Facebook, No Thank You
"Facebook, you got to sign up for Facebook!"
Well, I am not going to for a number of different reasons:
I can see a real benefit to the exchange of ideas that goes about on the blogosphere everyday and I do not believe that Facebook contributes to this discussion. From what I gather, Facebook is mainly a social networking tool that enables you to get back in touch with people you have lost track of over the years. At this point in my life, I simply don't have the time to keep tabs on this many people, nor do I really care all that much what Steve from second grade is doing now.
I am interested in exploring views and ideas and discovering information that I was previously unaware of. For the sake of an open discourse on my blog, I sometime have included views that I do not necessarily agree with in the hope that a commenter will express an opposing view and a dialogue which is hopefully civil will ensue.
With that said, I think Facebook's inability to provide a platform for a wide and open discussion is one of the main things that is sorely lacking. Perhaps Facebook does not claim that it was intended for this purpose, yet communication via Facebook seems to now have replaced many other forms of online discussion.
Facebook's popularity stems from a person's innate curiosity to reveal the concealed and to know where he stands on the status ladder in relation to others. Did Steve from second grade get married? Where is he living now? What does he look like? How big is his house? Was he more successful than I am? This last question is essentially what drives a person to do a Facebook search of another person.
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Green once wrote,
"We see that the nation of Israel voluntarily situated their tents such that they should not violate the privacy of their neighbors. That means that they were not interested in their neighbor's business. They possessed the emotional refinement to prefer not to know "interesting" things about the people around them. This is a trait which requires cultivation and maturity."
It is my intention to cultivate this trait, so don't expect me to find me on Facebook.
Related: I do not like that Face book, Sam-I-am