By Dwight Harriman
Facebook is taking over the world.
What began as a single idea in the mind of boy wonder Mark Zuckerberg back at his Harvard dorm room in 2004 has exploded into a worldwide phenomenon of 500 million users and counting. And now they've made a movie about it, "The Social Network," so you know it's gotta be big.
Everybody on the planet is on Facebook - teenagers, adults, toddlers, the elderly in nursing homes.
But not me.
Nor, for the foreseeable future, will I be.
Facebook users tell me I should join because it's a great way for me to connect with people from my past.
Well, guess what - I don't want to connect with people from my past. If I had wanted to, I would have done it long ago. I don't want messages from someone who "kinda" knew me in ninth grade. I don't want to catch up with them. I don't want to share.
I don't want to "friend" or be "friended." I don't want to have to make decisions about whom I should reject or accept.
I don't want people writing on my "wall," and I don't want to write on other people's "walls." I don't want to know about every single thought that goes through your mind, and I don't want to know everything you did today. I don't want to spend all my time reading and answering everybody's messages.
I don't want to post pictures and information about myself for the whole world to see. What is it the kids say? TMI: Too Much Information. I like my privacy, a rare commodity in this Internet age. And I don't really believe Facebook security settings will give you as much privacy as you want. If you are connected to the Internet, baby, there is no such thing as privacy. Just ask all those employers who reject job applicants because of what they managed to find on their Facebook sites.
I don't want to read Facebook messages punctuated with emoticons and "LOL." I don't want pictures of myself "tagged" and I don't want to "tag" other people's pictures.
I don't want to get "poked," and I don't want to "poke" other people.
My two teenage daughters, who of course are Facebook users, are on a mission to turn me into one. I am resisting steadfastly. They have even launched a Facebook group page called "We Want Dwight Harriman on Facebook." They say 38 people have joined so far.
Because I know what would happen the minute I signed up.
One of those long-lost sort-of friends from ninth grade would find me, and then they would friend me so we could catch up and share.
And I don't want to share. I like my life the way it is, without Facebook.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dwight Harriman is news editor at The Livingston Enterprise. Harriman is a former editor of The Terry Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Nov. 10, 2010