Facebook was in the news this morning. It seems their loyal band of subscribers (me included) are worried (me excluded) about their personal details being banded about the internet. Click here if you'd like to read the story.
Personally, I don't care who sees my photograph (it's one of very few good ones), finds out how old I am or even knows the size of my enormous cock. I really couldn't care less.
What I do care about, though, is the two hours I wasted there today playing a word association game and answering a series of ridiculous questions. Surely, there are better things to spend two hours on than sitting, staring at a computer screen, clicking a mouse. Still, in those two hours I also managed to track down an old friend from school. So I suppose it wasn't a total waste of time. And then I thought about old school chums from the 1980s and set about finding them, too.
Oh, and after that, I got to thinking. What was I really doing on the Facebook website?
Social networking sites may be places where some people hook up, arrange to meet or gossip, but with telephony and public transport on offer, what's the real reason for most people coming to this website? I can only speak for myself, of course, but I feel it's the last refuge for the lonely, the bored and the friendless. I can log on to Facebook at any time of the day or night and be in touch with people I can call a friend, many of whom I've never even met and wouldn't recognise if I passed them on the street. I (along with other geeks and sociophobes) can pretend that I care about them and they can pretend that they care about me. In a world where we are either too lazy or don't care enough about our friends to pick up the telephone, make a visit or invite people over to our own homes, there's a mirage in the friendship desert called Facebook.