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'I've never joined Facebook because...'

10:39 UK time, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

fb203.gifIt's the fifth birthday of the world's most popular social networking website, Facebook.

From its humble origins as "The Facebook", a website devised by a Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, it has gone on to claim 150 million registered users - outstripping its closest rival MySpace.

Yet as the site's membership grows, some have resolutely ground their heels in, refused to hitch their social life up to the Facebook bandwagon.

Until this morning, the BBC's Shelagh Fogarty, who co-presents Radio 5 Live's Breakfastprogramme, was one of these refuseniks. Then she capitulated...

"I'd always thought any random online connections (eg dating agencies) were at best ill advised, at worst foolish," Fogarty tells the Magazine. "Rightly or wrongly I lumped Facebook in the same category. I'll find out today whether I was right or not. I've already had a fair bit of unsolicited 'be my friend' requests. We shall see."

Have you held out against the Facebook phenomenon? If so, tell the Monitor using the comments button/form below by completing this sentence: "I've never joined Facebook because..."


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  • Comment number 1.

    Why would I want any Tom, Dick or Harry to know where I am/what I'm doing/etc?

  • Comment number 2.

    I've never joined facebook because........

    My real friends have my phone number, and I have theirs. People from my primary school who I wouldn't talk to in a bar or on the street are not my real friends, no matter how many times they poke me.

  • Comment number 3.

    I've never joined Facebook because I have no desire to be contacted by old acquaintances who suddenly, ten years on, want to be my friend. If we didn't like each other then, why are we going to like each other now? I'm already in contact with the people I wanted to remain in touch with.

  • Comment number 4.

    Oh, and I have enough procrastination activities in my life already.

  • Comment number 5.

    ... I can't imagine why anyone wants to tell everyone they know about all their personal information, what they're thinking, where they're going, what they're doing. Worse than anything is the Single/relationship facility, which in the event of a relationship break-up immediately forces you into a position where you have to talk about something you probably really don't want to talk about - either that or you leave everyone misinformed that you're still in the relationship, and even worse your ex has probably used his/her Facebook to let the world know you aren't. What a mug's game.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have joined, but will soon leave if my "friends" can't do better than "Richard is eating his tea", "Joel is at work", "Kris has finished his tax return", etc.

    Bored, bored, bored.

  • Comment number 7.

    Being paranoid I joined Facebook out of curiosity and gave entirely fictional personal details. If I was who I claimed to be I would still not want to contact the acquaintances recommended. It is worth knowing that you can tell huge lies and get away with it. Maybe your 'friends' are doing this.

    If you tell the truth about yourself I would recommend giving away no more than you would be happy to see on the front page of a national newspaper.

  • Comment number 8.

    Can I just say Facebook doesn't actually force you to do any of the things listed above.

  • Comment number 9.

    I have never joined Facebook because most of the people on there who would know me either from school, college, uni or work wouldn't bother to contact me in the real world so why should it be different on the internet. Most of them I wouldn't pee on if they we're on fire. My brother just got a Facebook page and he's not that good with computers so it's become a bit of a novalty for him. I do use Myspace though as it is very good for band updates.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm not a member of facebook or any other "networking" site because I don't see the point. As others have said, why would I want to talk to people who've not been in contact for 10 years, but now assume that because we're listed on a website, we should be friends? Besides, my real friends have my phone number and email.

  • Comment number 11.

    I've never joined Facebook because I know several people who have and they all compain about its addictive, sleep-robbing powers. They complain that they feel unloved if nobody visits them for a day or two.
    I think there's probably nothing wrong with most new media concepts per se- as I recall the first printed books were condemned as the devil's work. It's what you use the media for that's important. The potential benefits of social networking are obvious - and in 10 years we'll probably all have to have one if you want a job or benefit. And other than the frivolous, that's a real concern - that choosing not to join will one day not be an option. Huxley's Brave New World another step closer. Especially the last couple of pages.

  • Comment number 12.

    I am obviously over the hill. I have no idea what the benefits of joining Facebook would be.

    I am already in contact with everybody I want to be in contact with.

  • Comment number 13.

    I have friend all over the country, other friends working abroad and Facebook is such an easy way to keep updated as to how things are going with them and not have to worry about large phone/text bills! Not only that I can see pictures of what they have been upto, and nights outs and parties that I missed!

    Oh, and my page can only be viewed by those I approve as real people I know. If you don't want to have someone who didn't like in school add you hit the "decline" button. Simple as deleting a phone number!

  • Comment number 14.

    Whilst at Uni a couple of years ago I refused to join Facebook, using the simple argument that before Facebook I had an infinite number of friends, joining would give me a finite number (114).

    I did however join as it is a very useful way to stay in contact with people who live a distance away I am actually friends with. It knows none of my personal details, except email and the Uni I went to. I agree that on the whole it is a massive waste of time tho!!

  • Comment number 15.

    I never joined facebook because... It's a fad. Don't tell me it's a five year old fad because it hasn't been a fad all that time. And it is dying folks. Ever since the parents got on it's dying and will fade out as soon as the next big thing comes along to subvert it. Just like myspace, blogger, and live journals. I know they're still around, crosswords are still around, but none of these are the 'big thing' anymore.
    I like thinking for myself and refuse to do anything just because everyone else is doing it. It has been pointed out to me that facebook would hardly work if everybody WASN'T on it but my point still stands.

    In 2 years time when everyone is on the next thing and emails from facebook start being deleted without people looking at it I shall smile knowing I wasn't sucked in. And so can everyone on this thread so horay for us!

  • Comment number 16.

    I never wanted to join Facebook simply because I thought it was exactly like MySpace - you add people you know, in some cases you don't know, change your pictures, update your profile, basically let yourself be known to everybody.

    Then I thought, meh, why not? I joined last June, and yes there are some old school friends that I never liked but it's simple - you control your privacy and who you add and not add as a friend. I agree with pike321 about the "finite number of friends" but that's just on the internet - in real life, you do have an infinite number of friends.

    Facebook is what you make it :)

  • Comment number 17.

    I've never joined Facebook because...if I want people to know stuff about me, I'll tell them myself. Facebook is the daily equivalent of a round-robin letter. If a friend of mine has news they want me to know, I'd prefer they made the effort to tell me directly rather than expect me to read their page to find out their news. I'm not going to check my friends' pages just to read: "Eaten a pot noodle", "Taken the dog for a walk". If it's important enough for me to know, it should be important enough to tell me directly. As for long-lost friends, I've not changed my email address nor mobile since I first got them years ago. If they want to get in touch, they can use those, otherwise we're probably been out of touch so long it would be like chatting to a stranger.

  • Comment number 18.

    I've never joined facebook because, the people I like have my phone number & email address, and I'd rather look at photos with friends over a glass of wine.

    I was actual friendships with people I like!

  • Comment number 19.

    I have an account at Facebook but never used it much. Somehow this craze for social networking didn't catch my fancy that much.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Anwar

  • Comment number 20.

    Hello, Butterfly 9706,
    I'd like to take issue with your statement that facebook is what you make it. Without wishing to be a complete stone age relic, is it not reasonable to consider the long term implications of socially-universal web-based human relationships?
    Is it possible that social networking web-sites will actually reverse your statment to "you are what facebook says you are"? Warnings have been issued that embarrasing info will be available for ever in caches (which you can't delete). Future employers, the government, the CRB, potential romantic partners: they will be able to see all the stuff you upload and may one day regret typing.
    And isn't there an "avatar" effect? Where people describe what they would like to be, rather than what they really are?
    And then you have to live up to that expectation.
    On a society-wide point - tolerance is increased by rubbing shoulders with difference. If we only socialise with the like-minded - do we not risk creating fear and intolerance of difference?
    You only have to review the discussion boards in the "Have your say" section to see the vitriol that passes as fair comment - because you don't have to face your adversary.

  • Comment number 21.

    I've been on Facebook for a couple of years now. Like some of the others on here I was a bit suspicious at first but, as pointed out above, you can entirely control who sees what.

    I feel the need to respond to some of these points: okay, so I have people's phone numbers and email addresses, but Facebook lets you update people on the little things that are happening to you without actually bothering them with a phonecall etc. It's actually quite a useful tool.

    Also, it is a very convenient way to share photos. Okay, once again these could be emailed or posted on another site, but Facebook gives you one location for everything.

    As for old school friends etc getting in touch - what a miserable bunch there are on here! I've become reacquainted with a few folk through Facebook who I had lost contact with. Okay, so we were never best friends in the whole wide world, but it's nice to see how they have turned out. I've even met up with a few of them and it's been fun catching up.

    As for the "fad" comment - at what point does it stop being a fad? If there is a similar article in 5 years and it's just as popular will that be enough to convince you that it's not just a fad? Of course it will change over time (it already has gone through a number of major changes in 5 years) but why just discount it because it's popular?

    Finally though I also have to agree with the relationship status thing - it's a bit weird when you see "so-and-so is no longer married"...

  • Comment number 22.

    You can pick and choose how much you involve yourself in the social networking side of it.

    It mostly smacks of fear and loathing on this board regarding privacy, old acquaintances etc.

    For me, where facebook REALLY makes itself indispensible is as an casual diary management system.

    Never before have I had so much information about social engagements, plays, parties, learning activities, concerts, etc that my friends are going to, right down to the time, location and who else is going.

    OK, I may not want to go to 3/4 of the stuff I'm invited to, but to have a list of potential events that I am going to for the next three months is just GREAT. From the other side, the ease with which I can organise something myself and invite everyone I care to without so much as a postage stamp or text excite me so much I think I just wet myself.

    Also, I cannot get enough of people's photos. For me, being able to share my photos of evenings out is invaluble.

  • Comment number 23.

    I've never joined facebook because....

    I have no friends

  • Comment number 24.

    I've never joined facebook because...

    I'm far too busy blogging.

  • Comment number 25.

    Regards the lack of privacy on the relationship status, you can turn that off too.

    I discovered to my dismay that if you remove your status entirely it tells the world that you are 'no longer listed as single/in a relationship' and you get pages of queries.

    At which point I went into privacy settings and discovered you can turn off relationship status in your news feed.


  • Comment number 26.

    I've never joined Facebook because why would I let myself be contacted by people who made my life miserable for years? I don't talk to people I went to school with for a reason...

  • Comment number 27.

    After about a year of refusing to join Facebook, I too joined the masses. However it wasn't all I had been promised.

    Yes, I can keep in contact with my friends... but I can do that by texting, emailling, phoning or (Heaven forbid!) actually going and visiting them!

    I have also had loads of people asking to be my friends from school or other places, but most of them have been ignored... I figure there was a reason I 'Lost contact' with these friends in the first place!

    The few friends that I contact on facebook are purely for sharing photos of important occasions or playing online games. Other than that, my profile does not permit anyone outside my group of friends to look at my information.

  • Comment number 28.

    I've never joined facebook because I share a computer with my fiancee, and logging in and out of each other's accounts all the time would be a big hassle, and could lead to us missing messages or invitations. Instead we share an account - but it's in her name.

  • Comment number 29.

    what jonny pixels said is actually correct.... don't have to reveal any more than you want to or do anything you don't want to or be friends with anyone you don't want to

    don't you think it's a bit pointless getting worked up about this? you could do with remembering that - speaking glass half full here - you can actually get in touch with old friends, and it doesn't mean that you only see your mates online

    i don't see why it's worth getting worked up about - it's only facebook!

  • Comment number 30.

    I've never joined Facebook because..........

    the rozzers might finally catch me!!

    Love, Lord Lucan.

  • Comment number 31.

    I joined Facebook, but the only thing about it that really interests me is Faber and Faber's page 'I wouldn't say no to a free book from Faber' - they give away a free book every month.

  • Comment number 32.

    I do take the point (though, not having Facebook, I hadn't actually known before) that information such as relationship status is optional, and of course it's up to the user whether you tell people what you've had for tea or upload pictures of the spot on your nose or whatever, and you control who gets to see it. It's just that the discussion point was 'I've never joined Facebook because ... ' and my answer still stands: I don't really understand the impulse to give personal information out at all, except one-to-one and face-to-face (and that not very often). Fair play to those who do, though.

  • Comment number 33.

    It is neither safe nor secure. It's all very well talking about how you can restrict who can see your details, but those controls can be circumvented by someone with reasonable hacking skills. On-line the question is not whether you are paranoid, it's whether you're paranoid enough.

  • Comment number 34.

    I've never joined Farcebook because my real friends already know how to contact me, and I know how to contact them.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 33

    Well I don't think it's quite as easy as you make out, but someone with reasonable housebreaking skills could break in and steal your address books, mobile phones, bank statements etc. Any number of people in the postal service could team open you important letters and steal your details without you knowing. If you're going to be paranoid, you might as well go all the way.

  • Comment number 36.

    What is Facebook?

  • Comment number 37.

    I tried,

    seemed too much like hard work.

    Went to Pub instead to talk to people :)

  • Comment number 38.

    The more we are willing to be publicly exposed, the more governments will assert the right to pry and spy. Jacqui Smith unrolled proposals for doing that not long ago. Keep your eye on that one.

  • Comment number 39.


    I can't believe that someone can state things so confidently that they clearly know nothing about. Cache can be cleared but has nothing to do with what you're talking about. A cache is a short term memory which the computer will use to store information whilst it's still using it. Imagine it like a notepad where you rip out the pages when you've finished with them.

    Also, if Facebook starts sharing the information it stores (which you have trusted to it in confidence and told it that you won't let them share it) then they are breaking the law. Data protection stops them from giving to just about anyone apart from the people who probably know everything about us anyway.

    The next part you go on to talk about the avatar effect completely ratifying what butterfly has said. facebook is what you make it. If you make a mask out of facebook to cover your true identity then so be it.

  • Comment number 40.

    FaceBook is yet another indication of just how self-obsessed and self-absorbed we have all become. It's nothing more than the online equivalent of jumping up and down shouting "ME, ME, ME, look at ME".

  • Comment number 41.

    Hello, Mad_Caeser,

    Google "facebook caches risk". You get more than 10 pages of results. You're not arguiong with me...........


  • Comment number 42.

    I have never joined Facebook because it is for losers.
    I have a life with real friends....

  • Comment number 43.

    I work 'online' all day, the last thing I want to do is log in from home... plus...check this out- says it all for me

  • Comment number 44.

    I don't want hundreds of idiots knowing about me

  • Comment number 45.

    What a bunch of curmudgeonly old windbags! 90% of the complaints apart from being inane drivel arew wholly innacurate. You can set your account to private - ignore anyone you don't wish to be in contact with and if your friends updates are as interesting as 'I am eating my tea' then that's because your friends are boring not facebook!

    I get a great giggle, some brilliant tips and links from friends all over the world on a daily basis. It's brilliant to keep in touch - at the end connecting with other humans and other sentient beings on the planet is the most important thing, maybe only worthwhile thing doing in life. This facilitates that! Brilliant!

    I love the fact that there are people you are distanced from because of the humdrum realities of life that you can keep up to date with in as personal a way as is possible without seeing them all the time - indeed I've found there are people who I am closer with now in real life, arranging proper meet ups etc because you can find yourself rediscovering old shared passions, senses of humour and things in common. Plus there is nothing like a photo to make you remember how much you miss someone.

    I can totally understand cynicism about modern life and it's various technological trappings but I think you guys are picking the wrong target here - life is short - so short - surely anything that can contribute towards facilitating more of the good bits - communicating, laughing and sharing has got to be a good thing!

  • Comment number 46.

    I have never joined facebook because I have better things to do with my lunch hour, like meet my mates for lunch.

  • Comment number 47.

    Once you have posted anything to any internet site it is going to haunt you for evermore.

    As people have pointed out, how much do you trust the security of Facebook (or the others).

    Even if you subsequently edit the web page
    See The Internet Archive

  • Comment number 48.

    What is the fascination with being able to contact evryone at any time. Isn't this what a phone and the internet are for without adding another method? The idea of someone being able to access details about you or see who your potential friends are is actually quite dangerous and exposes people to allsorts of dangers!

  • Comment number 49.

    I prefer to meet my mates in the pub, and will continue to do so until they're all closed by the Health Fascists and the supermarkets.

  • Comment number 50.

    I've never joined facebook because..... I'm too obnoxious to have friends.

  • Comment number 51.

    Facebook isn't some kind of religion. You can have one but that doesn't mean you have to use it constantly. It's nothing to obsess over, it's just something you use to keep up to date with stuff you might need. For example, I can increase the crowds we receive at the gigs we set up by advertising it on a group section on Facebook.

    Quite a lot of people don't seem to understand that if you have a Facebook, that doesn't mean that you must constantly be on it. This actually applies to both sides of the debate, some people clearly overobsess over something that really should only be used to check up on what everyone's doing and events that may be soon occuring.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am a facebook user and though i agree with many of the things people have said here it does have its benefits. I have found people on there who i had lost contact with over the years and have re-ignited friendships as a result. I'm a mature student and i find it has helped to find common ground with students a lot younger than me thus not me making me feel so old and the university has various groups and things on there which help with our work.

  • Comment number 53.

    Why am I not on Facebook? Because email and telephones work just fine for keeping in touch with people - and so does visiting them! I don't care about people I've lost touch with - they are in my past for a reason.

    Although I'll admit I set up a page so that the emails I was being bombarded with would stop (I didn't write down the password and have never logged in). Why do people assume that just because they use a website, everyone they know should be told to join it? No need to send an email via a third party to keep in touch when you already have the means to do so!

  • Comment number 54.

    I've never joined Facebook because.........

    I have a life..........a poor one perhaps - but mine own.
    "Johnhucky" is thinking along the right lines.

  • Comment number 55.

    I've never joined Facebook because

    it's more fun to go out and actually talk to your friends rather than watch what they are doing on a website.
    Why waste hours looking at what they are doing instead of going out and actually talking to them.

  • Comment number 56.

    I've never joined Facebook because...
    my age and IQ score are both over 25

  • Comment number 57.

    I've never joined facebook because I've never really felt the need.
    The story about a student starting it from his dorm room gives facebook a non-threatening, non-corporate air that I'm sure they love, but before signing up, everyone should read the guardian article about Facebook's true origins - an ideologically-driven, right-wing venture fund originally set up by the CIA:

  • Comment number 58.

    I already have all my friends contact details and can contact them in various different ways. why would I need yet another way to contact them.

  • Comment number 59.

    I have never joined facebook as all it seems to be is an over-rated popularity contest. No thanks.
    My friends know who they are and I don't feel the need to share my friends names with the world.

  • Comment number 60.

    I haven't been on Facebook for several weeks because it doesn't seem to work any more. Isn't that quite relevant to any discussions of the site?

    Or is it just me?

  • Comment number 61.

    I've never joined Facebook because..
    The only time I would have to use it would be lunchtime, and my employer's system blocks it off. However, I gather a lot of public orgs are beginning to use it to engage with stakeholders, so maybe the times are (as always) a-changing.

  • Comment number 62.

    I've never joined Facebook because...
    I've never used a computer.

  • Comment number 63.

    I'm not on Facebook but then I am a misanthropic git.

  • Comment number 64.

    I've never joined Facebook because...

    I actually have a life.

  • Comment number 65.

    I'm on Facebook, but I don't really use it at all.

    Thus, I've never REALLY joined Facebook because...

    * I still have the capacity to talk to people in person;
    * Because most people on Facebook are about as interesting as fizzy water; and,
    * There's some right nasty people on there! Homophobes, fascists, sexists... you name 'em.

  • Comment number 66.

    I have never joined facebook to annoy people who think it's the dogs b******s!

  • Comment number 67.

    "I've never joined Facebook because... I have a life!"

  • Comment number 68.

    I've lied about being on facebook .....

  • Comment number 69.

    Call me an old fogey (yeah, I heard you), but I cannot understand what's so great about "social networking sites".

    If I want to communicate with friends, I'll call or write them an email -- probably a lot more personal than one message for everyone, however "close" they may be.

    Besides, with privacy and identity theft still an issue, I wouldn't want to put much about myself, other than the professional background I have on my own website, in a public place. To suggest, as some do, that "everyone will be doing it" within the next few years is nonsense.

    When those whose identity has been compromised are regretting their rashness, us stick-in-the-muds will be sitting back and rejoicing that we, by comparison, played our cards close to our chests.

    Besides, I'd imagine most of my friends feel similarly about FaceBook, et al, and so I wouldn't be able to interact with them with them there, anyway!

  • Comment number 70.

    I've never joined facebook because my face is too scary. Instead I've joined arsebook, a much better site.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have no real idea what it is or how it works. I am interested in other things that fill my time and emotional needs.

  • Comment number 72.

    ..because i don't run with the herd.

    never seen Star Wars
    never read a Harry Potter
    never used Facebook.
    never missed any of it.

  • Comment number 73.

    ... I have a life.

  • Comment number 74.


    "I've never joined Facebook because...
    my age and IQ score are both over 25"



    "I've never joined Facebook because...

    I actually have a life."

    Well I'm 27, have a degree in engineering, so I'm not exactly thick. I work, all my friends work, I and all my friends have lives. Those things mean that our free times don't often coincide neatly so that we can all meet up. Maybe you are lucky that your friends are always free anytime you want to see them but mine aren't.

    However I can use Facebook to arrange meetings and events when people are free, and then use it again to share the photos with them.

  • Comment number 75.

    I've never joined Facebook because I spend 8 hours a day on the PC when I'm at work.

    Going home to spend another 6-7 hours on the PC, telling folks about my 8 hours on the PC at work, is just too mind-numbing for words.

    I'm just too busy having a REAL life instead of a virtual one.

  • Comment number 76.

    ...I have nothing to be proud of.

  • Comment number 77.

    my fellow co-workers use it to throw sheep at each other...

  • Comment number 78.

    as has been said before these sites are just a fad, they serve no purpose at all except to fill the spam folder in our email boxes

  • Comment number 79.

    For the same reason I got rid of the telly - it's where all your spare time goes to die.

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm certainly not bothering with FaceBook. I have actually tried a "networking" site for my profession, thinking it might be useful in securing jobs (I am a freelance).

    So far it hasn't done me a blind bit of good, and I regret the time I wasted on inputting all my details.

    About all I get from that particular website is stuff from latter-day students at my former university -- who of course I have never even heard of, let alone met. Experience shows that if I bothered to answer, at most I'd probably exchange about two emails before it tailed off. What's the point??

    And if a webite with a motive fails to live up to its promise, why would Facebook, or any other "social networking" site, deliver anything more than just another way of wasting time -- as some of the comments here indicate?

    So, I've "got a life" -- and I don't need to share it with all and sundry. For those that I care about, who are far away, there's email, phone, and Skype+webcam. And I contact them when I have something to say. They don't have to keep checking a FaceBook page to see what corner of the world I'm currently working in.

  • Comment number 81.

    I agree with comment 72 by super_critical who doesn't run with the herd.
    I think I'll follow him and and not run with the herd either.

  • Comment number 82.

    I am a homicidal loner who would just be upset with people contacting me.

  • Comment number 83.

    I agree with the commenter at #51.

    I think those who don't use facebook aren't "missing out" on much unless you somehow think obsessive use of a website (which many Fb users engage in) is a really worthwhile pursuit.

    That said, I do have an account. There are a lot of folks who have said they have their friends' numbers and emails, and don't need it. Now that I've graduated from university, I find it really helpful for keeping in touch with all my friends, who are spread out all over the US, and several foreign countries. Our university email addresses are going to expire, but I can look up their new emails on Fb or send them a message there. So, it's not the be-all end-all, but it can be helpful in staying in touch.

  • Comment number 84.

    dribbles_ #45
    Can I be your friend :)
    That comment about sums it up completely !

  • Comment number 85.

    I have a real life.

  • Comment number 86.

    I have joined facebook, but never use it, because I actually meet people in real life! The downside is now I'm on facebook, all my friends think they needn't call or speak to me, and assume that if they invite me to something on facebook, I'll know all about it...

  • Comment number 87.

    MI5 should do their own donkey work. Plenty of places to hide in my garden and I promise not to shoot. Much.

  • Comment number 88.

    I've never joined facebook because of the pathetic bunch of social inadequates who take it so *seriously*...

    "I've got 500 friends!" No, no you haven't, 499 of them wouldn't notice if you died and stopped posting updates tomorrow, and the other one's your mum - and you probably still live with her, don't you?

    I'm sure there are some intelligent and worthwhile people who use the site, but as with so many other things, they're not the ones who get evangelical about it.

  • Comment number 89.

    The idea that joining Facebook precludes meeting people "in real life" is rather odd. It isn't some roleplay game like Second Life. It's a handy way of organising your social calendar, keeping up with events that are going on, and sharing photographs with friends.

    I meet people "in real life" more than ever before because Facebook makes it easy to keep in touch, and it's nice to be able to share photos afterwards without filling inboxes with huge email attachments.

    If your friends leave boring messages it's because they're boring people. Luckily my friends' updates always manage to raise a smile on even the drabist of Monday mornings. I think some people are just being curmudgeonly for the sake of it. Just set your profile to private and only accept friend requests from people you actually like!

  • Comment number 90.

    I joined Facebook because I went through seven schools in several countries, two colleges and four jobs in different towns. All before this internet thingy turned up, it has been fun tracking down and 'meeting' people from those times and even seeing some of them again.

  • Comment number 91.

    The comments about identity theft crack me up. Last time I checked, the local phone book had thousands and thousands of names, addresses and phone numbers.

    I hope that none of you are listed!

  • Comment number 92.

    I was only vaguely aware of Facebook until I met my current partner (who is 50, so hardly a teenage nerd). After months of his nagging, I finally gave in and signed up in January. I have been very selective about who to allow as 'friends' (mostly family so far) and you can easily set your account so that only your friends can see your information and photos. Indeed, you don't have to give much information anyway.

    Many of my family and friends are not local, so it's nice to see what they are up to. Other than that, it's actually quite dull and I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

  • Comment number 93.

    Comment 89 I completely agree!

    As for all of the pompous one line answers of 'I have a life'.... please! There is no argument in there for starter's it has about as much substance as saying nanananana!

    Facebook is a medium for contact not a single avenue. All the many different types of people I know who use it are about as far from the holed up in a dark room in front of a computer stereotype as you could possibly find.

    There will always be people who like to feel superior and that somehow by being above the latest thing this makes them cooler, more aloof. Fair play we'll leave you to it and you can leave us to enjoying this wonderfully modern tool for communicating, laughing, sharing and having fun with our friends and family =)

  • Comment number 94.

    I have a Facebook account but I usually only log on when one of my friends discovers me and wants to be my friend. I ignore pretty much anything else, don't update moods or what I'm doing. No point in giving them more than necessary.

  • Comment number 95.

    I've never joined Facebook because....

    ... I don't have any Uni ex's I'd like to hook up with for a dirty weekend 'business trip' 15 years on.

    .... that's what it's for, right?

  • Comment number 96.

    I would not join Facebook because everything that is posted on a Facebook site becomes the property of Facebook forever, including all photos and videos. It can be sold, published, transferred or modified in any way Facebook chooses. You cannot delete anything from a Facebook account. It is impossible to cancel a Facebook account, it can only be deactivated. Even when you are no longer an active member, everything you posted is still archived and owned by Facebook forever.

    In the US Facebook sells its aggregated data, sometimes even to private investigator firms or local and state governments, to trace the whereabouts of or gather data on people for a number of reasons. Data mining software companies design programmes to mine Facebook's data for the individual requirements of their clients.

    Individual facebook users have no knowledge of or access to the ways their data have been mined or sold.

  • Comment number 97.

    Hi, Spinkert,
    I for one am not in the phone book. I have had my identity stolen from me and a painful process it was to restore everything. It was all done through my pc.
    Once bitten twice shy....
    You have no idea how much money and inconvenience identity theft causes.
    I am extremely paranoid now; which, when I think about it, makes the non-paranoid like you much more likely to be attacked. I urge you to change your mind-set.

  • Comment number 98.

    I joined Facebook because..... I have a busy life and more creative things to do with my time than spend endless hours chatting to friends on the phone or typing endless emails!

  • Comment number 99.

    "Danger! Danger Will Robinson!" The reason I don't have a 'presence' on the web via either a website or a social site is the fact that I wouldn't control who could and could not access the information. Too much information is often a bad thing.

  • Comment number 100.

    Most comments on here amount to nothing more than "bah humbug" and I'd wager most have never used Facebook, they just don't like anything popular.

    If you don't want to accept friend requests from long gone classmates you simply ignore them, if you don't want to advertise your relationship status you opt not to, if you get annoyed with someone's tedious updates you opt to not hear about them, if you don't want your email inbox being taken over you simply opt not to receive emails etc etc You have control over how Facebook works for you, you're not entirely at it's mercy.

    What it does do is allow you to share photos of holidays with those who came with you, keep in touch with friends around the globe in an informal manner, make new friends with people who have similar interests, keep informed about local gigs etc. Whenever away travelling for extended periods it is a very handy one stop shop for sharing your experiences with those at home.

    It hasn't replaced my "real life" but it's a useful, harmless enhancement. Some people are so bitter and boring and can't stand to see others enjoying themselves, and I suspect they don't have the requisite social circle in order for Facebook to be of any use to them....


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