Saturday, July 30, 2011

Status update

I promise not to write about Facebook all the time, but since I've been on it now for a week, I thought it was time to do a bit fairer assessment of the site than stick with my kneejerk assessment.

All right, so I haven't spent an obsessive amount of time on it, and I've been very deliberate in my use. That as much as anything is probably responsible for why I've kept a low profile on it. No family members have found me. No students, current or former, have found me.

In fact, I've only received three friend requests, one from someone I "know" via Twitter, someone I've known since junior high, and the mother of a friend since seventh grade. (At the suggestion of a friend, I friended three individuals I've known since junior high days, which is likely how I popped up on the radar of the two who made requests.) In other words, there haven't been any majorly weird or difficult judgment calls to make, although I suspect those will arrive in the days and weeks to come.

I find the news feed to be terribly cluttered and not particularly easy to follow with the same items jumping back to the top on a regular basis. Keep in mind that I currently have a pretty small friends list.

Finding people through search isn't nearly as easy as I expected it would be. (In some ways this is a relief.) I refuse to let Facebook troll my e-mail to find potential friends, so I may be making things tougher than it should be. Still, the number of people who share names can make it hard to find the right one, especially if the primary photo isn't helpful.

I am surprised (and kind of depressed) by the number of people I know from high school who are using their senior photos to identify themselves. (In fairness, I'm using my Mad Men-ized cartoon avatar.) The let's-relive-high-school aspect is something I have no pressing desire to do. Those years weren't miserable for me, nor were they the best of my life. Regardless, I'd like to think I'm more interesting now.

I've not posted or liked much, which probably makes me a bad Facebook user. All of my hang-ups about the site aside, at this early stage as a user I don't find it to be as enjoyable as Twitter. I don't plan to duplicate my Twitter posts on Facebook because it doesn't feel like the right place for them, even though that's public and my Facebook is for friends only. Twitter is part parlor game, part personal news wire, and part communication tool. Facebook is...a virtual yearbook? I'm tempted to liken it to an anchor, but I've not used it enough to level that charge.

Will I warm up to it more? That remains to be seen. Ask me when it gets sticky.

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