"Oh my God, you don't have a facebook account?" She gave me a dirty look that spoke volumes about what she thought of my ignorance and anti-social behavior.
No, I don't, and I don't intend to start one up anytime soon either. I have to admit I tried MySpace for about a year, and recently Facebook for a couple of weeks. The two experiences were almost identical, boring, empty, and meaningless. All I did was stare at the profiles and pictures of "friends", and I use this term loosely. These "friends" never communicated with me, except for maybe a comment or two and I knew that I'll never end up meeting any of them. It seemed their only purpose behind adding me was to increase their "friends" count. Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned ways of picking up the phone, emailing, text messaging, or instant messaging a real friend? I can't speak much about Twitter or Orkut as I never even visited the sites, but I imagine they're all alike.
"Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life."
يساعدك فيس بوك على التواصل والتشارك مع كل الأشخاص في حياتك
Wow, so I can't connect with anyone I know unless I use Facebook? Or would Facebook help me get a better connection with those people? I beg to differ.
"As of today, 250 million people are using Facebook to stay updated on what's happening around them and share with the people in their lives..."
I must be some odd anti-social moron like the lady suggested. I mean what are the chances 250 million people can be wrong, and I'm right? I'm not sure. All I know is that these netwroking sites didn't serve any purpose for me, in particular, the purpose specified in their home pages.
I watched the 60 MINUTES interview with Mark Zuckerberg the 23 year old founder of Facebook (He looks 17 by the way). In case you didn't know, 60 minutes is the most watched and respected CBS news program in the USA. It aires every Sunday night. Mr. Zuckerberg couldn't crack a real smile and looked like one of those outcasts that couldn't muster any courage to talk to anyone in college. The company is worth 15 billion dollars, and he's personally worth over 3 billion. His response to the interviewer after stating these facts was that he still lives in a one bedroom apartment and sleeps on a matress on the floor. A lonely nerd that needed friends started that and the world followed. Welcome to the 21st century. It's all about money here. Facebook has been accused of using its subscribers' private information to sell ads. This social netwroking scam has been embeded in our brains as the next thing for the sole purpose of making money to the corporations that owns them. Yes ladies and gentlemen, they are owned by money-making American companies. This graphic was posted on MySpace homepage enticing new customers to sign up. I'll leave it up to you to figure out what kind of intended audience it was aimed at.
The next argument for using these services would be to aquire new "friends". Do we really need those so-called "friends"? Last time I was on MySpace I had over 50 "friends", and other than exchanging a few comments or a two-line email, there was hardly anything else to speak of. Most of the emails and the "friend" requests I got there lead to porn websites.
I have no doubt these networking sites can be useful to some busy people. The type of celebrities and politicians and media people can use it to update their fan base on a regular basis. But notice how I used the word fan in the previous statement. That's so far off from the intended purpose of staying in touch with friends. I don't think 250 million people belong to the category that can use Social Networking sites and benefit from them.
Why am I ranting and raving about social networking? Well, the service might do well in the American and western culture, but in our Syrian and Arabic societies there's just no use for it. It never seizes to amaze me how many bloggers are so devastated over Facebook being blocked in Syria. Others were also angry about president Asssad starting a Facebook page while it's still blocked back home. I'm not sure if a president ever has the time for this nonsense. I saw the page, and the pictures look authentic, but anyone could've started this page.
For now, I don't need Facebook or Twitter. I don't need MySpace or Orkut. I'm just happy with my little Blog sharing what I choose to.