Thursday, September 23, 2010


A while back one of the users (and from this point forward, please understand i mean 'users of IT systems' not 'users of me') came into my office wanting to debate the merits of being able to access facebook, and some other social networking sites, at work. You see for quite an extended period of time the office i work in was the only one in the country where gen pop could access facebook, this wasn't something i planned and certainly wasn't my doing, for reasons i can't really be bothered explaining it was just the way it was.

Right before i made the changes to bring our site up to speed with the rest of the country i found myself wondering who exactly, if anyone, would come and complain. I recall my boss musing that it would be interesting to see who made the most noise as that was probably the person who spent most of their time facebookin' on the companies dime. I didn't even have to wait until we severed their lifeline for the noise to start.

Somehow the masses got word of how it was about to be and in she walked. She was complaining about how it was unfair that we were taking facebook off them, she even quoted an article which pointed out how social network sites can make workers more productive. The whole argument reeked of desperation, she reminded me of a junky who was coming to the realisation that her fixes were about to get a little bit more few and far between. This is one of my issues with facebook ... the addiction. We truly are addicted, we need to know what everyone is doing all the time and more importantly tell nearly no one that cares, what we're doing. As a side note, I realise that I'm punching my thoughts into the keyboard to an audience of 0, the hypocrisy isn't lost on me here.

The addiction isn't even my biggest gripe here, its the sense that you NEED to have facebook. I've got the odd funny look here or there from people when they hear me say "sorry, I'm not on facebook".

I actually had an interesting interaction with a friend once who had a go at me for not going to a get together, "where were you!?!?" ... read the tone. It turned out that the invitation was only sent to people in her facebook friends list, of which i obviously was not. I think I'm starting to know what it must feel like for the last few people in western civilisation who don't own a mobile phone, or if we want to skip forward a hundred years, the last person on earth who doesn't want to give up his credit card for a chip implanted into the back of his hand. facebook bullies .. who needs them.

Having said all that, If you must have facebook, here are my rules:

  • When your parent, grandparent, child or grandchild signs up ... its time for you to go. One generation at a time please! (i heard two old ladies on the tram use the word 'facebooked' as a verb... i thought to myself, her grandson can't be too happy about that.)
  • Add your friends, not people who you used to work with, not people who you used to go to school with, not friends of your friends and certainly not people who if you saw them walking down the street you'd pretend you didn't see them because you really have nothing to say to them. Here is the basic rule, if you bumped into someone on the street and would go out of your way to say hello and have a chat on a regular basis, add them, otherwise leave it be.
  • Don't tell people where you are all the time, especially if you're one of those idiots who adds every person they've ever met. Apart from the fact that it's annoying, can you really trust everyone who can see your status with the fact that you're on vacation and your house is empty for 2 week?
  • One status update a day is enough, actually that's probably too much, but i don't need to know your bowel movement, i don't need to know when you're eating, when you're leaving for work and when you get to work.
  • Don't forget that not everyone has, or wants facebook. Don't force your religion on others, people don't like it when followers force Christianity on others so why do they have to hear about how they NEED facebook.
OK, I'm bitter, i realise that. I've just spent years trying to cull the number of people i need to speak to, i really don't need to set back all my hard work 10-15 years.

So, in my office (as with the other 25 or so around the country) facebook drifted quietly (read: noisily) into the night .. good riddance i say, who bloody needs you!!! (apart from the masses)

Cheers, ITG


  1. how dare you slag off facebook and then start a twitter account

  2. haha, yeah i was waiting for something like that. Thought i miht have gotten away with it. To be honest, if you read the post carefully you'll notice its not so much 'facebook' i have the issue with but more the way some people use it. This isn't all that different from twitter as far as im concerned. I don't need to know you ran out of toilet paper, i dont need to know that you got a paper cut... don't tweet that shit! There is a lot of useful and interesting info to be found there though and it can be a very powerful communication tool!

    Cheers, The ITG