Does not having Facebook make you suspicious?
Once upon a time in the land before Facebook, a suspicious person was someone who could not look you in the eye. They’d have a silent phone number, disappear on census night or have a weak handshake. Those days are gone.
Just ask Kashmir Hill, the American journalist and social media fanatic who boldly declared this week that not having a Facebook account the new arbiter of sketchy people all over the world.
Here’s the explanation she gave in a piece for Forbes Magazine: “A negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.”
Clearly there can be life without Facebook. Just ask the people without one, they are easy to spot. Common characteristics include: nattering on about venturing into the real world, going to parties and sending letters in the mail. Most probably also still possess a landline.
But here’s the real question: is life without Facebook any good? It’s pretty clear that the answer is a resounding no. But unlike Hill, I’d argue that’s not because it makes you untrustworthy, but more that it leaves you feeling left out.
Say what you like about Facebook, but it’s a damn easy way to feel like you’re in the loop. In fact, it is the loop, so if you don’t have a Facebook account you’re just going to miss out.
Now the stuff you’re missing out on is not necessarily the endless status updates of people who need more out of life, or the incredibly frustrating habit of others who feel the need to “check in” everywhere they go.
It’s more the sharing of photos and getting of invites and trend watching. Not to mention videos and witty anecdotes that great Facebookers share. Facebook is like a one-stop shop of all those things. Plus, you can talk to friends in other countries in real-time, at no cost whenever you want.
And that really is the best thing about Facebook, it makes you a better friend. Without one, you can come across like a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. Remember the people who refused to get mobile phones back in the early 2000s and how frustrating it was to have to remember to call them at work or home to confirm everything? Even if you got a little part of the arrangement wrong, you’d spend hours walking up and down the street trying to find them.
Well it’s exactly the same with people who don’t have Facebook. It doesn’t really make you suspicious, it’s just kind of annoying.
Follow me on Twitter: @lucyjk
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