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Facebook fun has consequences

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Amid all of the interesting and unusual technology projects that were discussed at the ICE07 interactive media conference in Toronto last week, one kept popping up in conversations: Facebook.

The social networking website appears to have inspired a flurry of recent activity among pockets of the Canadian news media as well as the technophiles at the conference, many of whom enthusiastically confirmed the bizarrely simple yet addictive nature of the site.

That addiction has been known to fuel bizarre behaviour among the site's slavish devotees. Earlier this month, the popular TechCrunch blog related the tale of a U.K. securities trader reprimanded for spending too much time on Facebook – during work hours:

He spent, apparently, over 500 hours on Facebook in a six month period. That works out to about 4 hours per day.

Unwisely, perhaps, Charlie posted the warning email on his Facebook account, saying “It’s a measure of how warped I’ve become that, not only am I surprisingly proud of this, but in addition, the first thing I did was to post it here, and that losing my job worries me far less than losing facebook ever could.”

And here in Toronto, police have charged four teenagers after alleged tussles at a protest over their classmates' suspension for remarks on Facebook – which has spurred more discussion on the site:

The incident has ignited debate over whether schools should be able to punish students for online postings.

Angry reaction to the protest showed up almost immediately on a Facebook group set up for students of Birchmount Park Collegiate, with thoughts posted by classmates and students from other schools.

I'm with TechCrunch's Michael Arrington on this: "I really wish I was a Facebook stockholder."

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Comments

Jennifer Mai

Canada

Facebook /is/ addictive. It's much like the the refined MySpace, except more sophisticated.

However I wish facebook remained private. Previously, it was only open to those with a college/university email address. Therefore you had to be a certain age.
But they've now opened it to everyone.
Is this the fall of facebook? I know enough college aged people who would've walked away..had it not been so darn addictive!

Posted April 5, 2007 12:36 PM

Amanda

It's not going to matter what the website is. If people are going to spend 4 hours a day on a website at work, they should realize they're not that bright. I have a hundred friends on facebook, and I and my husband both have facebook accounts. We don't use it at work, we don't obsess about it.. and those who do should take a long look in the mirror and find something better to do.

Posted April 14, 2007 07:45 AM

crystal

ottawa

I think facebook is a great chat site because you can talk to more then one friend at the same time and also you get to know more about one another just by there pictures and comments! I think it should only be used on free time when u have nothing to do or you have some events that are coming up that you would like to share with others!

Posted April 16, 2007 01:29 PM

Mindy

Ottawa

I think Facebook is great! I hadn't seen or talked to my old friends from high school for at least 10 years, and now we have gotten back in touch because of Facebook. If you know how to use the site then you are safe. You are able to set your own security levels.If you don't want someone you don't know to view your information then all you have to do is limit your profile to only your friends. The only down part about the site is that is is a big time relationship breaker.. But life without drama would be boring anyways :)

Posted April 20, 2007 01:38 PM

Nigel Hanks

Facebook certainly seems here to stay, if not for popularity, but for its resources. Facebook has a stimulating economic feature: you surf to one of your friend's Facebook profiles, and you see that their "status" reads thus:
"John Smith is feeling down and out"
One of the features on Facebook is the ability to send a blue friend a virtual gift, at the cost of $1. Not a lot to ask for a friend's happiness, though requiring an always-risky online credit card transfer. The recent commodification of human gesture could open an entirely new market never thought possible, maybe an "online dollar store". Of course, you could call your friend up and let them vent, which may be even more appreciated.

Posted May 13, 2007 12:12 AM

Hayley

I love Facebook. But I've made myself a promise. NEVER EVER spend four hours a day on Facebook. I can't believe that!

Posted May 23, 2007 03:08 PM

Ruth Auber.

Ha - I'm a cool Mum and joined facebook so I could keep in touch with my 4 teenage daughters! Now I can reach them wherever they are - because 90% of the time, it's on facebook.
Great site.

Posted May 30, 2007 07:46 PM

Roy

Ontario

Well, I tend to use facebook for like 15 mins a day if i have nothing else to do. I do believe facebook's listing's should be private because since the website has been blocked from school the posting's obviously were not during school hours. However, spending 4 hours a day is a little obsessive and shouldn't happen not mentioning the fact that he doesn't care he lost his job his income and his way to pay his bills.

Posted May 31, 2007 02:26 PM

chris

i disagree with facebook only being open to college or university students mainly because i use it and i never went to college or university. why should people who did not pursue post secondary education miss out on a site like facebook where you can find lost friends and family and stay in touch with people you otherwise would not have. im sure if facebook wanted to enforce an age restriction, then they would be able to find some other way of doing it then only including people with post secondary educations.

Posted October 19, 2007 04:14 PM

mirranda

ontario

I think that facebook is a nice site to be able to keep in touch with friends and relatives. facebook can benefit alot of things. but also at the same time if you think of it all of my friends friends can accesss my information and they may have people on there litst's that they might not even know so i still have to be careful. i go on facebook for maybe 20 minutes the most a day and i feel that facebook user's shouldn't over do it

Posted November 13, 2007 01:52 PM

Celeste Elphick

Penrith

I'm just starting to get addicted to Facebook, and am thinking about using it at work. I do voluntary work so who knows if i'm allowed or even if their even on the internet as it is a new job for me.

Posted December 5, 2008 09:01 PM

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