The views expressed here are personal in nature and are not intended to be conclusive. Please read on with a pinch of salt.
Facebook (fb) is a great thing. It makes the whole world smaller.. much smaller that we can now know a person intimately without even meeting them in the first place.
But then again, many of our 'friends' on fb just stay as friends there while we don't get to meet them in person although we're in the same vicinity. Heck, I don't even have my housemates' fb even though they're just staying one floor above me.
Some of the most successful men that I know don't have time for fb.
My boss for example. He doesn't have a profile on fb, but he has many contacts in the business and political arena so that he can sustain his empire for generations in relative luxury. What comes before fb? Money of course. He is very competitive and seeks out the most successful and efficient staff to further improve the business.
How about a successful photographer who doesn't fb much? Cliff Mautner is one I admire. In fact, I believe that he is so busy shooting (and of course while enjoying the process) that he admits that he doesn't have much time to fb or to blog. And he's getting better with every job that comes in the way, sans the tacky fb advertisements that some photographers have employed to win more fans. Of course, I do not deny that fb is a successful tool to reach out to your clients, but I'm sure your images will speak louder to your clients as compared to the number of 'likes' that you have on your fan page if you are that good and have numerous awards under your belt.
Sometimes, we can get too carried away by the little things in fb. I've seen lovers quarrel on facebook and tell things which are a little too private to let loose on each others walls. Workers have been fired because they've said a little too much about their boss although their boss is their 'friend'. Kids write on their walls about how awesome the party they attended was while their parents snoop on them and find out the truth. Oops.. you're busted big time. Or sometimes you state some controversial statements that don't go well with some people until you get hundreds (or thousands) of hate mail/comments. And the list goes on and on.
If someone deletes us as a friend on fb, we fire back with a whole salvo of questions asking why on earth did we 'unfriend' them. Its sometimes as serious as, if I unfriend you on fb, we will not be friends forever. Its like in kindergarten last time when I (jokingly) said to some of my playmates - "I dun wan friend you anymore", while the next moment we're gleefully playing police and thieves. By golly, I haven't even met the person in question before, and he goes out all offended just because he unfriends me on facebook.
*Actually, thats not so bad I guess. There are cases in Malaysia where an SMS is a valid excuse for a husband to divorce his wife. And poor wife is suddenly dumbfounded not knowing what to do. Jeez, what are marriage certificates for in the first place ? :s
Frankly speaking, nowadays I've not much time for fb; not that I intend to do so. There are much more important things in life to take heed of. How can I still fend for myself in such a big city (Kuala Lumpur) with limited resources while still being able to put food on my table despite the rising prices of goods? How can I market myself so that I stand out from the gazillions of photographers out there? What is my purpose in life? I've been quite busy with some assignments recently until I'm quite exhausted when I get back. I have no desire to get excited on facebook. I just need to chill and have some rest. Maybe shoot a bit more and enjoy the sun and fresh breeze. Have some delicious 'bak kut teh'. And most importantly, spend time with a special someone thats close to my heart.
I recently read an article about an experiment conducted on a family which had almost no communication at all. They took away the TV, radio, computer, handphones from all the members of the family for an entire week. And yes, that probably includes fb. As a result, the family grew closer in a week without all the distractions as compared to the years with which they only spoke to each other for a maximum of 5 minutes a day.
Yeap, there are definitely much more things in life to do other than fb. In fact, I'm doing it right now, such as writing this blog post instead of being on facebook. And I made the effort to call some friends whom I haven't managed to speak to in a while. Messaging each other on fb doesn't really seem personal to me somehow.
Cheerio, and have a good night.