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.

Most users agree. Photo: Herald Sun.

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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69 comments

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    • TimB says:

      06:25am | 10/08/12

      Oh goody, I’m ‘suspicious’

      ‘I’d argue that’s not because it makes you untrustworthy, but more that it leaves you feeling left out. ‘

      I don’t feel left out. Plenty of other ways to keep up with the world.

      ‘It’s more the sharing of photos and getting of invites and trend watching.’

      If it’s an important enough event to invite me specifically to, there’s plenty of other ways to contact me. Not having Facebook hardly makes me a moon hermit.

      ‘Plus, you can talk to friends in other countries in real-time, at no cost whenever you want’

      There’s about a bazillion ofther applications that let you do that. I know, I use them regularly.

      ‘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.’

      Not at all. A mass email can achieve the same affect. Or you can use the aforementioned mobile.

      If it’s so annoying to you because you require Facebook to keep in touch with people, some serious examination in how you interact with people is recommended.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      01:05pm | 10/08/12

      +1 from me.
      Nothing more irritating than wading through the superfluous minutiae that is now facebook.

    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      07:00am | 10/08/12

      I do not use it, but the photos thing is handy.  Put me down as a Muddy.  “Bah! Humbug!”

      What amazes me is that users are oblivious to the obvious that everything they put on it can never be removed (no matter the rhetoric and the platitudes), and they then use it as a diary.  Crazy, Crazy.

    • Bertrand says:

      07:00am | 10/08/12

      I have Facebook, but I can see why people would resist it.

      You hand over huge amounts of personal information to a company with a track record of not respecting your privacy, and give them complete control over things like personal photos. They sell your personal data.

      At the end of the day a Facebook user isn’t their customer but their product. It is completely reasonable that some people are uncomfortable with that.

    • Justme says:

      07:12am | 10/08/12

      Bollocks. Don’t have it, don’t want it. In my social group, we are all of a similar age (probably antique in some eyes). Texts, emails, phone calls and actual physical encounters at coffee shops keep us connected. Facebook is a bragging mechanism (see how clever my kid is/how exotic our holiday was/how many friends I’ve got) and I’m not playing that game.

    • LMB says:

      10:46am | 10/08/12

      LMB likes this

    • bullwinkle says:

      12:25pm | 10/08/12

      + 1. But I’ll say it in my traditional terms. This article is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve read all week. Show-off, needy, look-at-me fame whores use facebook. I couldn’t give a fat rat’s clacker what all these clingy little people are up to. A famous saying comes to mind: yes, you are unique - just like everybody else.

    • Craig says:

      07:40am | 10/08/12

      Actually you’ve touched onto a major issue for the police and secret services.

      Where do your upcoming undercover cops and spies come from if everyone has a public social media history?

      Establishing cover stories is harder when the bad guys can look you up online or match your face with pictures tagged by friends without your permission.

      However embedded in this is another issue… Which I call the Superman issue.

      After committing a crime a villain attempts to hide from Superman in a lead room which can’t be seen into by Superman’s x-ray vision. However in a matter of minutes superman shows up to take the villain to the police. “how did you find me?” asks the villain. “It was simple”, says Superman, “I looked for the places I could not see into.”

      Equally someone doing undercover work who purges their presence online sticks out like a sore thumb.

      So I you can’t have an authentic presence, and you can’t have no presence, what does that leave? The Man Who Never Was option, where you have a fully fleshed out fake presence on social media. Hard to do, but increasingly the only way to reduce the threat of exposure for undercover cops and spies.

    • andrew says:

      09:57am | 10/08/12

      so all i need to do now is delete my youtube account ( facebook went ages ago after about 2 weeks online) and i can look forward to an awesome career change? Daytime martinis and seductive babes here i come!

    • scubasteve says:

      10:10am | 10/08/12

      Equally.
      The families of serving regular armed and special forces have been targeted by nutters and this presents a real risk and concern to our serving defence personal.
      From person experiance. i know Doctor and nurses who deal with sometimes unstable and unwell patients can be stalked and harassed by these people. It is a terrifying experience and i hope that those who have posted every detail of their lives on facebook never have to encounter.
      I for one will protect my family with (relative) anonymity.
      People without Facebook are simply more interesting.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      10:59am | 10/08/12

      andrew is on to something here. If anyone needs me I’ll be deleting facebook and practicing my drinking / womanising.

    • Abe says:

      07:46am | 10/08/12

      I’ll never have a facebook account because I don’t care what everyone else is up to, watching, reading, listening too, I have no trouble seeking those things out myself. 
      If I want to see the certain friends of mine I’ll ring them or email them and set something up, my best friends (who aren’t on fb either) and I talk on the phone at least a couple of times a week but try and get together in person as much as we can.
      Sure I probably “miss out” on some invites to some wanky thing but I really don’t care.
      As for twitter, that is a total wank and the thing that really gets up my nose is how people’s tweets have become “news”
      “Some wanker tweeted something about another wanker” come on, who gives a rat’s?
      It’s vanity gone mad.

    • Alex says:

      01:19pm | 10/08/12

      I have two kids and work two jobs. The main reason I do not have facebook is that on the rare occasion I have a couple of hours to myself I sit back and have a beer with a mate or text a friend to meet me at the pub.
      Also if someone cannot be fucked sending me a text message to invite me out somewhere then wtf?
      Some people are not so needy that we need to be connected all the time, maybe I am lucky that I like my own company

    • Troy Flynn says:

      01:31pm | 10/08/12

      @Abe: As for twitter, that is a total wank and the thing that really gets up my nose is how people’s tweets have become “news”
      +1 I’ve seen comedians in the U.S. pointing out that CNN and lots of others use tweets (from twits) as part of their show. Because journalism is just so hard.

    • Ron says:

      08:10am | 10/08/12

      So what do we do? Everybody in the world joins facebook? Then what? we’re back where we started.

      I do youtube, last.fm and pinterest. What does that make me?

    • Mahhrat says:

      08:16am | 10/08/12

      I find it’s useful for organising things and getting information out quickly, but that’s about it.  Apart from that, it’s just a joke and Facebook games make me cringe.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:04am | 10/08/12

      A joke it is. I could care less about peoples trials and tribulations or baby/ cat’s doing hilarious things photos. I use it primarily for organising. I think it says a lot about someone who thinks that people have something to hide by not being on facebook though. Maybe everyone just isn’t as pretentious as Kashmir Hill.

    • Meh says:

      08:21am | 10/08/12

      Maybe I don’t have Facebook because I am suspicious. Maybe I don’t have Facebook because I am suspicious of Facebook, giving large corporations vast quantities of personal information and their policies about what they can do with it, all for a shallow connection to people I don’t care enough to spend 25 cents calling in the real world.

    • MarkS says:

      08:44am | 10/08/12

      No facebook, no mobile phone. And I do not want to know you. Suspicious? Nuh, just self confident enough not to be an attention whore.

    • Admiral Ackbar says:

      11:57am | 10/08/12

      It’s remarkable how even the most shy and introverted of people can become overbearing attention whores by simply being on facebook.

    • ATTNPIMP says:

      11:58am | 10/08/12

      How is having a mobile phone being an attention whore? You have the internet it seems so you’re not totally “off the grid”.

    • ronny jonny says:

      09:01am | 10/08/12

      I find facebook great for keeping in loose touch with aquaintences that I would never have kept in touch with in real life. In my industry I might work with someone from another country for six months and then never see them again so I never have to go” I wonder what happened to so and so?”, we are still in touch by facebook. I also like it for my relatives who live far away to be able to check in and see whats going on in my life, quite often I’ll get a phone call because they’ve seen something on facey and want to chat about it. For me it doesn’t replace the phone or a meet up at the pub or whatever it is just an enhancement to the forms of communication and connection that I’ve always used. It’s kept people in my life that I would have lost thereby enriching my life. It can be really fun at times too, putting something up that will get a reaction from people and the conversations that can generate.
      I was against it when it was first becoming popular, much like I was against ebooks and mobile phones but now I wouldn’t be without them. I think I was just trying to be contrary.
      Those of you with security concerns needn’t be so paranoid, you really aren’t that interesting.

    • Meh says:

      10:19am | 10/08/12

      “Those of you with security concerns needn’t be so paranoid, you really aren’t that interesting. “

      Hell yes I am!

    • ronny jonny says:

      10:32am | 10/08/12

      Meh, not to anyone else…

    • Meh says:

      11:45am | 10/08/12

      ronny jonny “Meh, not to anyone else…”

      Is that important?  Top Gear used my real life experiences as the template for introducing The Stig.

    • ronny jonny says:

      01:20pm | 10/08/12

      Wow. Do you feel fulfilled? Because that is really impressive.

    • thatmosis says:

      09:06am | 10/08/12

      Facebook and Twitter, hmmmm, lets see more time devoted to staying in touch than actually living. No I prefer to live a life not subject to the whims of electronic media. I do answer blogs but that’s it. If people want to contact me they either email or telephone or saints preserve us talk to me personally.
        You only have to look at the addiction that these two mediums have become to know that there is a serious problem looming as more and more of people’s lives and personal information is out there for one and all to peruse and look at the misuses of these mediums to bully and mislead others according to the whims of those who take delight in such actions.
        I really think that those people without Facebook or Twitter are the sane ones as they are more at one with themselves and don’t need constant reinforcing that they may have “friends” even though a great number of those “friends ” might be figments of ones imagination.
        My god I suspect that even Julia Gillard has friends” on Facebook which rather proves my point.

    • Economist says:

      09:16am | 10/08/12

      My reasons for not being on facebook are many.

      First as Bertrand highlights there is privacy,

      Second, I couldn’t be bothered updating the thing.

      Third, my best mate lives thousands of kilometres away and we’re lucky to call or see one another once a year. Facebooking may be a way of staying in touch, but Skype is better, facebook wouldn’t make me a better friend because there would be the expectation of responding to inane stuff on the page, and a I simply wouldn’t do it..

      Fourth, you guys tell me what’s going on in the facebook world anyway and most of th time it is not pretty. There’s the obvious, as highlighted in the article “when a joke isn’t funny”, I don’t need meme crap.

    • Al says:

      09:19am | 10/08/12

      What a stupid, fatuous article. I started reading with interest.

    • Kristy says:

      09:21am | 10/08/12

      When i tell people i don’t have Facebook, i get the weirdest looks, especially since i’m 27 years old - its unheard of for someone my age to not be involved in social media. The idea is that I must have something to hide, in fact someone asked me what skeletons that I have in the closet that i’m scared of people finding out about on Facebook. The truth is, i share information privately to those i care about, and they do the same in return. I have no interest in sharing this information with the world, nor does the world care about what I do. The problem is its creating a generation of self-involved people who think that there is nothing worth saying, doing, or thinking unless you share it with everyone else.

      Parents are going to have to start teaching their kids that privacy is not a dirty word, and that every thought, and activity doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, shared with everyone else.

    • wearestardust says:

      09:21am | 10/08/12

      I use facebook, but only off the back of involvement in groups for which facebook is a useful communicatio tool.  If it were not for that, would be in the same boat as justme: I wouldn’t bother with it; it would make almost no difference to me if I didn’t have it in terms of personal communications.  I do my personal communication with people on the phone or in the same room.

      But then, I also regret that my employment requires me to have a phone that has functions beyond making and receiving telephone calls (and it’s not particularly well suited to those).

      Where’d I put my slippers?

    • SamO says:

      09:27am | 10/08/12

      “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.”

      Then put me firmly in the annoying category if that’s really the case.

      I don’t have a Facebook account (note the use of the word account, I refuse to use the term “have a Facebook”) and I don’t intend to ever have one if I can help it. It seems like a chore, just another tool which I don’t need in my life that others, particularly gossipy young women, seem obsessed with. Seriously what is it with females and Facebook, I don’t think I’ve met one who isn’t obsessed at some level. I know plenty of guys who don’t have it or do but don’t use it.

      I have a mobile, contact me on that or bugger off basically. As a tool for keeping in touch with people on the other side of the world Facebook is great, I’ll admit that but for my regular group of friends, no thanks. No I don’t want to see your photos, I don’t care what your “status” is or where you are and what your doing. Tell me about it when I see you in person if it’s that special.

      I don’t believe it makes me suspicious, I value my privacy, it’s something we all shouldn’t give away so easily. I believe Facebook can heighten some peoples narcissism and I don’t want to be a part of that, it’s like some sort of women’s magazine gone crazy. A paradise for gossipers, stalkers, those who can’t mind their own business and those who think their a little bit special. You’re not special people.

    • Tigger says:

      09:49am | 10/08/12

      ” is life without Facebook any good? It’s pretty clear that the answer is a resounding no.”

      Based on what? I don’t use my Facebook acct and my life is pretty good.

      “It’s more the sharing of photos and getting of invites and trend watching.”

      you mean being another sheeple.

      “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.”

      Actually, if you only use Facebook to contact people you come across as a bit of a lazy friend. With it, other people have to conform to your personal broadcast medium - are you really that self-important that you need other people listening in to your “channel” and getting all Bieberesque whenever you post something?

      “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.”

      Facebook groupies are really annoying, in that holier-than-thou, brainwashed sheeple kind of way.

      And BTW you know who really looves Facebook check-in and people who broadcast everywhere they currently are? Theives.

    • relaaax! says:

      09:57am | 10/08/12

      ‘I don’t use Facebook because it’ll only get me into trouble.’ I have heard that excuse plenty of times.  That’s from people trying to hide things from gf’s, wives, bf’s, husbands etc. I use fB to kill time and I limit what crap I put on it.  For those who don’t have fB, I’d suggest you get over yourselves, apparently you’re some super secret uber spy that the rest of the world is out looking for.  If you have a mobile phone, bank account and even a membership at your local video/dvd store…you my friend, and your personal info,  are on the ‘system’ for anyone to get their hands on and exploit if they so wish.

    • Maryjane says:

      05:39pm | 11/08/12

      I don’t have much time to kill really and I guess that’s why I don’t heve a FB account.  BTW I’d love to know why you are so angry and agressive.  How can it matter to you whether people love or hate facebook as long as you’re happy with it?

    • Middo says:

      09:59am | 10/08/12

      What unmitigated rubbish Lucy.

      This arcticle sounds like an attempt to convince yourself that mindless hours spent staring at vacuous updates and advertising on Facebook, is actually ‘keeping yourself in the loop’.

      Facebook has done an exceptional job in winning people over and convincing them that it is the only way to network these days. But there are a multitude of other sites and applications which achieve the same thing. Facebook’s real success is in combining messaging, photo sharing, forum posting and email style messaging on the one site.

      For all all Facebook’s positives though, there are a bunch of negatives. I find the advertising excessive; the ‘public’ behaviour of some appalling; privacy concerns considerable; the politics of ‘friending’ or ‘unfriending’ a bit puerile; and the sheer ubiquity of Facebook to be tiresome.

      By all means, feel free to extol the virtues of FB but you should be embarrassed about your new status as a brand ambassador using the Keeping Up With the Jones’ argument as a mechanism to make the uninitiated or disgruntled online consumer feel like they should play in your sand pit too.

      If your assessment of whether you are ‘connected’, or whether you’re ‘missing out’ is based on membership of an online, corporate entity, then you’re a bit of a sucker. Particularly if you’re incapable of imagining how could possibly be well-connected, fulfilled and happy without it.

    • che says:

      10:05am | 10/08/12

      Is this a paid advertisement?

    • PaulB says:

      10:05am | 10/08/12

      Ha that was predictable - all the non-Facebook users rising up to defend themselves - some with valid reasons, some with rude disinterest, and some with a degree of paranoia.

      I think the analogy in the post with those who refused to get mobiles is right on the money.

    • scott says:

      10:09am | 10/08/12

      I don’t use Facebook because I am an adult

    • Looking Over My Shoulder says:

      10:20am | 10/08/12

      I have a FB account…rarely use it. Was purely for (i) catching up with Uni and High School mates, for which careers sent us all over the planet, (ii) for involvement with my sports club, which uses it as an informational and organisational tool and (iii) having ‘friended’ my teenage daughter when setting up her account, I can quietly keep an eye on activity to ensure nothing inappropriate happens by her, or to her.

      Personal information is bare minimum and securty settings at maximum. I have no photo for profile pic, nor any pictures loaded.

      Yet…my wife thinks I’m using it for affairs etc, as she refuses to have a FB account and is a tad paranoid that (i) I do and (ii) I have female friends.

      She’s yet to realise that the reason I ‘friended’ a couple of her close friends (on the premise of them getting messages to her via me), was really to alleviate her suspicions, as they could keep an eye on my posts etc and report to her on anything ‘suspicious’.

      Gotta love social media… *sigh* ...more suspicion and intrigue than a spy agency !

    • fish says:

      10:36am | 10/08/12

      Was that a whip I heard being cracked in the background smile

    • ronny jonny says:

      10:36am | 10/08/12

      Sounds like the problem is your wife, not facebook

    • Looking Over My Shoulder says:

      11:11am | 10/08/12

      @fish…nah, no whip…scraping of a ball and chain !

      @ronnyjonny…agree, but I can’t post that on FB…her friends would tell her !

    • M says:

      03:33pm | 10/08/12

      In my experience, when they start suspecting you’re having an affair it’s because they’re guilty of having their own affair.

    • M says:

      10:26am | 10/08/12

      Anti facebookers are starting to sound like vegetarians.

    • Suess says:

      11:22am | 10/08/12

      Facebookers sound like Apple Fanboi’s.

    • S.L says:

      10:29am | 10/08/12

      I joined facebook to look for some long lost mates. I was successful with a few and we probably communicate about twice a year.
      As a contrast my neices live on it. I was at a 21st and there was a table of scantily clad hotties who never looked up from there iphones all night!Pathetic in my opinion…....................

    • Slothy says:

      10:30am | 10/08/12

      Did anybody actually read the article past the headline?

      “The idea that a Facebook resister is a potential mass murderer, flaky employee, and/or person who struggles with fidelity is obviously flawed. There are people who choose not to be Facebookers for myriad non-psychopathic reasons.”

      Calm down non-facebookers. You could still be a little sus, but your facebook habits aren’t the cause.

    • fish says:

      10:33am | 10/08/12

      Lucy - Some people are just not interested in using Facebook. Deal with it.

    • I actually have friends whom I speak to face to fa says:

      10:35am | 10/08/12

      What a typical Gen Y load of crap article. I’m in my mid 30’s and don’t have Facebook and have no intention of getting an account. Facebook would be simply one more thing for me to update and spend time on in my already busy life. I am also not comfortable handing over personal information and photos to a company that sells that information and has dubious privacy policies.

      “Facebook makes you a better friend” - ha ha ha thanks for the laugh Lucy. Actually it makes you a lazier ‘friend’.

      The author of this article is about as juvenile and lazy as a friend of mine who gets annoyed because I don’t have a Facebook account. Apparently having my work and home addresses, work and home phone numbers, work and home email addresses and a Skype account and mobile number isn’t enough!
      I keep in contact with friend via Skype, emails, phonecalls, meeting them and shock horror - snail mail!!
      I do not value anyone who primarily manages their friendships through online social networks. I also think they’re lazy as shit and shallow.

      I loathe the narcissus element to Facebook and the friend collecting. A former work colleague of mine was sending friend requests to friends of mine whom she’d met once and wouldn’t recognise in the street!

      Recently I was in a cafe with my husband and daughter. I sat and watched 2 twenty-something women sitting next to us. Both were updating their Facebook profiles and tapping away and taking and making calls through the entire duration of their meal. They barely spoke to eachother.  They pretty much sum up the self absorbed, shallow and narcissistic characteristics that define under 30’s these days.

      I’m glad that this article has confirmed that people really do get annoyed and uppity about those of us who don’t have a Facebook account. It makes it easier for us non Facebook users to weed out the friends not worth making the effort to retain.

    • Glenn says:

      10:42am | 10/08/12

      The drivel people post with not the slightest understanding that nobody gives a rat’s, and the more frightening possibility that there are people that actually do, is why I tried it for a short time and then ditched it. ‘Blind Faith’ by Ben Elton is worth a read for those interested in this topic.

    • david says:

      11:11am | 10/08/12

      Facebook is great.

      I’ve been recently enjoying the interesting photos of what my friends have for lunch and dinner each day.

    • neil says:

      11:14am | 10/08/12

      I just don’t understand facebook, why would I want to keep in touch with people online that I don’t want to talk to in my daily life?

      Why would I want to put photos on it? for that matter why would I want to take photos? the only camera I have is on my phone and I don’t use it, for that matter I rarely use my phone out side of work, and why would I want to look at other peoples photos? I couldn’t care less about the latest cute photo of their kids or pets or holidays.

      Why would I want to be in “the loop” what loop? Most of the time I wish other people would just go away and stop bothering me.

      How can facebook be anything more than just plain annoying.

    • Anna says:

      11:24am | 10/08/12

      I used to have a Facebook account and in fact my friends used to call me their Facebook ambassador as I was on that bloody thing 24/7! A month ago, I deactivated my account and I’m not coming back. It’s because I value my privacy. I don’t have FOMO (fear of missing out) because my friends still gets in touch with me - even the one from overseas. It’s by this thing called email, telephone & Skype. I still get invites to the coolest events because I’m well connected - even if I’m not on Facebook anymore. I still have my network of business and social friends and acquaintances because I make effort in keeping in touch and by being in contact with them not via Facebook makes it even more personal - some if not most actually appreciates receiving a personal email or a phone call and even a text message. Now I question your friendship with those people who you find annoying not being on Facebook. Are you really their friend or you’re just someone who they kinda now… a mere acquaintance.

    • Caveman says:

      11:27am | 10/08/12

      Facebook shares are dropping in value; any idea how much was Kashmir Hill compensated for drumming up support for increasing FB memberships in bring the stock value back up? FB = waste of time

    • amy says:

      11:28am | 10/08/12

      that Idea was so stupid it made my brain hurt…and Im usually tolerant of thease things

    • Zeta says:

      11:32am | 10/08/12

      There’s a service you can find if you’re familiar with Tor and some of the shadier vendors therein that will provide you with a Facebook in the name of your choice, digitally altered photos that are still recognisable as you to the naked eye but not to face recognition software, 200-300 friends depending on how much you pay, and a markov generator that will automatically update your Facebook with realistic sounding statuses every 12 or 24 hours - including GPS data of places you’re not actually anywhere near.

      Whole packages, including linked Twitter accounts, Tumblrs full of holiday photos from holidays you never went on, even a hacked MySpace that looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2002 – an entire digital footprint, a life you never lead, all for a few hundred bucks a month in deniable BitCoins.

      While you’re off hiding from the Illuminati, having a secret family in Canada, or leading a trans national drug smuggling ring, somewhere, a team of Russian hackers are studiously monitoring yours and a thousand other completely fake online presences.

    • Oliver says:

      11:55am | 10/08/12

      While I disabled my FB account about a year ago, I can see why people find it useful, even addictive.

      My reason for opting out came about when I found I had blocked most of my friends posts from appearing on my wall. In equal measures found them inane, whinging and generally self obsessed. By the end I realised that I had killed my FB by blocking everything.

      I don’t look at my friends any differently since FB, but when they get behind a screen, something takes over within them turing many of them into someone entirely different.

    • Traxster says:

      12:09pm | 10/08/12

      ‘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’
      Needing to be ‘in the loop’ might just be the problem…Lucy.

    • tim says:

      12:14pm | 10/08/12

      no mobile, no facebook, no fixed address , no iphone,no camera, no laptop , no job and no girlfriend .
      just enuff doe for a plane ticket a place to sleep some food and a beer .

    • Swampy says:

      12:16pm | 10/08/12

      I’d be more suspicious of someone that’s annoyed by other people that don’t have facebook.

    • GYTIC says:

      12:19pm | 10/08/12

      I recently deleted my facebook, i’m yet to truely identify any reasons but I figured that my obsession of scrolling down for hours and reading crap i didn’t care about, about people that I barely cared about was a bit of a problem. That and the attention-whoring ways in which I was posting myself, I decided to take a step back and find out who I was before I embark on developing an online presence.

      Whilst it is a useful tool for contacting family and friends who are at a distance, the fact is that i’ve been greatly estranged from many of these people due to my own actions and a turbulent self-upbringing. I felt that continuing to use my facebook account is contributing to the loop that I perceive myself to have been in for the past decade and as such, came to the decision to delete my facebook account.

      I’m nearing the end of the two week period where you can log back in and not “lose” anything (note that it is extremely difficult to erase all of your tracks on facebook) and fighting with myself about whether or not to reconnect for comforts sake more than anything.

      The changes i’m making in myself are entirely personal and the general goal and idea is that the people associated with the past life that I led won’t even recognise me by the time I eventually decide to recreate a facebook account. At the end of the day, my good friends still call my mobile phone and are there for me and thats what counts.

      If there are any other youths stuck in the duldrums of depression or unable to find a way ahead from their dreary lifestyle, I urge you to disconnect from the fake reality you’re building yourself, become independent of others, and find out who you really are and what makes you tick. The vast majority of you may be surprised about what you can get done by not mindlessly clicking like or spouting your uneducated and inane opinions about shit that you don’t truly understand. #kony2012

      I’m not removing myself from this judgement, but the fact that I identify and embrace it puts me a world ahead in my opinion.

    • Augie Smith-Brown says:

      12:25pm | 10/08/12

      “.. here’s the real question: is life without Facebook any good? It’s pretty clear that the answer is a resounding no. ....I’d argue that’s not because it makes you untrustworthy, but more that it leaves you feeling left out. “

      How depressing !!  Does not being on facebook REALLY make you feel like you’re not part of the crowd.. left out? I’d disagree in my case.  While I do have a facebook account, the countless number of social snaps, inane conversations, updates about bowel movements leave me cold. There are loads of things I’d rather not disclose to all and sundry (so I dont) and I dont have the time or patience to arm myself with the privacy settings. On the other hand for me Path (social app) is less noisy,  good lookin’  and offers a little more privacy.

      Choose your own way I say. It’s whatever works for you to keep in touch with your ‘network’ but true connections are to be found with real people face to face.

    • Ange says:

      12:38pm | 10/08/12

      I don’t have a FB account and OMG it’s a sad sad world. No looking at boring photo’s of boring people on their boring holidays. No updates about what they’re having for dinner. And oh the events that I’ve missed out on…the local market fair, some over-achiever’s kid’s kindie graduation, National “Save The Lesser Spotted Warbler” day…I could go on.

      Facebook was not put there to improve our lives. It was put there to generate revenue for advertisers and if you get suckered into thinking it’s anything different then more fool you.

      I will proudly ‘natter on’ about having a life because I actually do have one - full of wonderful friends, much partying, lots of contact with family (here and overseas) and not a fashionable trend in sight.

    • redvixen says:

      01:04pm | 10/08/12

      Ooh, for the first time in my life I’m “sketchy”.  I’m suddenly feeling dangerous and alluring!

    • Meh says:

      02:08pm | 10/08/12

      Some say that having Jeremy write a fawning article about you is rare, some say that having Richmond Hammond groupies leave him for you is significant, some say being more interesting than Captain Slow is normal. All I can say is Meh.

    • Tbird says:

      02:08pm | 10/08/12

      I hope you dont get paid for coming up with this dribble? And if you do, hopefully your “manager” puts on on a performance review and busts your ass!!
      I have FB and I dont demean anyone not using FB….FFS what utter Gen Y rubbish.
      Or has everyone missed the point of what this article is about? It’s not April 1st is it?

    • bigmuzz says:

      04:15pm | 10/08/12

      i think this post has been a chance for “older” punchers to go on about how bad social media is and how easy it is to live without it…. the article should be more along the lines of: not having facebook makes you look weird if you are under, say, the age of 30…....

      i don’t think it makes you look “suspicious”, more that you’ll be met with looks of incredulity, like “how do you live!?!?!”... O.o

      ...because, seriously, EVERYONE I know has facebook. without it, I, like most people my age (27) and under would probably be completely lost, lol. other than my close friends & family, i don’t really have anyone’s phone numbers, as FB has pretty much become the go-to for getting in touch with people (not sure if this is a great thing, but its easiest just to give in and go along), replacing text messaging & emails (who uses emails anymore!?!? other than for work…). it’s a great way for catching up with new acquaintances (people dont give each other their phone numbers when you meet them anymore, they “facebook” you), and old school friends you havent seen in years.

      but, being friday, its especially good if you have many different groups of friends, so you can quickly find out what people are doing around town if you are looking for drinking buddies! raspberry

    • True Blue Ozzie says:

      02:54pm | 11/08/12

      I can live with out this invasion into my life, oh and I do live a real life every day and have real friends. I dont feel the need to tell the world when I’ve crapped or headed to the shops or at home on the computer wrighting some facts about FB. I like the art of talking to people face to face, to see there smiles and ageing lines, or the surprise of dumping into someone from my schools days. What a boring life being tired to FB on your phone or home computer all alone, with only friends that life in cycber space. You BF on FB could the worlds worst serial killer, a child molesterer just down the road or those nice school friends bulling you online no end. No theirs nothing strange about those of us who dont give FB the time of day!

 

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