There was a great article in the NY Times the other day about how some people are refusing to sign up for or are unsubscribing from Facebook, stating how “it’s a little unhealthy” and how they’re not “calling their friends anymore.” I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s unhealthy, but I do agree that Facebook has had two profound effects – making people much more social but at the same time much less personal.
As we all know, Facebook allows everyone to stay in touch with people they may not otherwise stay in touch with and wish people Happy Birthday when they otherwise would have never remembered. But it has also allowed users to think that someone typing “Happy Birthday Dude!” is a personal birthday greeting. I’m totally guilty of this but don’t feel too good about doing it (I bet I see way fewer “Happy Birthdays” on Facebook when June 9th rolls around.) Back in the day, giving the birthday guy or girl a physical birthday card, making a phone call or even sending an email was the way to go. Now it’s just typing a few letters in the upper right corner of a website.
Has Facebook changed the way you behave toward your friends and made you more social but less personal? Let me know what you think. Feel free to comment here, tweet me @mikewchan, or post to my Facebook page, but if you want to really talk about it, maybe you should call me.