Random Thoughts on Facebook, part one

For a long time, I stayed away from Facebook due to paranoia about privacy. Eventually I arrived at the conclusion that the privacy measures are strong enough that I shouldn't be that worried, and that the benefits of Facebook outweigh the drawbacks. So I finally signed up a few months ago with the goal of networking in mind. If I ever need a job some time in the future, I'll have a large list of contacts at my fingertips, people who I'd otherwise lose touch with.

Many people use Facebook for social reasons; this is only of secondary concern to me. For such people, Facebook's purpose seems to be to post pictures of themselves with high status friends in trendy urban establishments. The goal is to raise their own status in the process. In fact, I think that's the only reason some of these wannabe Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians actually go out: not to drink or socialize or find romance, but rather so they can post the pics on Facebook.

In contrast, I'm at the age at which most of my friends are starting to have kids. They love Facebook because they can post pictures of their kids and all their friends can ooh and ahh about them. Some even form "Moms clubs" to designate their parenthood and friendship. So most of my daily Facebook content is seeing pictures of my friends' babies in various outfits like Superman or Tarzan and high-five poses with periodic updates on their milestones.

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linkedin

I've noticed that some people are using linkedin for professional contacts. I'm not sure what the trend is here, but I've run across linkedin users in enough different situations to make my information more than just anecdotal. As for me, I don't use linkedin, I do use facebook, but am not very active. I don't use facebook for professional reasons.

I do use linkedin for

I do use linkedin for professional contact and Facebook for friends. Both profile are different and separate.

Most of my friends do not have children yet, so I don't get baby pictures, but they don't post a lot of party pics either. In fact most of what I see on facebook is politics or humor related. Friends posting links, videos, commenting the actuality in their status. There's also a lot of coordination going on, for movies, restaurants, etc. Some holiday pictures which can sometime be nice to see. Facebook is merely a reflection of who your friends are :)

If you're going to use a social network professionaly, definitely use linkedin. Unless you want your professional contacts to see your baby pictures.

LinkedIn for work, Facebook for kids

Like Arthur above, I use LinkedIn professionally, and Facebook for friends.

LinkedIn is quite heavily used by people in the electronics industry (for obvious reason), I'm not sure whether it penetrates other industries quite as well. But I find that most of my professional colleagues, customers, suppliers, etc are all on LinkedIn.

Facebook for me is about keeping in touch with friends I'd never regularly call on the phone. And yes, I'm one of the annoying ones sending out pictures (and now video) of the kids :-)

And then there's Twitter, but that's an entirely different discussion...

facebook privacy

Your paranoia about facebook was perhaps well-founded facebook conspiracy theory. Part that raised my eyebrows the most was when they started talking about who founded it and their relationship to the CIA at about 2:20.

linked in vs facebook

It might be a field-specific cultural thing, but nobody I know uses Linked In. The whole point of Facebook as networking tool (for me) is that you remain "friends" with people. Friends are more likely to give you a job than non-friends.