducted many interviews now of active users and am amazed at how versatile Facebook is for business purposes.

Cheers,
Mari Smith
http://facebookfortunes.com

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