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Facebook Follies

Using FacebookFacebook, what image comes up for you when you read that name. It's a name loaded with lots of impressions. I first heard of it years ago when my daughter had it. I was jealous and glad to see something had replace MySpace at the same time. You see, back then only students could have it. Now, there are over one billion users of this double edged sword. It has wormed its way into households and lives. Last week it even announced it could send real gifts on behalf of you for birthdays, etc., and was nice enough to let you pay for it later.

Recently, I discovered along with others, that it was a big time suck. As it grew exponentially, more people would post all kinds of things, your email would be filled with notices of posts and unless you were really good at time management, it would draw you in. I quit Facebook.

That worked for a time, then the news stories of HR personnel not hiring unless they could review your Facebook wall, ostensibily for weeding out applicants. Heavens only knew what they were looking for. If you did not have a Facebook profile, you were classified as out of the employment loop, as too old school. That really set off people, nobody wanted others to see what stupid things they posted. If you think I am kidding, look at the school teachers who posted suggestive pictures of themselves from a years ago party fired for being "fill in the blank".

People are an ingenious bunch, lets create a safe profile that would only be used for work. Great idea! Only, it took time to come up with and maintain a shadow profile. Not to mention, the other problem was Facebook taking a dim view of multiple accounts.

So, I restarted Facebook. I think they know people do this. Every other cloud based service, when you shut it off, the data goes away. Not Facebook, it's like a light switch, it just switches off the link from your name to the server. They keep your account/profile waiting where you left off. I don't think you can really delete it. And even if you could, things never go away, really, on the web.

I'm getting off point, I am back on and the information overload increases. Now, they have added games and apps and reminders and neat ways to share your life with others. Look, Suzy just bought a cup of coffee with Mitch at Starbucks. Look at her posing. Who cares!!!!!! They do this on Twitter too, but don't get me started. Since Facebook added location finding ability on smartphones, well you get the image.

So, do I get rid of my Facebook friends? Don't want to. It's actually a good way to keep up with friends in other countries. You get the good with the bad. I enjoy their posts and the pictures they share. Some people don't post drivvel, thankfully.

But it got to be overload again, so I flipped the switch. Then an hour later switched it back on. You see, a lot of web sites have gotten rid of individual logons in favor of using Facebook to do it for them. Facebook gets users, the company or site doesn't have to maintain a database. Now companies have Facebook pages as a PR thing. And they are real popular, they track how many people like them and I am sure there is money involved in there somewhere.

There are websites I use and internet applications I depend on that use Facebook for verification. They are in my house again.

Facebook, friend or foe. It's a necessary evil I don't want to use anymore, but have to have.

I have looked at other blogs and what they did is strip most posts and just use it as an empty profile. A user verification and logon. Add a few innocent posts to keep HR happy and everybody should be happy.

There is one more thing about this. There used to be on TV, a great show, "Sliders". The protaganist and his friends would 'slide' to and from parallel universes through a wormhole. Each Earth was different, either by a little or a lot. Each episode looked at a different take of our society. One episode was about the 'Have and Have Nots'. Not what you are thinking. The 'Haves' live in protected high tech towers, the 'Have Nots' live in rundown houses. The difference is one group sees the Internet and technology as life. The others are looked down upon because they don't buy into the brainwashing Internet and live happily off the grid. Good story.

Anyhow, my belief is we are getting too dependent on technology and the cloud. I can it come crashing down some day. I am not a sky is falling type, but instead of becoming interdependant we are becoming dependant. Like cloud computing versus peer to peer computing, if you know the reference.

Back to Facebook, if it was to go tomorrow, how would you feel about it?