Curmudgeon Alert! The Problem with Facebook

Facebook Screenshot
 (Spencer E Holtaway, CC BY-ND 2.0)

From The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

Kids, let’s face it. Facebook is Webkinz for adults. Facebook is a Ponzi scheme. A handful of VCs have created the illusion of an actual market by funding apps companies and then doing deals with each other — passing cash back and forth among to make it look as if money is being made.

In all honesty, I have yet to really understand all of the hubbub surrounding Facebook — or MySpace, Virb, or any of the other “social networks” out there. And I certainly don’t understand why they’re worth billions of dollars. Yes, I do have accounts on several of them, but that’s due in large part to both curiosity and “brand protection”, and not for the sake of communication. When you’ve got e‑mail, IM, blogs, forums, etc., just how many more lines of communication do you need before you feel like really know your friends (a.k.a., those folks who would be complete and utter strangers in any other social context)?

I just happened to check my Facebook account today, and saw that I was invited to take one of those Facebook quizzes. Which I did, just to kill some time — and oh, how I wish I had those 5 minutes back. It was a diversion, but when it started asking me to sign up other friends so that it could “process my results”, I just quit. I hate being a part of pyramid schemes in real life, and I see no reason to change that stance in my virtual life.


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