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Why Facebook Is Better than My Space

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Okay, I know, it’s Saturday and not Friday. But I didn’t get a chance to post this yesterday.

What is it about online communities like My Space and Facebook that make them so addictive? Let’s face it—e-mail is much easier. For me, anyway, because I have Outlook set up on my computer to automatically go retrieve my e-mail. I have a few friends who communicate with me solely through comments and e-mails on My Space—even though we have each other’s e-mail addresses and phone numbers!

I set up a My Space page over a year ago simply because I heard that it was a great networking tool. For a while, it was nice, because I was able to keep in touch with people I’d worked with at The Tennessean after I left—no worrying about someone’s e-mail address changing, and the added benefit of finding out more about that person than I knew about them in the years I’d worked with them simply from reading their profile pages. But My Space is slow. Most of the pages are overwhelmed with graphic-laden themes that take forever to load. And don’t get me started about trying to be discreet and look at someone’s page and all of a sudden some nasty acid rock or other loud music starts playing. (See my friend Jill’s blog for why embedded music players on websites could be illegal.) Not to mention the fact that I’ve received some very questionable e-mails in my inbox at My Space that, frankly, creeped me out. I set it up to use it as a marketing/networking tool—not as a barstool in the skankiest singles bar in cyberspace. But it is fun to be able to click on my friends’ pages and see what’s going on in their lives at the moment.

Facebook used to be limited to “.edu,” “.com,” “.org,” “.gov” or “.mil” email addresses, but changed to be open to everyone last fall. A few weeks ago, a writing colleague started a Christian Fiction group on Facebook and sent me an invitation to join. I had, a while back, set up an account, thinking I could use it as an outreach tool for the college Sunday school class I teach. But I’d never done anything with it. However, in the past week, I’ve become a Facebook addict. One of the awesome things about Facebook is the presence of college students—including my oldest nephew and college-aged/recently graduated cousins with whom I have little contact throughout the year. Usually I see them at Christmastime and at other extended-family gatherings. But we sure don’t e-mail each other and keep up with what’s going on in the other’s lives. (Except as their parents choose to share with the family via e-mail.) And I get to see the photos of all the cute little college girls who are leaving comments on my nephew’s wall. (And there are a lot of them. Atta boy!)

One of the best things I love about Facebook is that there are no bells-and-whistles templates for people’s profile pages. Everyone’s page is laid out the same—meaning if I’m looking for their biographical information, it’s going to be in the same place on each profile I look at. Facebook also has a Newsfeed feature—showing what the people in my friends-list have been up to recently. This is a great networking tool, because if one of my friends joins a group, I learn about its existence. If one of my friends becomes friends with someone else, I can look to see if it’s someone I’d be interested in networking with (usually it’s not, but I still check). Each person is able to post their status too—this is a quick caption that starts of “Kaye is…” and wants you to put in whatever it is you’re doing at the time you’re logged in:
–looking forward to the weekend
–writing a post for her blog

I’m not sure if it’s because many people don’t know about Facebook yet, or if it’s because it’s actually true, but Facebook feels like a much more secure/safe environment than My Space. Maybe it’s just because it looks cleaner that makes it feel cleaner and safer, but I’m having so much more fun with it than I ever had with My Space.

To me, My Space is a psychedelically decorated, dark, dank, smoke-filled, music-too-loud, drunk-patron filled night club; while Facebook is clean, bright, airy, filled with squashy-sofas, humming with a buzz of conversation, fun place to run in and “poke” people, great-place-to-run-into-familiar-faces coffeehouse.

So, pour me another latte . . . I’m off to catch up on my news and status feeds on Facebook.

  1. Monday, April 30, 2007 6:54 am

    I run whenever I even hear the word ‘my space’. Many of my feelings mimic yours on the topic. I’ve never used Facebook–my sister and brother did, they started in college…I just have never gotten into it though.


  2. Monday, April 30, 2007 11:15 am

    I’m glad someone shares my feelings. My few forays over to MySpace have been disappointing, if not scary. I was starting to chalk it up to my age, which could still be a factor, but I really don’t mind the technology for social networking. I greatly mind that particular implementation.

    Facebook sounds interesting. And for those interested in Christian fiction, I hear a number of authors are also heading over to Soundlife.


  3. Monday, April 30, 2007 9:44 pm

    Not a fan of MySpace either. Too cluttered and noisy!

    I think Facebook isn’t as big yet because it hasn’t been “open” very long, not even a year yet. I’ve only been on for about 2 months. *goes off to check out that Christian fiction group*


  4. Tuesday, May 1, 2007 11:31 am

    LOL. I thought I was just getting old. I have no interest whatsoever in MySpace, and I won’t even allow my teen on there. I do, however, allow her on ShoutLife–the Christian alternative.

    I love Facebook. I, too, feel like it’s clean and inviting. And not overwhelming with graphics and music. Not that I don’t like music, but, hmm, maybe it is my age. LOL?


  5. Austin Field permalink
    Tuesday, May 1, 2007 11:57 am

    My computer was actually infected with a virus through My Space. But I was using some free downloaded virus software at the time. So I learned my lesson and shelled out the dollars to buy good antivirus software.

    I heard something on the radio this morning about something called Tweet or Twitter or something like that that sounds like the status updates you talk about. Except whenever you change your status it pops up on your subscribers’ computers immediately. Sounds annoying to me but they all seemed to love it.



  1. I did it–I left MySpace «

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