The Facebook

I felt it was inevitable that someone would post about facebook, so I decided it may as well be me.

Facebook is one of those things that really seems like a huge waste of time, because it is. It is essentially a university directory, where people go and enter in some information and maybe upload a picture of themselves. They then look through the directory to find people they know or have things in common with to add as friends or create groups with. That’s all it is: a fancy directory. However it seems to have taken a hold of some people in quite some fashion. I know some people who check it daily, and who have amassed these huge lists of acquaintances who they are ‘friends’ with. It is truly bizarre.

The members of McGill’s facebook seem to be primarily first and second year students, and seems weighted towards Americans and people who have stayed in residence at McGill. This is likely because Facebook started at Ivy League universities (Harvard to be exact), and slowly spread to other American universities, so when students at universities where facebook is already established notice that new universities have joined, they tell them to sign up so they can be added. Those students at McGill, coming from the states, often live in residence, and tell other people who live in residence about the site, they them sign up, and so on. I was told about it by an American student at McGill in mid-October. Diffusion at work.

I notice Hannah already has an account, but a quick search didn’t turn up any of the rest of the class, nor Prof. Sieber (I found 2 professors when I looked, one chemistry professor, and the other is in education and a residence director). To sign up you need your McGill e-mail address , which I was slightly worried about giving, but I haven’t noticed any spam coming in on my McGill e-mail since, and it’s not as though the e-mail isn’t available elsewhere on the web for bots to crawl.

Watch out, people seem to find it addictive!

6 Responses to “The Facebook”

  1. sieber says:

    Is it simply the allure of new technology? I wonder if the concept would be as attractive if McGill merely offered large sheets of paper in the dorms and elsewhere onto which students and others could write down their interests and afix their photos.

  2. Liam says:

    Oddly enough, we had those sheets in residence, and everyone dutifully wrote their information down on the sheets, and they stayed up for awhile, and were mildly interesting for maybe a week.

    The magic ingredient(s) seemed to be missing.

  3. sieber says:

    Hmm. Then the task is to compare the attractiveness of paper to Internet. It’s a rhetorical assignment since students are likely to find the Internet far more attractive. Question is, what percentage of the Internet users would actually MEET their new acquaintances? Or maybe that’s not the point at all but some kind of egostroking–“hey, the software shows I have more friends that you. Take that, you loser!”

  4. Liam says:

    It certainly seems true that people get into the popularity contest aspect of it. However I would have to say that most people use it to connect to people they have already met. The best feature for me is that it lets me remember friends of friends names who I’ve been introduced to. I’m fairly terrible at remembering anyone’s name, so every once in awhile I’ll browse through and have a few ‘Oh…. THAT’S that guy’s name’ moments.

    It is hard to quantify why it has become so popular when other similar sites exist, it’s certainly not a complicated idea.

  5. Ira says:

    This is similar to the new online communities and
    These are places where you create a profile for yourself and then search out other members of the site who are your
    “friends.” Then you add them to your list of friends. There is a major competitive aspect as people compete to see who has the most friends. It’s kind of fun to click on your friends and see who they are friends with, etc. There’s a 6 degress of seperation aspect to it also… amazing who you will find just by clicking around.