To facebook, or not to facebook?

I have to go to our first job candidate seminar of the season in about 3 minutes… but I just want to throw this one out there…

To join facebook, or not to join facebook?

I’ve been resisting it as just another time-wasting technology that I could use to tell people more about myself than I would probably want them to know. What do you all think??

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21 thoughts on “To facebook, or not to facebook?

  1. Ha! This is fabulous timing. I love Facebook – I can keep in touch with my many far-flung friends really well with it. But I’m currently engaged in a debate with a friend who works in customs and securities, and he’s terrified of the security issues on the social networking sites, especially Facebook. I figure we’re all screwed anyway, fwiw.

  2. yes…you can restrict access to nearly everything. and I have actually found (and interacted with) a few big cheeses in the field using it (as strange as that sounds).

  3. I enjoy it – but then I use it mostly to play games (Boggle, Risk and chess). It’s great for sharing photos too. I’ve also found some long-lost (real) friends that way, which makes up for some idiotic “friends” (aka random people from high school) who do random things like throw sheep at me (I just ignore them).

    I’m also friends with lots of bloggers through Facebook, and you do get to know more about them than you would just through pseudonymous blogs. I say try it, (possibly using initials rather than your full name, or your middle name instead of your first name, or with a limited profile, to make sure that you only become friends with people who you want to), and just cancel or ignore the account if you find you don’t like it.

  4. Oh also, I use the groups feature to limit certain people from seeing things I don’t want them to see. So I have a work group where people can’t see personal info, for instance.

  5. Depends on what you want to get out of it. For me, it’s an easy way to keep up with family and friends who are spread across 3 continents as well as reconnecting with long-lost friends that I was unable to locate through regular channels. I can upload pictures or update about recent goings on and people will see it at their own leisure rather than receiving mass group emails that I never get around to sending anyway. I don’t restrict any of my info but then again the people in my friend list are all family or friends (ie no colleagues that don’t also fall into the friend category) and I don’t post pictures that are inappropriate.

    So I use Facebook for that and I have a personal blog where I post pictures for my technologically-challenged parents in addition to my PiT blog that’s used primarily for bitching/moaning 🙂

  6. PiT- I also have a second blog where I post family goings on for my parents. They don’t use it. But it keeps me from having to hear complaints about them not getting pictures of the grand kids in the snail mail. The utility of face book for me, I suppose would be the technologically connected friends, long lost tech savvy friends, and potentially a few bloggers. If I did it this way I would use my real name, at least I think I would.

    Cath- Do the pseudonymous bloggers that you interact with on facebook use the pseudonym only on facebook (pardon my naivete on this!)… or do you already know them by their real names?

  7. There are one or two who maintain a separate account under their blogging pseudonym, and only for blogging friends. I think these people also have a different account under their real name for other friends. But in most cases I get a friend request under the blogger’s real name with a note attached saying “hi, this is [pseudonym]. There’s an unwritten code about not revealing other peoples’ real names.

    Then of course there are all the people who blog under their real names. Lots of them are on facebook too.

  8. There’s an unwritten code about not revealing other peoples’ real names.

    right. and perusing the blogger-hefty friends’ list of some random jane doe wouldn’t give away the farm at all….

  9. Bikemonkey> It depends… but sure, if you want to remain superanonymous I wouldn’t connect with people on Facebook. I guess it depends on if you have your friends settings “open” or not.

    I have quite a few people that I have met through other sceince channels as friends on facebook – not nec. my blog feed.

    On the other hand, I’m not too keen on facebook since you can’t quit once you’re in. Or at least I would delete everything manually and then try and close the account. (which may or may not work, depending on how you view ‘closed’).

  10. Huh? How would that help someone to match up blogger pseudonyms with the real names on my list of FB friends? I think I am missing something here…

  11. Well, I’ll put in nay vote for facebook. I signed up, but didn’t add anyone and I ended up with an email just about every day, usually from some marginal acquaintance that I vaguely remember from high school. It was fun for a time, but quickly became annoying. How many times can you answer the “how are you? what are you up to?” questions? If they really want to know, I’m not that hard to find via the google.

    I have since deleted my facebook and myspace accounts. So give it a shot if you want to satisfy your curiosity. I just don’t find it very compelling.

  12. Sign up already! It’s a great way to catch up with old friends and to keep in touch with family that are far away. Obviously don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want to have show up in the local paper, but you already knew that. I don’t find it intrusive as long as you limit email notices. I’ll keep an eye out for you –

  13. Bugdoc- I am going to have to limit email notices because I get an extreme amount of email (as I’m sure you do too)….

    Matthew- I get that about the high school friends you’ve lost contact with. There are people whose lives I’d rather not have sooo much detail about!

  14. Hey, I’m just relieved to hear that I’m not the actual last person on the planet without a facebook account. When my renaissance studies major and general Luddite college roommate told me she was on it, I knew I was waaaaaaayyyyyy behind.

    But I haven’t joined yet, either. I’ve gotten several invitations, more than one of which has begun “This is the most enjoyable time-waste in the world!” To which I think hmmmmm….already have one of those but you don’t know about my anonyblog 🙂

  15. I have a Facebook account, but I only add people I know as friends. It really depends on what you want a Facebook account for 🙂

  16. Yeah, I have to say I enjoy it as well. I keep mine for mostly family and friends, but also have plenty of science friends and some colleagues in the mix (but I would consider them friends as well). I have never had an issue yet. I guess the first test will be when one of my grad students adds me as a friend and I have to decide what to do with that, but so far, no issues. I only check it maybe once a day and that is plenty to get caught up with what people are up to, etc. It’s only a time-sink if you don’t already have 100 other things to do. Between work and a 10 month old, I’m lucky if I have 15 minutes a day to sign in.

  17. Dr. J. & Mrs. H. – Funny you should tell that story. I was in a 20 yr.-older but quite wonderful colleague’s office the other day and by chance found out that he was on facebook. That made me feel REALLY behind the times. Then again, he probably doesn’t have a blog….. but who knows, anything is possible. 🙂

    Juniorprof- I’ll find you there…

    Prof-like substance and Clarissa- I’m going to try it and we will see how it goes!

  18. cath, it is a matter of further narrowing the odds. triangulating on the id. like who’s this name I keep seeing in the friend list of all my blogger friends? google…hm, so s/he’s professor/grad/postdoc/gov employee/random assclown X.

    AHA! that must be PseudBlogger Y!!!

  19. Ah, I see what you mean – I’m just too lazy to do that kind of thing myself though! I thought you meant a truly random person just happening to look at my Friends list.

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