Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has argued that his Web site makes human relationships more "efficient."
Sure, he said in a speech last year, two friends "can communicate offline if one of them picks up the phone to call the other, or if they take some time to hang out, or if they randomly bump into each other. But these methods are all synchronous -- they're kind of inefficient. In order for them to work, both people have to be paying attention to each another at the same time.
"There's a better way to do this; and on Facebook, it's simple. These people can read each other's profiles any time they want to see new information about each other. They can look at each other's media, and they can send each other messages. On Facebook these real connections become more efficient. People get more value out of all their relationships."
facebook is lame. that's the common refrain from many of my friends. that aside, my friends and i certainly use it to plan trips and such. i do keep in touch sporadically with 'villains, though i'm finding that i regularly keep in contact with nowhere near the 200 or so friends i claim on the site. are those people still my friends? sure. just because i don't see them doesn't mean they're not friends. the verbal sparring back and forth with my closer friends is more often accompanied by phone calls or long-distance travel plans. facebook users organized a farewell to boozing on the tube party in london this weekend. egypt squashed a possible uprising by students critical of the government, organized on facebook.
and this is what mark zuckerberg has to say about the site? "improving" friendships? horseshit! taking friendships and figuring out how to market them. brilliant in its entrepreneurial spirit, but completely lame when it comes to people who exclusively communicate with their online friends in this manner.