I was having dinner last night with a bunch of my girlfriends, during conversation I mentioned something about Facebook. My friend, Cindy said, "I get emails all the time by people wanting to be friends on Facebook. I think it's stupid and I just delete them." "What is Facebook?" another friend asked. "I never do that stuff" declared a third friend tersely. Being an UX person I seized the opportunity for some impromptu user research, I pressed Cindy to explain why she feels so strongly about about hating facebook. "All these things, facebook, youtube, myspace, friendster, are just a waste of time. I just dont care about any of that stuff!" I could tell she was just irritated by all those little invitations, as if they were some form of corporate sponsored email harassment.
We all know people like Cindy. I know LOTS of people like her.
Another friend (who does a lot of work on the internet) said, "I'm busy, and I hate it that I have to use 100 different websites just so that I can have a conversation with somebody about the internet. I don't need to share myself with the world in that way thinking that I might be 'discovered' by somebody..."
I get the feeling that the haters regard social network websites as just, work. For some reason most of the social networking haters in my life are women.
I wanted to tell my friends at dinner about how I've reconnected with old classmates through Facebook. How I could laugh at all of my friend's Halloween/baby/vacation photos. And how fun it all is. I wanted to tell them how my friends are able to promote their businesses and how artists are empowered to share their work on these sites. But really I wondered what is wrong with these websites that they seem to cause a lot of people, especially women, to just tune out.