Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Facebook? No, e-mail is fine

Sort of by default, I have ended up on Facebook. I was invited by a friend who was also invited by a friend who was … you get the picture. Within 24 hours, I started getting messages from people wanting to be my friend.

Someone actually remembered me from sixth grade, a PR person tried to get me to do an article, and a relative sent me photos of a recent birthday party.

Unlike many parents, I do not have kids on Facebook to check on so I wondered if I had a real reason to be there. After all, I had signed up for GovLoop so I was in the loop, so to speak, with federal employees and some retirees. Did I need to hear from people from the distant past or busy present?

I took a look at the profiles of the people contacting me on Facebook and saw that some had more than 100 “friends.” If messages were being sent by all of them, that could keep you more than busy every week.

I thought Facebook was supposed to take communication to the next level. It certainly seems to work for marketing or general public communication. But on a personal level, the message exchange seems like a time waster.

Messages from my Facebook friends come through my email so I don’t have to check Facebook every day. But I still have to log onto Facebook in order to reply, which is just an extra step. Several of my new “friends” even gave me their direct email addresses so I could respond directly to them without going through Facebook.

I can understand why some federal agencies have concerns about Facebook. It may have great benefits in outreach and also in preserving bandwidth. But it also can be time consuming and, in my view, distracting.

My little experience suggests that email will still be around. Of course, a friend also invited me to join Twitter which I did. But even though tweeting has some advantages, like an old trusty typewriter (do any still exist?) I find email works just fine. I plan to keep using it.

Articles of related interest:

Farewell to e-mail

E-mail lives but do we need it?

Posted by Judith Welles on Aug 12, 2009 at 9:03 AM


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