Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why I Love Facebook

In my last post I predicted how Facebook's stock was going to do, and if anything, it looks like I was a little too cautious in my pessimism; if only because I underestimated the market's wisdom and were closer to what they should have done from the start.  But who knows, it's still early, so I stand by my initial position for now, as my prediction is still pretty much on the money.

But the main thing I wanted to talk about was this idea people keep repeating as if Facebook doesn't really produce anything, and is therefore worthless.  And that's just not how it works.  I mean, does the NFL produce anything?  Does NBC?  When you buy a DVD, is it the plastic disc you're buying?  And what these things provide is entertainment.  Something to do.  It might make you happy, or sad, or smarter, or angry; but whatever it is, you want it and they give it to you.  And that's what it's all about.  Business isn't just about selling widgets.

And the thing about Facebook is that so many people who don't use it have the wrong idea about it.  As if it's just a way for stupid people to interact with other stupid people.  And while that's true, it's only if you hang out with stupid people.  Because as much as I loathe to admit it, I've really come to love Facebook and don't know what I'd do without it.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm still too cool for Facebook, which is why I'm listed there as Doctor Biobrain and not, say, Joe Smith (not my real name, I assure you); and don't have any pictures of myself (besides the occasional hand or leg that ends up in my pictures).  But that's because I'm still in love with the mystique of being Doctor Biobrain and it's part of my thing.

Your Personal Group Blog

Because what Facebook really is is a giant group blog where you get to pick who the writers are.  You read through your newsfeed of these select people (in my case, I've got eighty-six "friends"; which makes me a hermit among Facebookers, as I refuse to request friendships and only accept invites from others), and leave comments on whatever ones you like.

And unlike other blogs where you have to keep checking in to see who's responded to you, Facebook gathers all this into the notification center, so you can see responses as well as seeing how many people liked what you wrote.  And so you log in and you'll see responses to comments you wrote on five different posts, and can easily click through to each one of them; to post follow-up responses or just see what other people wrote.

And I *LOVE* seeing how many people like my stuff.  Gives me a real high, much more so than the few smatterings of comments I get here.  (Not that I don't love you too)  I mean, I already know I'm a badass and don't require positive feedback from others to tell me that, but it feels nice anyway.  Seriously, I'm a real whore for that sort of thing.

And so I'm posting funny remarks on other people's stuff.  I'm correcting people when I think they've said something wrong.  I'm educating people who seem to be confused about stuff.  And of course, I'm posting my own comments, which are the type of stuff I'd write here, but without worrying about writing long posts that take three hours to write.  And most of my stuff's absurdist humor that I'm not sure anyone else understands besides myself, but that's my thing.  That's what I'm in it for.  And sometimes I'll read through my own posts and bust out laughing because I happen to be the funniest fucking person on the planet.

What's Not to Like?

And sure, some people post about what they had for breakfast.  But you also get personal stories of someone struggling with cancer, getting fired from their job, getting a new job, and that sort of thing.  And you also read news stories they post, political arguments you may have missed, and best of all, funny quotes and political and religious jokes; many of which genuinely make me laugh out loud.  And again, you get to pick who's posting all this, and if you don't like someone because they're a crazy muslim-hater or something, you just get rid of them.  And if you read someone else's stuff you like, then you befriend them, too.

And really, what's not to like about this?  It's whatever you want it to be.  You want to be a political activist or discuss religion or atheism, be friends with those people.  You want to meet people and write dorky stuff about what you had for breakfast, do it.  And if you want to connect to your family across the country, post pictures of your kids and babies, and interact with all of them in one place; it's great for that too.  But for god's sake, make sure you've got your privacy settings set properly.  That cannot be stressed enough.

And really, if I lost Facebook today, I'd most definitely be a sadder person.  But thus said, it doesn't really have a great revenue stream and is vastly overpriced at $100 billion (though it's lower than that today), as Zuckerberg & Co once again pulled a big con on people.  But still, I think Facebook is great and hope they don't do too much to change what they've got, as it's a great thing that has certainly made my life better.

Did Facebook save the world?  No, but they've given me a fun place to write crap on a Saturday night and have other people appreciate it, and that's alright in my book.  I just wish some of you were on there, as I'd like a few better friends than the ones I've got already.  (But don't tell them I said that!)


Doctor Biobrain said...

Seriously, even if you're not on Facebook and you're having qualms about joining. Join, just to hang with me. Trust me, you won't regret it...probably.

Godot51 said...

The original point was not about entertainment value; it was about physical value.
I perfectly understand entertainment value (but it is truly, obscenely overpriced these days: is any sportsman worth millions per year? is a ticket worth hundreds or thousands of dollars?).
Again, what physical values do you derive from the NFL (or in my case the NBA)? None.
So, all this entertainment, all this time killing has value only as we can afford to live vicariously.
These activities can produce great wealth, interest, controversy, pathos and drama but they produce little or, in my opinion, nothing of necessary value.
(And, yet, I enjoy many of them, including Facebook.)
Religion, the military and politics also produce little or nothing and often destroy life though they control and manipulate unbelievable resources and wealth.
In its most elemental form value is that which sustains life.
And that's all I have to say about that.