Facebook: It’s My Day Job

NO, it is not. I was just kidding. I have a REAL day job and Facebook is not it. A few years back, Friendster craze hit the world. I remember updating my profile religiously after registering for an account with Friendster. A year later, my Friendster account was left to rot in the cyberspace.

The current euphoria that is sweeping the world faster than the speed of light is Facebook. For the uninitiated, Facebook is a free-access social networking website joined by users to interact with other people (Wikipedia). Believe it or not, Facebook is currently the most used social networking device in the virtual world. As I am writing (and you reading) this article, millions of computer users around the world are communicating with each other through Facebook.

When I first received e-mails from friends inviting me to join this social network, I was sceptical.

I found Friendster really annoying, which was the main reason I abandoned it. I thought Facebook is just like Friendster. Therefore, I held firm to my decision to not join the crowd in Facebook. Even so, my friends were still persistent in sending invitation e-mails.

I was often asked: “Do you have a Facebook account?”

The next question would be: “Why?” when my answer was negative.

I told my friends that Facebook is for brainless, lazy and depraved people who wanted to waste their lives swapping trivia before adding: “I will only join Facebook when pigs can fly!”

And with that, the person who asked was shocked beyond words that I said it like it is a bad thing but, thankfully, did not press further but gave me a kind of look that said, “Oh, they will. Just you wait!”

One fateful day, I was listening to some news on the radio when the newscaster announced that pigs finally flew! Well, that was not exactly what they said but who could have thought that they were referring to swine flu! Alright, I admit I was the only one who thought they were referring to flying pigs. I was horrified at the thought of my friends’ prophecy about flying pigs coming true. This must be some kind of omen.

Consequently, yours truly guiltily registered for an account with Facebook. Okay, okay, I was curious about Facebook and the fuss people are making about it. Who am I kidding?

The registration process was quite easy. You are not required to fill up a lengthy form like those of e-mails. After everything was done, I logged in to my Facebook account and boy, was I in for a surprise! Friendster is boring compared to Facebook. Period! There are so many applications in Facebook – you can update your current activities, send messages to your friends, poke your friends, have pets, play games, buy your friends (I have no idea how this application works), share photos, chat with your friends, just to name a few. Very soon, Facebook becomes an addiction, whether you realised it or not.

I have noticed some people who post hundreds of photos of themselves, share videos and links, etc every other minute of the day. On the other hand, there are another bunch of people who log in every hour or so to keep updated with new applications. They update their status when they wake up, are having breakfast, are stuck in the traffic jam, at work, during lunch, during meetings, and even in the toilet (Note that you can update your Facebook status using your mobile phones). Eventually, Facebook has become a part of their life. If that is not addiction then what is?

Facebook is harmless if you used it wisely. It is a way to swap gossip and pictures with your friends. Facebook can also cost you your job and blight your future. People overlooked the possibility of their employer reading their Facebook page. It is a way to find out who they are hiring. Besides, there were also cases of people being fired for criticising their employer or complaining about their job on Facebook being reported.

Disadvantages aside, Facebook can be used to help you locate your long lost friends ala “Jejak Kasih”. Recently I managed to track down a friend I had lost contact with since Primary Six. We were so happy to virtually see each other and our excitements were shown through words being posted on each other’s wall on Facebook. We were oceans and continents apart when all that happened.

Apart from that, Facebook allows you to gloat to your heart’s content and hide that self-satisfied smirk on your face behind the wall of the Internet. When you have more chips than your friends or won the pot with a Royal Straight Flush in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker on Facebook, I am pretty sure that you will publish it in your status for all to see. I know I will!

Everybody loves to complain about Facebook, but why are we still using it if we dislike it so much? It is a useful social networking website if we utilise it properly. Do not let your life orbit around Facebook. Now, don’t poke me after this!

Clare Ng
Borneo Post- July2009

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