In: Aldona Bermudez14 Jun 2012
I am somewhat of a Facebook addict. I like keeping up to date with what my friends abroad are up to, but I also really enjoy exchanging funny pictures and links with close friends. Facebook has become “intelligent” by listing the friends I interact with the most at the top. The people at the top of my list are generally the ones I am also closer to in real life, and I think it’s funny Facebook has the urge to remind me of that. After some time of rebelliously refusing to get Timeline when it was first introduced, one day I changed it and I really like the feeling of scrolling down friends’ timelines, but also my own. It comes with a melancholic feeling, and before it I never really had so many photographs chronologically ordered at a scroll away…a scroll that never seems to end. I think it can be quite hard to stop scrolling.
It seems logical for Facebook to continue a development that creates an enhanced experience of Facebook for users, not only by reformatting the layout, but also by all the upcoming applications. It seems like a strategy to make users spend more time on Facebook, and the more time people spend on Facebook, the more likely they are to share data. Facebook owns all its users data (section 2.1), which they may make accessible to the public. If users have an application, all their data is also shared with that application. Developers who are independent from Facebook make these applications. We can then wonder the extent to which they safeguard our information.
It is for this reason that I refused to join the group that Be-zet (the organization renting the anti-squat hotel I live in) made for the five people living there. They made a Facebook group specifically for us to post any problems (as if we didn’t have mouths to speak to each other, come on do they really think we’re going to post “Who stole my cheese?” on that page?! ), but the worst part is that we were informed, by some student who is doing his internship there, that they had completely switched their communication from e-mailing to Facebook. Excuse me? That’s one of the most unprofessional moves I’ve heard someone be so proud of. We exchanged some e-mails and I was even called by phone with the request to join the group. Call me stubborn if you like, but it was not in my contract, and I am not going to give Facebook my living address, full stop. And now the consequence is that they refuse to send us e-mails informing us of important information (e.g. if buyers are going to come check out the house, including entering our closed rooms in our absence), because they post it on Facebook. With only one of the five people in the house being on that Facebook group I can only say I find it unethical.
But, as with everything, there’s also a good side. Right now (11PM), I am laying on a double bed all to myself in Amsterdam’s Hampshire Beethoven Hotel, because a class mate (thanks Fabiola!) posted on Facebook that the European Hematology Association (EHA) was looking for students to work at the yearly congress in Amsterdam RAI from Wednesday to Sunday, hotel and meals provided and all. So here I sit, smiling about Facebook and that I’ll be standing at the Science booth tomorrow talking to doctors about EHA.
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