Open Thread: Facing up to Facebook

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It used to be so easy.  Answer a few questions, add a few friends, and boom!  The world opened up.  I could go online and join a group of people I went to grammar school with, get a quick read on what’s going on with friends and post my freelance writing for friends, family and acquaintances.

Uh oh

Over time, though, Facebook became less fun. The political fights, unasked-for opinions, and the sheer volume of information, pix, IMs and more became too much. I was actually getting depressed when I logged in. I didn’t recognize a lot of the people asking for invites to join my list. I became more concerned about privacy and very concerned about scams and identity theft.

Drive By Friendships?

Another big issue for me is something I call “drive by friendships.”  People post a pic of their vacation, or an update on how they are feeling, and that’s all the communication from them I get…but if I don’t respond, or don’t respond in a timely manner – they get butthurt.


So I’ve been off Facebook for a few years and I’m toying with dropping it in favor of more Real Life – phone calls, letters, even emails.  (Not to mention that trying to login now after such a long hiatus is really involved and annoying). I’m wondering if Facebook is even worth it to me.

But how about you? Are you fed up with Facebook? A fan?  What do you use it for? Take our poll and tell us more in the comments!

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at

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