I am certain that my students will be interested in this post about Facebook.
We are not using the privacy settings of Facebook, and are too polite to say no to invitations from people who want to friend us. No wonder, the social environment is starting to resemble a crowded nightclub. (You go to clubs to be seen, not talk.)
However, if you treat Facebook more like a dinner gathering, inviting only the closest friends and family, it can be a rather efficient way of staying in touch.
What we need is something more intimate, more private. It’s not about the number of friends, but it’s about connection. (My previous post about Privacy also touches on some of these issues.)
Lets put it another way: do you go hang with hundreds of people, accept every invitation for coffee or try out everything that is new in your real world? Do you invite everyone you meet to your house for dinner? So why would you do that in Facebook?
The second problem is that we are treating Facebook as a tool for communication (my inbox on FB is filled with invites for conferences and other junk, just like my email inbox) when we should be treating it as a tool for real time interactions. RTI tools are those that save time and yet let us remain connected to those who matter the most.
Facebook if used properly, in one quick glance can tells us what our friends are doing, new photos, who has broken up, and who needs a little wink and a smile. Instead we are spending time declining invitations from random strangers, or trying to deal with events that we are unlikely to attend anyway.