Let me start out by saying this: I am in NO way a huge fan of Facebook. I like it for what it does and if it stayed the way it was 2-3 years ago, that would be fine by me. For my use case, which is simple message and photo sharing with my family and close friends, it works remarkably well and is pretty damn reliable. (I should be clear, the service itself is reliable, regardless of how much the iOS apps for iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad blow, respectively.)
Having said that, I heard someone say the following in a recent roundtable episode of one of my podcasts: “People would use the Internet 20% less if Facebook didn’t exist. They’re just less social. Who knows, maybe they’d go outside and ride a bike. Enjoy their friends. Socialize.”
First of all, if Facebook didn’t exist, people would find something else (anything else) to fill the time. The people that don’t go outside because they like to play and socialize on the Internet, guess what, don’t like to go outside for the most part anyway. They like staying inside. They like playing on the Internet. They probably don’t like going outside, much less riding their bike.
I’m going to put all the health issues with the above assertions aside, because in the end, its up to the person to make that decision. But, why are going outside and attempting to socialize with real people automatically viewed as “better”? What if you are really close to someone who lives far away? What if your loved one is only (easily) available via the Internet/Facebook? Why is that so bad? Like real-life interactions are always so frickin’ great?! Really?!
It just annoys me when people turn up their noses on those people, like they’re so much damn better than they are because they don’t “need” the Internet as others do and can therefore write it off as child’s play. Elitism, plain and simple.
Just a pet peeve of mine that happened to surface when I heard that comment.