Not too long ago, I received an email “invitation” from a friend to join Facebook, the current “hot” social networking site. So I clicked the link and before I realized it I was entering all kinds of information about myself that would be shared with others on the World Wide Web. Magically, a whole bunch of people then joined my network. Friends I didn’t even know I had appeared.
Facebook is a hit among the younger crowd. I believe it started at Harvard and was initially limited to college students but gradually opened up to include high schools and eventually anyone over the age of 13.
I notice that members upload a lot of photos and usually they are photos of them at parties. They can also share videos. If you really want to see what your kids are doing in their spare time, this is the place. Whenever a person in your network updates their information with a new photo or posting, you’ll automatically receive an email with a link so you can check it out.
The automatic nature of the service is one of the big pluses but also a drawback. Facebook faced some heat recently when it was discovered that it is very difficult to delete your profile from their database. This has upset some people. On the other hand, if you later want to rejoin, your info is already there, so it all depends on how you look at it.
Overall, I like Facebook and enjoy seeing what people are up to. I just have not totally embraced the idea of sharing so much personal information with the world at large. But the younger set are totally into it.