Thing #8: Social Networking

Today’s “thing” may be called social networking, but it was really about Facebook. Even when this activity was created (in 2007), I believe most people had at least heard of Facebook. I certainly had, but I managed to remain a Facebook hold-out for another two years. In the end, I realized that 95% of my family and friends were on Facebook and it seemed like a convenient way to keep in touch, so I caved and joined.

I sometimes wonder if I would have joined Facebook earlier if I had still been in college when it launched (and required an email address from a .edu domain). I doubt that I would have. For one thing, I never joined MySpace. The other, much bigger, reason is that I am a very private person (also the major reason I never started a blog before). My instincts toward privacy also explain why I have a relatively small number of Facebook “friends.” My Facebook friends can be divided into three categories, family, actual friends, and people I went to school with, with a couple random others who don’t fit in any of those boxes. You will notice that there is no category called co-workers, this is because my rule is to not Facebook friend someone until one or both of us leaves the company. That rule may change someday, but it has served me well thus far.

This “thing” paid a lot of attention to Facebook apps. Even though I’ve used Facebook for two years, I almost never use apps. That’s mainly due to a disconnect between the information apps want access to and the information I think they should have access to. People have sent me hearts and drinks in the past, but I never reciprocate because I don’t believe the app they used needs to see my profile, my wall, and whatever else the app wants access to. For the purposes of this “thing” I decided to investigate the different apps available. As far as I can tell, most of them are ridiculous, but I did find Goodreads, a sort of personal library. I remembered that one of my old roommates was on Goodreads, so I checked it out. I felt the familiar unease when I read the list of things Goodreads wanted access to in Facebook, but I created a Goodreads account and linked it to my Facebook account. I like what I’ve seen of Goodreads thus far and will probably keep my account there, but I’ll probably delete the Goodreads Facebook app.

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