Recently, Facebook was "discovered" by Czech users which means that I am now getting about 30 Facebook notifications in e-mail daily, most of which look like this:
"Honza added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Honza in order for you to be friends on Facebook. To confirm this friend request, follow the link below."
When I go to facebook.com, often I have no idea who that person is. Sometimes I know that person but - and this is the important bit - this doesn't mean the person is my friend.
Facebook seems to imply that knowing someone automatically means I am friends with him. That's certainly not true. There are dozens of people I know, I don't hate them, I don't think they are stupid, I'd even lend them money under some specific circumstances, but that doesn't mean they are my friends. If this feature was called "My contacts", I'd have no problems with it.
There are also people who I am friends with "virtually", over the net. Of course, I have no way of knowing that "Honza" is in fact "L33THax0RG0D@Haxx.net" who I am communicating with daily over Jabber.
Another thing that rubs me the wrong way is the fact that becoming friends with someone automatically makes me part of bizarre activities:
The thing on the right is a small part of what I see every day on Facebook (incidentally, these people are my real friends). I'd probably like to know details about why Robert Rameš loves me, because I always thought he was hetero, but when I click on "Click here", I must "Allow this application to access all your private data" and only after that I am allowed to see the whole truth (I quote):
"Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'FacebookRestClientException' with message 'Notifications are disabled for this application.' in /home/www/ilyfb.leadhoster.com/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php:2403 Stack trace: #0 /home/www/ilyfb.leadhoster.com/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php(969): FacebookRestClient->call_method ('facebook.notifi...', Array) #1 /home/www/ilyfb.leadhoster.com/index.php(10): FacebookRestClient->notifications_send(Array, '
Tragic love, indeed.
When I want to know what the hell is this "I love you" application, the only working link leads to Facebook discussion page with "I love you" and "This is spam" messages, all from people I don't know.
Facebook is fast becoming the new MySpace, with people "adding", "tagging", "making friends" and "subscribing to apps" only in order to have some sense of achievement from the fact that they have the most firends/apps/feeds. Soon, all of this will be automated a everyone will become everyone's friend automatically, without having to ever visit Internet. And there will be worldwide peace.
Certainly there are interesting apps and interesting uses of Facebook. Unfortunately, they are being buried under enormous heaps of digital waste and thinly veiled spam. I hope I won't have to completely delete my profile (as I did on MySpace) but meanwhile, I am disabling all my Facebook e-mail notifications. Because my friends know how to contact me and make me part of their activities.