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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

slouching toward myspace?

Sadly this will be my last post on the 4040 blog. That said, I'll try to leave my fellow bloggers with something relevant to ponder....The Facebook Phenomenon

- Over 85% of U.S. college students have facebook accounts, and spend an average of 51 minutes per day on the site.

- 70% of students log-in at least once daily, in Fred Stutzman's words, a "major lifestyle committment".

Even as I compose this entry, a girl beside me and a girl behind me are both checking their accounts. Earlier today, in the A&S computer lab, I observed several people giving facebook top priority, foregoing email and surfing the site immediately after logging into their machine. Imagine if people took that 50 minutes per day to blog....and actually used some brain power. That's one thing I've never understood about Facebook. Why do people enjoy it so much??? I used to have an account, and I fail to see what could possibly provide a person with 50 minutes of enjoyment each day. The amount of mental stimulation resides somewhere to the right of a sedated parakeet. But seriously...

The majority of social networking that takes place is highly superficial, especially to those with friend lists that weigh in at a hefty 100+ friends. There's a key difference people fail to realize....just because you have a connection with another person in the network doesn't mean you're actively participating in the network (if that makes sense). If your friend list says you possess 138 friends, but you only talk to 10 of them with any frequency....most people aren't even acquaintances. Facebook has become just another way for others to determine my self-worth. If I don't have enough friends on my list, I've failed at socializing. Apparently.

The ever-increasing corporate presence on facebook has me a little skeptical. I thought the selling-point was its exclusivity to college students. Yet now facebook membership has been extended to high school students and select corporate sponsors (see the Inside Facebook link below for more info). I often find myself wondering if facebook is just a fad....but if myspace and other social networking sites are any indication, I'm afraid facebook is around for the long haul.

To learn more about the corporate side of Facebook:
Scoring a Hit with the Student Body

A Cool 25 Million

Read about Facebook developments as they occur at
Inside Facebook, a blog devoted entirely to the site.


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