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Old 01-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #21
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I like facebook. It is a useful communication tool for me and enhances and streamlines my social life.

At times people or applications on there can be annoying. You can block these annoyances (like our ignore list here).

I can keep in touch with interesting people I have met previously if I want to maintain that relationship. And it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to maintain that relationship at a much higher level versus simply communicating by the occasional phone call or email (that occur less and less frequently).

I have reconnected with a few friends from high school, college, and grad school through facebook. Some have transformed from casual acquaintance back in the day to a good friend today (the kind you meet up with and talk to in real life). Others have gone from "friend of a friend I met at a party/gathering/wedding" to a person I can go to for specific types of knowledge and recommendations (and that I value as a friend or at least something more than a casual acquaintance). Think about all the cool people you meet somewhere that you would like to have a conversation with later. Add em as a friend on facebook. Six months down the road you find out you can't stand this person? Delete.

It is just another tool to help manage your social network. A pretty good tool in my opinion. I can spend a couple hours a week keeping up with my closest 200-300 friends.

As with any network, however, the success of the network depends on how many nodes there are. If your circle of acquaintances don't do facebook, then it may be a minimally useful tool. For those under 30, it is fairly ubiquitous. Much over that threshold and it seems like there is less interest.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:49 PM   #22
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I can spend a couple hours a week keeping up with my closest 200-300 friends.
I agree with much of what you say Fuego, but this sentence did make me chuckle just a bit.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:05 PM   #23
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I agree with much of what you say Fuego, but this sentence did make me chuckle just a bit.
I clearly said it a little tongue in cheek.

I actually only have 177 friends on facebook. Going through the whole list (quickly), I would classify 38 as "close friends" or close family. Or 21% of my total friend list. The remainder are to varying degrees people I want to keep in touch with. So I guess 139 people are people that I would probably do a very poor job of keeping in touch with absent facebook, but I value their (limited) friendship enough to not defriend them (or never have friended them in the first place). And I enjoy seeing updates on their lives and photos from their journeys through life.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:09 PM   #24
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I clearly said it a little tongue in cheek.
I realized that about 2 seconds after I posted.


Though I could quite happily live without FB, like you, I do quite like seeing updates from those in my "outer circle".
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #25
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I clearly said it a little tongue in cheek.

I actually only have 177 friends on facebook.
Gee Fuego, get going on fluffing up that list or you'll miss being one of the cool kids...
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:39 PM   #26
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I also have a love/hate relationship with technology. It's interesting to see how many others here do also. Maybe this is some kind of common trait in ER types.

I was a late-comer to Facebook, but I've slowly gotten completely hooked on it. Some of the reasons:

1. It's the only way to keep in touch with my teenage neices. They don't use email any more, since all their friends are on FB. My neices also don't seem to place or receive phone calls any more. It's all just text messaging and FB. I think this is fairly typical of teenagers these days.

2. With FB you can find and get in touch with literally anyone you have ever met in your life, from that kid you lost touch with in 4th grade to that crush you had on a trip to Europe in 1975. They're all there, and you can get and stay in touch with them effortlessly. I currently have about 120 friends there, and that seems to be on the low side for FB.

3. With FB not only can you exchange email-like messages with friends, but you get to see the running stream of events that make up their lives (limited by what they're willing to post, of course). You sort of get to be alongside them as they go through the ups and downs of life, and they get to participate in your ups and downs, if you want them to.

The security concers are real. You have to be prudent about your security settings and what you post. And some people do post a lot of crap that you need to wade through. But the advantages far outweight the disadvantages IMO.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:41 PM   #27
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2. With FB you can find and get in touch withliterally anyone you have ever met in your life, from that kid you lost touch with in 4th grade to that crush you had on a trip to Europe in 1975. .
Are you sure? How about past acquaintances who, like me, aren't comfortable with FB?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #28
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I use a pseudonym on Facebook. Therefore, I never get "searched" or invited to be friends. (When I want to invite someone, I send them a PM with my real name in it). I only have relatives and a few long-trusted acquaintances in my FB network. I have several long-term acquaintances who do not use FB, so it's not really that useful.

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:15 PM   #29
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I started the similar thread about a month ago. I joined Twitter then and I am finding it useful, I was pleasantly surprised by it's utility. I thought it was just kids texting each other, and there is that (how it started I gather), but there is much more to it than that. And you don't get buried in junk you're not interested at all, you can control the content you see easily. And it's not necessary to "keep up with it" - I can check Twitter several times a day or once every few days and it's useful either way. Heard it described as a 'river of information' that you can drink out of as often/infrequently as you want to.

Still getting familiar with Twitter, but I expect to try FaceBook eventually too. 500 million people must be on there for some reason - how many here resisted forums years ago?

And I don't want to resist technology and become my parents...I'd rather try it, and drop it if I don't like it - simple enough. YMMV
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #30
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Are you sure? How about past acquaintances who, like me, aren't comfortable with FB?
Well, there will always be some holdouts. But their ranks are shrinking. Half a billion registered users so far.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #31
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I use a pseudonym on Facebook. Therefore, I never get "searched" or invited to be friends. (When I want to invite someone, I send them a PM with my real name in it). I only have relatives and a few long-trusted acquaintances in my FB network. I have several long-term acquaintances who do not use FB, so it's not really that useful.

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I used an email address on FB that is only for FB - so if someone searches on any other of my email addresses, they won't find me. I also have a common first and last name, that helps. I limit access to my "friends" - not friends of friends. Nothing on there is public. I don't think my phone number is there (must check) - my birth date but not year is there. The photos are real but I'm not naked or anything too crazy.

If you don't take precautions like this - and limit your friends - you will be sorry. People with their cell phone numbers, birthdates, and so on - unlimited public access, 1200 friends - are nuts or else are public figures. Or both.

I think I'm below 150 friends and a lot of these are music friends I met on blues cruises. I wish I could have a separate list for part of that group but haven't figured out how. I haven't tried too hard.

I moved far away from where I grew up so my real friends are all over the country - FB helps me keep in touch. At least, it seems to.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:35 PM   #32
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Well, there will always be some holdouts.
And there, of course, is nothing wrong with Old Fogies... per se.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:53 PM   #33
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And there, of course, is nothing wrong with Old Fogies... per se.
Don't call me Persey...
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:08 PM   #34
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Through FB I've just been reunited with an entire group of childhood friends I went through elementary school and junior high with, then mostly lost touch with. They're now spread out all over the world. We've had a couple of mini face-to-face reunions so far, and we're having a big "everybody" reunion later this year.

BTW, CNBC is airing a new documentary on Faceboook this Thurs (Jan 6) at 9pm. I think that time applies to all time zones.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:14 PM   #35
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I finally joined a few months ago after one good friend kept pestering me about it. Other than him I don't think anyone was missing my presence. I do find it handy for keeping up with friends in other locations especially because of it's versatility but I don't even login daily so it's not that big of a deal. I do have the privacy controls screwed down tightly too.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:19 PM   #36
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I have no interest in being on FB at this time. I realize they tout their privacy controls - I just don't want people outside my immediate circle knowing what I'm doing at any point in time. The opportunity for ID theft is almost exponential with social media. The nice thing about forums such as this is the anonymity.

We had one son tell us we had to sign up for Facebook so we could know what they and their little kidlettes are doing and see pictures of all their events. That relegates us to a less-than-acceptable status of "acquaintances". He essentially told us he's too busy to call (unless he needs something).
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:21 PM   #37
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Very interesting comments so far. REWahoo, we must have some DNA in common. The identity theft thing is a good reason not to put out too much personal info on the web -- even here on the ER forum.

Like NW-Bound I'm a bit introverted and spend too much time on the web at the present. I'd like to have more guy friends that are real and not virtual -- I could probably write a book on the psychology of that one. Maybe DW and I need to replace our wonderful corgi we lost a year ago. He was the only guy I could really relate too .

I did a search using my name on Google like "searches performed My Name" . The first hits were for Facebook people with my name. There is also a well know airplane Captain with my name. So I guess in a way I'm already out there
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:24 PM   #38
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...(snip)...
We had one son tell us we had to sign up for Facebook so we could know what they and their little kidlettes are doing and see pictures of all their events. That relegates us to a less-than-acceptable status of "acquaintances". He essentially told us he's too busy to call (unless he needs something).
There was someone in one of those newspaper columns (DW calls them Agony Aunts) who wrote in a few days ago about just such a thing. She wanted to see the grandkids and felt like she was being told to go get in line. I think the answer given by the columnist (Dear Abbey?) was to not make this an issue.

I might be tempted to tell my son that he could get in line in my trust document. But probably DW wouldn't like that tactic.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:44 PM   #39
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What I find amusing is how everyone is reconnecting with these old "friends" from the past. If they were real friends would you have ever lost contact with them?
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:47 PM   #40
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I reconnected with some relatives after a long time.
Then remembered why had not connected.
Dropped all of hem.
If anything important happens they have my home address.
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