Finished With Facebook?

thumbsdownI resisted Facebook valiantly, much like I resisted MySpace, until I was pulled into the Facebook universe by a group I wanted to run with. Toronto Mike was on Facebook and I've been there for a little over one month. I think I've had enough.

At first, the social networking power of this community blew me away. It really did feel like MySpace for adults. The interface was clean and intuitive, the discovery of lost souls was fun and just about everyone seems to be there. Although I never dove in fully by posting my high school or real name, I got a good taste for the potential and understood why people love it.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've started to see Facebook as more of a chore than a productive and fun tool. In fact, Facebook revealed itself to be highly inefficient and redundant. Here are my issues with Facebook and why I'm just about done with it.

The Redundancy
I already have an inbox, but with Facebook I have a second inbox. I only want to have to check one and I want all email correspondence filtering through that one funnel. Facebook's inbox won't talk to my preferred inbox, and that's a problem. Furthermore, I'm already a happy and loyal Flickr user for hosting and sharing photos. I'm not interested in maintaining a second album in Facebook. There are redundancies of this nature all over the place. If FB would let me use my existing email and photo album with my Facebook profile, it would make a great deal more sense.

The Honeymoon is Over
For the first few weeks, you're discovering all that has taken place before you got there. There's a group for Michael Power's class of '93, another for a company you used to work at, and so on. After a month or so, you've discovered everyone you'd ever want to discover. Suddenly, Facebook is a chore, one more thing to keep up to date and check.

The Raison d'ĂȘtre Is Broken
I joined for one very specific reason. There was a group created where we would manage our runs. The wall would be used to communicate whether one could make a certain run or not. The wall, and this group, is seriously damaged. Some use it, some don't. There's no consistency as to when someone will declare their absence. There are several false positives, with people saying they'll be at a run only to skip it entirely. Quite simply, you can't trust what you read on the board and this misinformation is far more dangerous than no information at all. I find myself confirming runs and communicating with the leads via email or Gtalk and leaving the bloated and misinformed Facebook element out of the mix.

With redundancies, inefficiencies and apathetic groupees, Facebook isn't that fun and far too work-like for my liking. I'll return to my simple world of this blog, my single email / im client and my Flickr account. You know where to find me if you need me. Less is more.

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I agree, and privacy is an issue too.

July 18, 2007 @ 10:40 AM

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