Thursday, November 10, 2005
FACEBOOK -- the addictive phenomenon
So I've been using Facebook now for about a month and have found it very addictive and fun!
While fun, this social networking application is amazing and extremely addictive because you can look up friends from all over, some you haven't even seen in years (if you are more of an older person a few years removed from undergrad)
...and I have done just that (found friends from long ago)...and also have added friends I have met recently.
Facebook has many features that you probably would find in an online dating website like interests, looking for [insert gender]...or in a relationship....shows clubs and affiliations as well as hometown and age...
but Facebook goes a little further and provides more substance to your 'profile' like asking favorite books, movies, music, political and professional affiliation, and quotes. You can also list your website.
what I feel is really unique about Facebook is the networking aspects, like the ways in which you can search for friends via geographic region, school, or high school.
while facebook is an 'access only' website, meaning you have to have a university email domain, once you sign up, you can search for anyone and everyone and view people in your region or school. And if you know a person, it is very easy to add them as a friend (pending the 'friend's' approval) then view all of their info
Facebook makes it extremely easy to write messages to friends though a mailbox of sorts, but you also have a 'wall' which is a public view of comments people write on your wall. Facebook is a live/realtime application because after a party or before or any social event, people can write on your wall and tell you how much fun they had with you, etc. or they can tell you how much you missed out. So if you are friends with a friend, you can view their wall (pending they are viewable)...and see what their friends, including you, have written, which spurs more discussion.
This friend of a friend phenomenon can also explain the popularity of Facebook...by combining the intrinsic motivations to be accepted to know people or identify with people....you are constantly looking to see who are friends with your friends...and if they are your friend....and if you see those 'friends' in real live, many Facebookers want to 'collect' you on their friends list.
With just that aspect, Facebook could stand as a very popular application, but it also has a photo album feature. So if you have a photo with a friend in it, and you label that picture with your friend, it will show up on their profile for other people to view....as well as show up in your profile for anyone that knows you to view....it truely connects people!
You can also create events on facebook and people can join!...yet another way to learn about people.
when you strip the nervous tensions of meeting people face-to-face, Facebook undresses people's inhibitions on being themselves or saying what they want or just asking people to be your friend.
It is truely amazing what people will share on facebook as well. A PhD student named Fred Stutzman at UNC will also agree and has cool insight into what kinds of information you can retrieve from Facebook users (courtesy of Brian's blog)
check it out!!!