Face it, its facebook time

After several years of talking to students about Facebook, I've finally joined. Its an experiment of sorts to see what values can be gained from the tool. Honestly, I've found myself looking at the website more often than I expected. Its very well designed and captures the interactions between friends in an intuitive manner. I understand why its so popular.

What really prompted me to join was when an old friend of Mat, whom I hadn't talked too in years, became friends with my wife through facebook in order to keep in touch with me. It made me realize the value of getting in touch with old friends. I have since connected with dozens of friends I hadn't heard from in years.

I have been a member of LinkedIn.com for a number of years, another social network, but focusing on professional contacts. I've made a conscious decision to seperate these two networks for the most part. For Linkedin, I include people I've worked with and many of my former and current students so I can help them with finding jobs and/or contacts for coming to my class to talk or potential research opportunities. In my facebook friends, I never connect to students and only occasionally with former business associates.

Both are great tools for keeping in touch with friends, associates, and acquaintances.


  1. > "I've made a conscious decision to . . ."

    You have identified exactly the right approach to a tool such as Facebook: specifying ahead of time what your purposeful use of it will be. That prevents the phenomenon I have seen in disintegtrated people who simply respond to every friend request and sign up for every cause. Then they whine: "I can't keep track of all this!"

    With two special exceptions, I use Facebook's "Friend" function as a way to contacting members of the Seattle-Portland Objectivist Network. (We have a private page; and I am the coordinator of the Portland end of the network.)

    I do also join a few causes as a show of support. And recently I have begun commenting on news feed items from SPON friends where there is a thread including a variety of viewpoints from non-Objectivists (that is, outside my small network). It is a low-key way of being a philosophical or intellectual activist.

  2. I understand what you are saying. When I first joined Facebook, I accidentally was logged in to my wife's account when I asked some people to be my friends, but since my wife was logged in it went from her account. I was amazed that a number of them agreed to be friends with my wife, especially considering most of them do not know my wife. Asked one of them about it and he said he accepts all invitations for friends. My thoughts were "Huh? What could your purpose be?" It didn't make any sense.