Facebook follies

 Letters to the Boston editor, August 8, 2008

Facebook follies
I’m still chuckling to myself thinking about how true the “
Not-So-Pretty Facebook” article (News and Features, July 18) rang. Seriously, why are we friending people on this medium that we barely knew in high school, or maybe didn’t even like? And why the need to broadcast every last feeling, thought, meal ate, song heard, and heartbreak to our current status?

It’s absurd, and yet when I log onto Facebook in the morning before I start my day, it feels like walking into a big party where I know everyone there. It’s also a fun distraction, but there is a balance to be achieved, of course, between “tastemaking” and oversharing.

Put in its proper place (I’m not including the time I couldn’t sleep and was up at 4 am adding flair to my profile), at this point, I’d rather live with Facebook than without! Thanks for all the truisms and the Friday laugh.
Rachel Lombardo

It seems Sharon Steel’s issues are not with Facebook, but with her own high school–esque insecurities. While everyone would agree that Facebook is a gossip fest, it seems she dedicates entirely too much time and thought to her social-networking-site presence.

I’ve never stressed over what people would think of me based on my profiles, even when my psycho older sister and my former boss added me as a friend. My privacy levels are set so that potential employers can’t search for me on either site, but I still posted the pictures of me in a pink cowboy hat at the recent Gay Pride parade! These sites are for fun and keeping in touch with faraway friends, a point the author seems to have forgotten. I read the article a few times looking for a hint of sarcasm but didn’t find any; I’m hoping Ms. Steel exaggerated her Facebook woes to make a better story.

There are more legitimate concerns about Facebook, a great example being their creepy online tracking system that posted what you purchased from certain Web sites. I was none too happy to be a member of a site that employed a 1984 Big Brother marketing feature. It was highly protested and I believe it has been removed, but who knows what they’ll come up with next?
Theresa Condito

I read your Facebook article with interest, but it seemed overblown to me. Folks like Emily Gould and Julia Allison would be overwrought oversharers with or without the Internet. And people who lament over Internet insecurities probably are insecure in other aspects of life, too.

I always find it funny when people paint high school as some universally accepted horror show. I’m more confident now than I was 13 years ago in high school, but that has more to do with age than environment.

As for the Internet, most people I know use social-networking sites for e-mail, Scrabble games, and party invites. Those who agonize over friend numbers seem to be a rather small, disturbed minority.

Could you Facebook friend me, though? I'm really trying to hit the 100 mark.
Toni Fellela
Providence, Rhode island

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