I joined Facebook 3 months ago and can't stop trying and adding the applications... at least until 2 hours ago.
I always open FB page whenever I am connected to internet. I joined the quizzes, sent the gifts and flowers, petted a fluff friends, buying him gifts and foods and minis, took personality tests, joined the cool groups like Fighting Global Warming to "I-have-no-idea-what-is-it-about" group like "people who doesn't sleep enough because they stay up late for no reason". But I did... join that group!
I signed up to FB as my good friends, Des Pallieres couple, invited me. Then realized that there are many good friends and cool people I know out there who sign up and get connected thru it. I was thinking that nothing was new from this social networking site, and I was hesitated to start it up as I have a Friendster account with more than 300 friends already. 300? hm, it's really NOTHING. There are millions other users of this kind of social networking site who listed more friends.
A friend who introduced me much to gift applications was Rose. I started to feel flattered with the roses, chocolate candies or LV bag gifts and wanting to share more to my buddies. :)
I know I was starting to get hooked by Facebook since my second week after my application. I found more and more people that I lost contact with for several month or years were there in the network. As we accepted the invitation to be connected, we are then able to see the updates of each other's life. I found my friend getting engaged, or married or becoming single or being in "it's complicated" relationship, I found my friend moving from Sudan to Somalia, I found that a friend of mine is now living in NYC with his wife and about to host another friend of us there on the day when I arrive, I found my friend had a haircut, getting stuck at an airport or enjoying their days with orangutan in Borneo... :D
The world has been flattening, even in its social networks. The nature of the relationship have been swifted from physical closeness to physical distance, the nature of works and career have been transforming into a vast global connection, where there is need of cutting down physical geographical boundaries. Yet as the people come from where they come from, and move to places they want to move, the line of their movement sometimes cross others' and result to a contact at a sequence of time.
They might be back to their place of origin, or move to new places, then, yet connection has been established, good memories have been endured, and opportunities for future connections are foreseen. The call for connection; the warm feeling of friendship, the need for networking and cooperation, the fun of knowing what's going on are accommodated so well within FB. I recall that it holds the major needs of nowadays' society, to show attention in simple way through gifts, to be admitted at someone with certain character through testimonials, or to raise a social movement through groups. I can see the potential arguments between me and my friend as I join Obama supporter group and he is into Mc Cain for example.
It might look simple for some eyes. However, realizing how the networks accommodate the diverse interests, the liquid relations between millions of people who do not know each other personally but might share very clear identification of who they are and their point of views, their personality type up to their most wanted person in the future, I am stunned. I do find that I found more about the people I know, I did nod as I compare my personality test result to theirs, realizing that knowing them physically didn't show me as clear map as before it shows publicly. Realizing it or not, people tend to open themselves up to virtual world than to the real one. Some of my friends even took the 10 seconds interview application that included a question like "have you ever been caught having sex in public place?", or "do you hold hands in public?"
Very often I laughed at my friends answers or applications. Those really make me feel closer to them. No matter how ridiculous I can be sometimes, reading the pages in the FB makes me feel that I am not alone, and I am not a stranger. However, it also feels crazy how people can be so open about themselves while they realize that everyone can access their information. I really would like to know why and how, what are the drives, from the point of view of psychology to culture. Anyone knows?
Yet, like covered in BBC World's Feature Program title Facehooked that I watched sometimes in May 2008, these information that are shared in FB is a great marketing tool. Where else in the world can you have the extra accurate information about your potential market?
So far I don't have any problem at all with my openness in the FB. I select my friends carefully, making sure that they are the ones I really know or that they are in the circle of my friendship as at least we have more than 2 friends in common, and those friends are the one I really know. So far I enjoy searching more about my friends and my ownself through the site's applications, and have some good laughs there.
So, my favorite question now is; "do you have Facebook?" :)