wrote someone on my Facebook wall in response
to my status message, you clearly are the
last person on the planet to join Facebook. No, wait.
The vagrant outside RBTT Independence Square has that distinction.
As I truthfully typed, I do, indeed, feel I am clearly
the last person on the planet to join Facebook. After
all, the Web site has been around for four years (which, in
Internet years, like dog years, makes it well in its prime),
and already has more than 64 million members. About 85 per
cent of university students use it, and 14 million personal
photos are uploaded daily. I mean, practically everybody in
the world is on it; even youre on it.
And about 63 million of those members are Facebook addicts.
Make that 63 million plus one.
Facebook.com is a social networking hub where you fill in
as much information about yourself as you can into your profile,
including background data such as your place and date of birth,
the high schools and universities you attended, and the organisations
and companies of which you are a member.
With this kind of database, you can easily conduct streamlined
searches for long-lost friendsall of themsuch
as those with whom you went to nursery school and now live
Considering, as I said before, that everybodys on the
Web site, it really is that easy. Plus, with the ability to
upload innumerable photos of yourself and append as much info
as you can to your profile, people can not simply get in contact
with you, but also readily see how old you are, whos
on your friends list, if youre married or divorced,
where youve reached in life, and how fat youve
And here enters one of the pitfalls of Facebook.
According to one long-lost friend now in the UK, now
everybody go know we business.
Searching for long-lost friends is one thing. Suddenly you
are bestowed by technology with the opportunity to reconnect
effortlessly with people youve longed to see, and connect
with people you do see but arent normally able to connect
with. But macoing what everybody is doing is quite
Facebook has become a most invasive tool. Unless users limit
access to their profiles, anyone can be updated in a second
as to whats going on in the lives of others. UWI students
beware: employers may well look you up to see those drunken
The amount of time users spend daily on the Web site, searching
aimlessly and macoing assiduously, is also of
great concern, especially in the workplace.
confess I do check the site at least five times a day,
wrote a friend now living and working in Houston.
Another friend in Barbados is on the site so often her status
changes according to whatever miniscule task shes doing:
Aneesha is working on a presentation; then, Aneesha
has the flu; and soon after, Aneesha really wishes
she didnt have to work on her presentation while having
Like the online crazes of yester-year (remember ICQ?), employees
lose an immoderate number of productive hours wandering through
And more often than not, they are trying to outnumber their
friends in increasing the number of friends on their friends
lists by searching through their friends friends lists
to see who they might somehow remotely know by several hundred
degrees of separation.
to Facebook and 100-plus friends already? What a life!
wrote an old friend on my wall recently.
Yes, indeed. I lead the enviable life.
Or I could simply be adding every Tom, Dick and Harrylal to
In the fortnight or so that Ive been a Facebook user,
Ive racked up about 130 friends, yet theres nothing
enviable about that.
I have a friend (a real one) who has 301 friends
on his friends list. I cannot imaging someone being so popular
or being able to devote time even to half of them. Some great
friend he must be.
But thats nothing compared to another friend of mine.
Shes nice and pretty and likable and popularextremely
popular: she has 588 friends.
Everybody is trying to outdoor outnumberthe other.
And it really does say a lot about our generation: that were
technologically inclined and willing to try new things, but
also competitive, insecure, macoscious and pliantthe
A major part of the reason I took so long to join Facebook
was because my first visit to the site was diametrically harrowing.
I saw all sorts of nobodies and A-holes from school now sunning
themselves in Rio, climbing volcanoes in Nairobi, and pursuing
MPhils and PhDs at top universities..
But somehow, I outgrew it. And I find the more focus I place
on me and my my profile, the less insecure I feel about everybody
And, really, with all those long long friends lists, since
when does size really matter?
See you on Facebook.