Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Universe,


You Have No Friends

Everyone else is on Facebook. Why aren't you?
By Farhad Manjoo

"...If you're reading this article, there's a good chance you already belong to Facebook. There's a good chance everyone you know is on Facebook, too. Indeed, there's a good chance you're no longer reading this article because you just switched over to check Facebook. That's fine—this piece is not for you. Instead I'd like to address those readers who aren't on Facebook, especially those of you who've consciously decided to stay away. Though your ranks dwindle daily, there are many of you. This is understandable—any social movement that becomes so popular so fast engenders skepticism.

Friends—can I call you friends?—it's time to drop the attitude: There is no longer any good reason to avoid Facebook. The site has crossed a threshold—it is now so widely trafficked that it's fast becoming a routine aide to social interaction, like e-mail and antiperspirant. It's only the most recent of many new technologies that have crossed over this stage. For a long while—from about the late '80s to the late-middle '90s, Wall Street to Jerry Maguire—carrying a mobile phone seemed like a haughty affectation. But as more people got phones, they became more useful for everyone—and then one day enough people had cell phones that everyone began to assume that you did, too. Your friends stopped prearranging where they would meet up on Saturday night because it was assumed that everyone would call from wherever they were to find out what was going on. From that moment on, it became an affectation not to carry a mobile phone; they'd grown so deeply entwined with modern life that the only reason to be without one was to make a statement by abstaining. Facebook is now at that same point—whether or not you intend it, you're saying something by staying away...."

Remainder of article at here.

Look for one more face in the book later this week. Maybe. Probably.


Marge Bjork said...

you're kidding

Waldo said...

OK, so when we, your *actual* friends, say it, it's all, "No, no, no facebook." But when some guy, who you don't even know, writes an article about it in an online magazine, now all of a sudden it's "Oh, Farhad Manjoo, my best friend ever, of course I'll join Facebook."




AzĂșcar said...

What can I say? I'm a study in affected contradictions; it passes the time.

Sue said...


dalene said...

What Waldo said.

I was a holdout for a long time, until I had to join so I could monitor my kids' accounts. But here are two things that happened I don't regret:

1. I was looking through the friends of a blogger I've never met (but who found me and sent me a friend request) and I found my cousins from South Carolina with whom I've been out of touch. We're all one big happy family again now.

2. Because someone who lives on the Isle of Man (and who sees my kid at least 2-3 times a week) found me I now get regular real-time updates about Luke (as opposed to waiting for the once-a-week real-time e-mail update).

rookie cookie said...

I will continue to resist. No one can force me into another source of social networking. Blogger and Twitter waste enough of my time.

I actually get a high off of telling people I don't have FaceNovel- or whatever it is called.


Likely said...

will you be my friend????

I got on facebook originally because it was a great way to keep in contact with my former students. They were constantly emailing me asking me to join. so I did. I love seeing what they are up to.

And now old ladies from my ward want to be my friends too. It's so funny.

I also find humor in the whole phrasing part of it -- "You are now friends with blah blah blah...." Good. finally. After all these years of being friends, we are now friends."

Just be selective. I ignore friend requests all the time.

April said...

Join us ... and don't look back!

Beeswax said...

Is totally true! There is a point when a technology becomes mainstream, and to NOT participate becomes a statement of its own.

Like the families who don't have a TV.

I am leery of those families.

What are they trying to say? That they are better than me? Because I like my Barefoot Contessa?

I hope you have a TV, Azucar. Or this comment will be pretty embarrassing.

The Bakers said...

I shall hold my breath...

Anonymous said...


1. I joined facebook, because myspace was too crazy and I wanted to interact with my college friends who, well were TOO OLD to have a myspace.
2. Not everyone had one then. At that point in time, only a few people had it becasue it was "too complicated" for some. I decided to enjoy the complication and be a facebooker.
3. Now everyone has it and it's getting annoying, I want to find something new, but as soon as I do a million people will be on that too.
So, all in all. I will keep my facebook, not pressure anyone to join anymore, and when it get's to be too much I will delete it and tell people I am too mature for the 6th graders who suddenly have them now. Yet again, that could not happen seeing as my bishop, and my grandma have one. WEIRD

Brooke said...

how much do i love that you just called it the book? (SOOOO much.) sometimes my little brother even refers to it as "the good book" but he is well known for sacrilege.

(and i am well known to laugh at all sacrilege.)

thedoodlegirl said...


Marie said...

I just can't do it. I took forever to get a cell phone (and only caved because it was cheaper than a landline) and I'm still holding out on Facebook. For slightly different reasons, but they are both rooted in my hermitlike tendencies. With blogging, I get to proclaim. With phones and Facebook I'm expected to INTERACT. And not at my leisure -- RIGHT NOW. YESTERDAY, even.

Ugh. I have TV to watch. Talk to my secretary.

I hope you'll provide a review once you've tried it awhile. I'd be more open to a testimonial from a fellow skeptic.