I tried Facebook a few months ago just to see what all the fuss was about. I did my best to be open to the experience, to understand what drove the kids wild about the Facebook phenomenon. In the end, I didn’t get it. I didn’t see what was so extraordinary or special about it. There’s nothing on Facebook that you can’t already do with existing web-based programs and tools.
What’s worse, now we discover that Facebook is all about egregiously violating the privacy of its users. If your credit-card company abused your trust this badly, you’d probably sue them. There’s something disgustingly, revoltingly obscene about using your subscribers in such a thoroughly exploitative way. I’m most appalled at how Facebook wants its users to function as unpaid shills for corporate products and services. It’s merchandising taken to unconscionable extremes.
Nick Carr hits the ugly nail right on the head.