Friday, February 20, 2009

The New Facebook Generation

[Dan Spielman has posted the call for papers for the 50th(!) FOCS conference. Submission deadline is April 2. The conference itself runs October 24-27 in Atlanta.]

No surpise my 13-year old daughter has started an active Facebook life. But my wife? Apparently the suburban mother generation has discovered Facebook, posting pictures, obsessing about the status message, posting trivia about their lives. My wife's old boyfriends have tracked her down. Luckily they are all either married or gay.

But I still don't get it, why do people want to follow other's lives so closely via Facebook and Twitter? I also worry about the time sink if I were to dive in.

A few months ago I took my daughter and her friends to the movies buying tickets ahead of time on Fandago. So on my Facebook page pops up "Lance has bought tickets to High School Musical 3". Thanks Facebook!


  1. "Luckily they are all either married or gay."

    This doesn't mean anything man.
    Watch your back.

  2. I like facebook because i can see pictures of my niece and nephew as well as catch up with my friends in a quick and efficient manner. It saves me time! Instead of having to call everyone on the phone for chats i can catch up or schedule fun things quickly. It is all in how you use the tool or if you are abusing the tool to procrastinate.

  3. One consequence of facebook and email and such: it may be impossible to LOSE a friend. For Lance and I
    when you went to college or grad school you had friends that you didn't formally break up with (Seinfeld question: How do you break up with a friend?), but just faded out of your life.
    It seems that for Lance's kids generation you are stuck with your HS friends for life. Lance's grandchildren will have their kindergarden friends for life.

  4. If you're happily married, why would you want to "track down" your ex?

    "The road to hell is paved with good/innocent intentions"...

  5. In response to qn by bil gasarch:

    JERRY: Hello, … oh hi Elaine .. what's going on … no he just left … you broke up
    with him? … ME TOO .. what happened? … oh smoking you know you're like
    going out with C. Everet Coope … me … nah … I couldn't go through with it … I
    just didn't feel ready …

    "Him" here is Keith Hernandez, and that's from the second part of "The Boyfriend" episode --

  6. It is all in how you use the tool or if you are abusing the tool to procrastinate.

    Unfortunately, when other people use it for procrastinating, their actions force their way onto your news feed. I began to feel like checking facebook is like checking your spam folder, only worse because the spam was all issued by people you thought you wanted to be friends with. Facebook ought to give you better control over how to filter the nonsense out of your feed, but they would rather try to suck you in to the same silliness.