Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Problem with Facebook

I have recently discovered that I have a problem with Facebook. I check it far too religiously for updates on the lives of my "friends" and take any updates way to seriously. I pour through tons of photos when people update them, most of them including people I don't know that well just for the sake of seeing what's in them. I get way too wrapped up in people's personal information and I find it creepy when I notice subtle changes to page layout or musical interests. People change their relationship status and I am always wondering what happened. The worst part is when there aren't enough updates to fill my time, I look up people's profiles and browse through their photos or look at the wall-to-wall conversations my friends are having with each other.

The question I find myself asking recently though is: Why the fuck do I care?

Am I going to quiz these people about their musical interests or use it as a conversation point? Not likely.
Am I going to pounce on people the second they get out of relationships with a barrage of questions about what happened or date offers (if applicable)? Also a no.
Are the majority of the pictures I look at interesting/artistic/otherwise worthwhile? Hardly.

The realization that I have made here is that I need to find some sort of other outlets for my free time. Cruising Facebook is fine for a little while and all, but I think I am spending an inordinate amount of time on the site being creepy. I'll be working to limit that moving forward, if for nothing else than my own sanity.

I have other, more global concerns with the site as well or at least how it and its content is perceived by the media. The whole notion of employers looking at your Facebook photos and making a judgment based on those is ludicrous to me. What business is it of their how I spent my weekends/free time in college? If I went out drinking on the weekend what effect does that have on my performance in the workplace?

None, I say.

I can understand that they want to utilize all resources available to them to make the most informed decision they can about a prospective employee, and that people have control over the pictures of them on sites like Facebook or MySpace. However, how many times have we heard stories about company outings or holiday parties where they foot the bar tab and everyone gets wasted on their dime? How is getting drunk with your coworkers/bosses on the company dime acceptable, but going out drinking with your friends on a weekend something to be suspiciously reviewed? Doesn't make sense to me.

I would hope that any potential future employers of mine make their determination for hiring me based on my educational merits, skill set, references and personality based on my interview and not what they might have seen on the Internet. I don't plan on altering my pictures for their benefit and I can only hope that they are capable of seeing what I bring to the table based on the standard employment criteria and aren't swayed by pictures of me having a beer.

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