Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

People… A Facebook Pondering

with 4 comments

So I’ve been invited to Facebook several times… and of course it’s the bees-knees on every campus, and increasingly in high schools, organizations, anywhere there’s a loose semblance of community really. I remain conflicted as to whether to join. As a promoter of social networks and a believer in the ability of technology to connect, I think Facebook is an example of explosive community growth… but is there any substantial content? Does it not seem a tad egocentric to setup a profile, post a picture, and wait for your network to grow? For that matter, has it not become an over glorified Classmates? Lost touch with someone in high school? College? University? Well just wander over to Facebook. Post your profile and wait for everyone to surround you. Or if they don’t, you can seek them out instead. I just don’t know. I frequently wonder about people from my past… but to what degree am I remembering them and to what degree am I remembering *my* perception of them? Are they the same person? Is my perception distorted? I have contact info for many people in my past and if the need arises I can attempt to re-establish the connection. And if someone wants to seek me out, a quick Google should do the trick. I don’t really know if I have a need for Facebook… I’ll continue to grapple with this one… My question to the average Facebook user: what do you take away from the community? What do you contribute?

For those unfamiliar with Facebook, Educause (as always) has a great summary from the education perspective. And in the Facebook vein, a great YouTube contribution:


Written by jlongland

April 5, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. jeff… don’t join… don’t do it!! facebook is evil… it’s the only thing on the whole net that stresses me out!!!!!!!

    i can’t wait for the day when I actually click that ‘deactivate account’ button instead of just staring and hovering over top of it…



    April 6, 2007 at 7:11 pm

  2. Eww, ugly captcha 🙂 Anyways, the following should be qualified by the fact that I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

    In a sense, I think Facebook’s “explosive community growth” is largely exaggerated and equivocal, if not completely fictitious. I say this because, up until Fall 2006, membership was restricted to students ( Facebook could have continued catering to students only, perhaps providing student-specific content, but they decided they’d be better off duking it out with Myspace. The questions that come to my mind are:
    – In what sense is this “growth”, beyond “catching up with / exceeding the user population of every other social networking site”?
    – If Facebook IS an example of “explosive community growth”, who makes up this community (since it is no longer restricted to students)? “People who use Facebook”?


    September 5, 2007 at 3:06 pm

  3. Jeff,

    If this doesn’t scare you off Facebook, nothing will:

    PS. But if you decide to join, look me up…



    October 11, 2007 at 3:06 pm

  4. Well.. Still haven’t joined.

    RT: Who makes up the community? You said it – people. What do they do? They’re people being people: chatting, flirting, gossiping, scheming. I don’t think it needs to be a restrained to a particular user type. They have a tool that allows people to connect – fine by me. Which is my interest: whether there are applications in teaching and learning.

    That said.. I obviously don’t think too highly of it if I haven’t joined yet. I dunno. Hyopcrit I guess.


    October 29, 2007 at 10:26 pm

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