Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Many faces of facebook

There are a few things about Facebook that I am getting into. One is an application called "My Farm" which enables you to plant and harvest crops in a square of land. I don't know why there is something so satisfying about clicking on a little square one day to plant tomato seeds and clicking back a day later to harvest the fruit. But it's addictive! Of course there is a fake money bank account that shrinks when you plow and seed, but rises greatly when you harvest. And, the whole thing is very pretty - my favorite are the bright blue watery rice patches in between the lush green rows of wheat. Did I mention that the creator is regularly adding fun things, like fruit trees and goats, and chickens? It's mindless fun.

Second is the tool that allows you to see "people you might know." What it does is compare the friends lists of your friends, looking for commonalities. So someone who is known by two or more of your friends is likely to be know by you. It works well (except when two of your friends are spouses and therefore have many friends in common you've never met.) But the best part is when someone pops up who is friends with two people from different parts of your life. For example, today I am shown a woman, let's call her Jane, who knows someone I used to work with at a company 2 jobs ago, and also knows a woman who I worked with at my current job (until she went back to school.) As far as I know, my two friends have never met and yet, they both share two common friends - me, and Jane. How cool is that?

Of course what I don't like about Facebook is the way that some people must update every waking moment of their lives. "Jane is wondering what to wear today." "Jane is waiting for the rain to stop." "Jane is home from Trader Joe's, thrilled with her new purchases." "Jane is excited for the weekend!" Oh, Jane. I know more about your life than my own.


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