Facebook: A love/hate relationship

Published January 1, 2008

The thing is, I didn’t set up my Facebook account, it started out as a promotional tool for Sidepodcast. It still is that, but now I have started to take more of an interest in the whole social networking thing.

I logged in and today, of all days, it wished me a Happy Birthday. Because as it wasn’t specifically about me when it was set up, the account’s birthday was defaulting to Jan 1st.

When I went to change that to the right day and date, I also changed the profile to say I was engaged, rather than in a relationship. I have been thus for quite a while now. But for whatever reason, Facebook decides that particular piece of information needs to be broadcast in my mini-feed. Therefore, everyone would think I got engaged on New Year’s Eve.

A romantic notion, for sure, but definitely not what happened to me.

I know there are options for what you want to appear in your mini-feed, and I quite easily managed to delete the entry from anyone else’s eyes, but it just felt wrong.

Wouldn’t it be easier to have some kind of button newly engaged people can press to then announce their relationship to the world? You know they want to shout it from the rooftops, an extra button isn’t going to be too much hard work.

I was listening to an old episode of Buzz Out Loud from CNET recently, and they had Rich DeMuro calling in to talk about his Facebook nightmare. He’d taken his relationship status off his profile to protect his wife from the internet fame he was starting to receive. Facebook decided this meant he had broken off the relationship, and published that to his news feed. Cue many calls from concerned friends, and rumours around the CNET office that he was getting a divorce.

There’s social networking and then there’s social not working.

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