I am rapidly becoming disenchanted with Facebook.
Don't get me wrong, it has it's uses and for some people its a very nice tool. For me, it's going the way of MySpace. Outlived its usefulness, the honeymoon is over. I originally joined FaceBook to network. Authors need to network. I started out with two friends I made at a booksigning. Then people started finding me. That was gratifying for a while, interesting even. I've reconnected with some people that mean a lot to me and people that I hardly remember (not referring to the St. John's crowd, I remember ALL of you!).
Last week on the news I saw a story about a woman who was hacked on FaceBook. Someone with an ax to grind that she barely knew. That was a little unnerving. I've also read stories about identity theft, and we've all adjusted our privacy preferences repeatedly to keep up with FaceBook's updates to address these concerns (although there still appear to be doors, as evidenced by the beauty queen in the news story). Then over the weekend, I noticed ads popping up everywhere. EVERYWHERE. A friend recommended a friend, so being the friendly person I am, I checked out the mutual friend I'd lost contact with and looked at pictures of their kids. Underneath those pictures of their angelic kids was an ad to jump to a pornography site. There's something elementally wrong with that ad placement. Then I return to my home page and an ad pops up that you have to struggle to close, and then your wall is shifted down to accommodate more advertising. Now I'm thinking the meager benefits are far outweighed by the nuisance and the risk. Yes, I'm thinking that my FaceBook page has run its course.
As for the friends I've reconnected with, well it is like a high school reunion (and in some cases it IS a high school reunion). It's nice to catch up with these people again, but those folks I have a relationship with I can talk to on the telephone or email (or those that want to stay connected can email me or phone me). In a world that is rapidly changing to be less social through these faux social networking - let's face it, social networking means live interface, not words on a computer screen typed in the solitude of a dark room - I'm opting for real networking. Maybe I'm losing an audience by giving up on FaceBook, but in the long run, if I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem. And the problem for me is that people shouldn't lock themselves inside their houses 24/7 (or even attached to their iPhone 24/7). They should be interacting with other live bodies that they can see and touch and converse with using real words and not acronyms.
Phew! There. I'm off my soapbox for the day, but yes, I am counting down to an end to my Facebook page.