Could someone explain FaceBook to me?

I don’t know if this belongs in CS or somewhere else, but I’ll start here.

I’m not on FaceBook. I don’t want to be on FaceBook. I don’t think I well ever be on FaceBook. I’m really good at resisting peer pressure, so I doubt it will happen.

What do you do on FaceBook? Why are so many people busy finding FB friends and then unfreinding them? Why do you want to put your entire life on public display? How often to you do this? Do you post words, pictures, what? And why? What does a FB page look like?

I may be good a resisting peer pressure, but I can be convinced to do something worthwhile. As an incentive I will offer anyone who convinces me to join FaceBook your choice of:

A. A maple smoked salmon loin
B. A fabulous apple pie
C. A chunk of rose granite I have in the backyard

This offer expires Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 at midnight. Free shipping to the continental US only. Only Dopers are eligible. 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Well, can you join just to play Battle Pirates, because I get a bonus for getting new players.

Here are a few compelling reasons:

When I was in college, my friends planned everything through Facebook. If I didn’t have one, I probably would have had a much less active social life.

You can scratch the natural socialization itch in your PJs at home. Browsing your feed is a good time waster when you need one throughout the day. There’s always something interesting to see like acticles to discuss with everyone, or you can get in a political debate. You’re up on all sorts of real world social happenings that you would otherwise miss. You can stalk people. It’s a good way so organize your photos and such. You can instant message chat with people. It’s a good medium if you need to just vent about something or express an opinion and there will always be people to respond to it.

There are a lot of other ways it enhances my life, but those are just off the top of my head.

It’s a passive way to engage with your friends.

Do you like watching TV? It’s like watching a TV show that stars your friends. Or better yet, it’s a Web comic that stars your friends. Why do you check on the Web comic every day? Well, to see what the characters are doing. Same reason to check Facebook every day - to see what your friends are doing.

I will say that IMHO the quality of your Facebook experience depends on the quality of your FB friends. I’ve got 173 friends. Probably 100 of them never post or interact. Then like 25 of them are related to me. The other 50 are people I’ve chosen to be a part of my Web comic. They’re all like-minded with me, they all have a similar sense of humor as me. Some watch the same TV shows, some like the same sports teams, some I hang out with offline, some just think I’m neat. My “Web comic” is totally suited for me.

On the other hand I have friends who either have family members that post shit that bum them (my friends) out, or they friended people who are rude and/or dramatic or downers. I have friends who can’t say things they’d like to say on FB because they have co-workers or relatives who’d freak out. Friends whose friends do nothing but post game shit to their news feed. Those people hate FB and can’t see how anyone could like it. That’s because the quality of their experience is dragged down by the quality of the characters in their comic.

As for putting your life out there…no one forces you to do or say anything. If you have something interesting to say, you say it. If you have a photo to share, you share it. If you like something your friend posts, you like it. You can comment on it. If you got nothing, stay mum.

It’s not like by joining Facebook suddenly the Internet becomes privy to the contents of your fridge and your DVR and knows your daily schedule.

And the old “well if I want to contact my friends I’ll CALL them” excuse well that’s comparing apples to oranges. I’d think you were a right asshole if you called me any time your kid’s team won a game, or you made something exotic for dinner or you liked an article you read. But if you just mention any of that stuff on Facebook I can scroll past it, or click “Like” or comment on it. We could even discuss it further, and maybe I could discuss it with your other friends. And now I know about it, and now 80 other people know about it, and we can all decide what to do with it, and no one had to talk to your boring ass on the phone. You see? :slight_smile:

But still you don’t need to be on FB. And if your friends are lame, you might not enjoy Facebook.

All that advice is free, too.

FB is a pit of gossip and glurge and relationship drama, also you get to analyze what it means that someone didn’t accept your friend request you made two hours ago.

No thank you!

Since we live 500 miles away from “home” (even tho we’ve lived here for over 15 years) it let’s me keep in touch with old friends. Family is a given and we just agree to disagree. But I belong to some groups where we share the same interests and whenever I “check in,” it’s like slipping on a favorite coat. I don’t post a whole lot in my “Status” but when I do it’s usually YouTube music videos I like. That’s so whenever I’m drinking, I can just go to my homepage and listen to some good music without having to search all over the place. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow you should definitely put that offer up on facebook!

I forgot to say, I want the rock out of your backyard!

lol at the article link… you can skype without having a facebook account

I refuse to join facebook for the simple reason that it is defined in the user rules that all content you put up on facebook is owned by facebook from that moment on and can be used by them (§2, first paragraph of the user rules) … that makes it for me impossible to put up pictures or any data on facebook

My “Facebook philosophy” is different than most people. My only friends on FB (with a very few exceptions) are people that I regularly hang out with in real life. I also don’t seek out friends - my only friends on FB are people who have friended ME.

Should you join Facebook? IMHO, the only good reason to join Facebook is if you already have good friends who are active on Facebook.

If you’ve got buddies who are already there, you’ll find Facebook vaguely entertaining/useful for the photo albums, event invitations, and the occasional interesting status update.

Some people let their entire social framework get subsumed in Facebook. I use Facebook as a very small peripheral experience, and it works very well for me.

I hate to tell you this, but the Straight Dope Message Board has the exact same policy. It was nice knowing you, though.

I don’t stress over that bit because everything I put up on Facebook goes up under a Creative Commons license anyway.

Facebook helps me keep in touch with old friends who now live far away–it’s great to be able to log in and see pictures of my best friend’s kids, even though she lives in Texas and I live in Ohio. Their events tab makes it easier to plan parties–I can put up an event and send an invite to everyone, rather than having to call or e-mail a bunch of people. I can keep in touch with family. My co-workers and I vent in private messages all the time.

I use it as a way to check out what is going on in the lives of people I don’t have much opportunity to connect with, or that I want to keep tabs on from afar but don’t really have enough interest in to interact with in person. I log on for five minutes while I eat my breakfast, read, scroll, and log off. Occasionally I’ll post something interesting about my life, or if I have a witty comment in response to someone else’s post, but I usually stay silent and observe. If it was shut down tomorrow, I’d probably shrug and find something else to occupy that part of my morning.

TriPolar, how old are you.

I just turned 50, and for my age group (in general) Facebook doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Every now and again I log in and see an updated status or something, but it’s boring as shit really.

Some friends wished me a happy birthday, because if you put your birth date in there your friends will apparently see a reminder or something. These birthday wishes appeared in my Gmail account, and I could read them there without logging into Facebook though.

Seriously, unless you’re prepared to spend countless hours reading how “Dave” isn’t feeling well today, and “Cathy” is at the cottage, it’s pointless.

None of my friends are into political debates, religion, glurge or anything, so it’s a really, really, really boring experience for me.

I’m turning 49 this year. Facebook is my primary means of communicating with my friends and family. It works fine for our age group, IMO.

Yeah, basically, if your Facebook is boring, it’s not Facebook’s fault. You just need more exciting friends.

My feeling also. “Ugh, Facebook is so boring and stupid.” No, your friends are boring and stupid. Get better friends.

No. My friends are great. That’s why my Facebook is boring. They have better things to do that sit around on a computer updating their status or proselytizing.