Facebook, I Quit You

All of my real friends are connected with me by phone, text or email. Even though I do have all my closest friends on Facebook, I rarely interact with them there. With real friends, we meet face to face or talk over the phone, go out for brunch or have get-togethers at home. We never say anything to each other on Facebook!

So I began thinking: If I’m not using Facebook to interact with close friends, what is it being used for? I found that like many people, I use Facebook to check the status updates, messages posted by other people. Who are these people? It’s clear these people are not my close friends, they are perhaps just mere acquaintances. Since I don’t really want to interact with these acquaintances anyway. What’s the point of keeping them around?

After going through the list of my Facebook “friends”, I realized that I didn’t give a crap about most them. These were people that I didn’t get to be friends with for various reasons (for some of them, I just didn’t WANT to be their friend). Not accepting their friend request would appear rude so I’ve always accepted requests from people I’ve met. The downside of this is that I’ve been invited to all kinds of games/apps and random events on Facebook that have 0 appeal to me whatsoever. In essence, Facebook has become a forum of ridiculous requests, status updates and messages from people that I don’t care about.

At times, it feels like a game, a competition to see who can add the most Facebook friends. If you have a Facebook account, you know this. There are always people who add you for the sake of increasing their Facebook numbers. These people rarely interact with you in person and or after you’ve accepted their friend request — again this confirms the fact that they are not your real friends. Having thought about all that, I realized to me, Facebook has lost its coolness completely. It’s become a tool I didn’t need, a solution to a problem I didn’t have.

There are only 24 hours in  a day, it is impossible to develop real relationships with ALL of your Facebook friends. This is true for anybody — you can only choose and pick who to spend time with. To avoid this problem — It’s better to not have a Facebook account.

As a side note: I’ve always held this belief (albeit a weak one in previous years) that one’s personal identity data shouldn’t be entrusted with companies. In Facebook’s privacy policy and detailed fine prints, the user is asked to give up multiple rights.  Sure, you can use Facebook free charge, but have you thought about what you’re really paying? Most people don’t realize that their personal information contain huge value and can exploited. Personal information can be extremely costly if it falls into the wrong hands. Collectively, our personal information and data is the most valuable/expensive thing owned by Facebook.  We have to ask ourselves – is Facebook on the look out for our best interests? Will there be an clash of interest between corporate interests and personal ones? Let’s hope not.

Here’s a clip of Seth Godin talking about real friends vs friendlies – people who you sort of know. Interacting with your friendlies online aren’t going to make them your friends.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0V4YD9Tz4Y&feature=relmfu%5D
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