Sunday, 6 February 2011

Facebook's Showing Off

As a result of another new Facebook service, my fellow Facebook users with fancy phones have really begun to piss me off through the use of the interface simply as a means of showing off.
Facebook places, which basically allows you to geo-tag yourself somewhere benign using fancy location services, arrived in August but now people have actually started taking it seriously. As interesting as this may sound one may never see updates such as Emi Dixon is in Leeds Sexual Health Clinic, because the service won't allow that. Instead we have to suffer updates every time some nobody enters a Starbucks or some similarly boring establishment.

Once again privacy campaigners and other people who don't actually understand the internet or social networking may freak out about the possibility of the service locating and tracking your every move whilst publishing it to all of your 400 friends. Just like the rest of Facebook, the service only publishes information which you write, you probably gave away more information when you filled out the form for your Tesco clubcard. Not to mention that nobody is remotely interested anyway so the chances of us trying to steal your identity as you make repeated visits to the local coffee shop are quite low.

The prime use of this service, as far as I can tell, is to brag about ones whereabouts - predominantly when at gigs, clubs and bars. So far I haven't noticed anybody make a visit to their local Burger King. Rather odd though is Facebook's suggestion that the service will also allow 'connection with friends nearby', as if reading that someone you know is sat only two blocks away enjoying a pint will make you dash over there and hassle them - yet another reason not to bother putting where you are, lest those creepy Facebook stalkers may actually hunt you down and force you to converse (there's no opportunity to flee and later claim you 'left chat on' when they're sat before you).

It seems the more Facebook try to improve the utility the less like social reality it becomes, until we begin to publish our every thought, experience, conversation and now movement to an army of people made up of everyone we went to school with, exclusively selected family, people we met in bars, people we don't know how we met, our actual friends, ex-friends and people who added us because they liked our picture and 'want to get to know us better' (normally not residents of our own country).

I just don't understand the need or point of it. And it is profusely annoying me.