Facebook. An addiction?

March 10, 2007

As Chip Griffin of CustomScoop points out in his comment, this switch from email to social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace is a phenomenon that Shel Holtz has been reporting on for a little while. Well, of course, if it has to do with communication on the web, few are going to take notice before Shel! I feel so out of it. I don’t have a Facebook page. But after reading this post by Michael Arrington about a Goldman Sachs employee who noted on his Facebook page that the nearly half his day he spent on Facebook was more important to him than his job, I’m almost fearful of the addictive powers of these sites.

But then, I’m from the days when I can remember an actual working Linotype machine, type was placed with wax, and if you packed a writing instrument with you, it was a slick portable typewriter. To think that email is quickly slipping into history makes me feel like I am sadly watching the last horse leave on the Pony Express.

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One Response to “Facebook. An addiction?”

  1. Chip Griffin Says:

    I think the addictive “powers” of technology are overblown. People can become addicted to nearly anything. I don’t happen to believe that TV, the Internet, SMS, or any particular service is more or less addictive than any other medium, product or substance. Whatever gives us pleasure can be addictive, and that can be technological or not.

    As for the impending death of email, I need to see better that the current alternatives (IM, SMS, etc.) are viable in the workplace. There are many habits over the years that have been popular with younger people that don’t survive the leap into the workforce. I am skeptical of the ability of those other tools to overtake email in the short-term without significant functionality changes — ironically ones that would make them more similar to email.

    I do agree, though, that this is an important subject to be considering. The dynamics of communication are constantly changing and woe to the professional who fails to keep up.


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