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Facebook or Wastebook?

Posted by aaron on November 30, 2009

Social networking has become quite a popular endeavor. MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook all allow a person to interact and link up with people from their close and distant past and even folks from around the world that they've never met.  Yeah, it's kind of cool to hear from Bob from high school or Martha from college but is this really a good use of time. Ever since my wife and daughter got their Facebook pages I've been calling the whole thing Wastebook.
The way these things work is sort of a pyramid scheme. You become friends with a friend, then their friends are offered to you to be your friends and then their friends and their friends and on and on.  So a person could easily have hundreds of comments each days from friends, old and new. My daughter signed me up for a Facebook page. It's quite simple and it's been interesting to hook up with some old squadron mates and even long lost high school friends. So even though my overall take on Facebook had been swayed somewhat, I still thought there was a potential for an extreme waste of time.
And here's the real evil in the whole thing. Now I find that my wife has advanced on to some of Facebook's time devouring social games like Mafia Wars, Fargle and the most life squandering of all, Farmville.  Farmville allows you to build a cyber farm which you grow and prosper with the help of your Farmville neighbors. Your little avatar can plow, plant, fertilize, harvest, pluck, pick, milk, groom and build. All the tasks required to run a prospering farm. The more you work your farm and the more support you get from your neighbors, the bigger and more grand your farm. Working your farm gets you coins to purchase the stuff you need; seed, animals, vehicles, buildings, fencing etc. Here's the big gotcha. If you're trying to build your farm but you don't have enough virtual coins or enough neighbors, you can no kidding purchase the coins you need. Just enter your credit card information to buy what you need. So not only are these Facebook games a astronomical time waster, they can also be a money drain.
So that you're familiar with a Facebook farm, here's an image of my wife's cyber property. You can see her little avatar standing out among the crops.  You can also see her neighbor's property lines.

Facebook Farmville

My wife was excited when I told her I wanted to set up a farm but I had a very definite objective. I told her I wasn't going to work it, I just wanted to create an image. Here's my farm.

Facebook sheep farm

Just a boy and his sheep.  A metaphor for what a time wasting, potential money grabbing screw job this thing can be.

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Posted by Sandy on
For the record I have never used my credit card to purchase additional coins. However, for a quick, split second,
when my seeder ran out of gas after using my harvester to harvest my crops, then my tractor to plough and
fallow the lands, I did think about purchasing, oh, maybe $5 so I could get my seeds planted....... but then sanity
came back and I did it the old fashion way, by virutal hand.
Posted by VD on
Just remember Fbook etc is just like your phone, just because it rings does not mean you have to answer it! Ignore the friend requests from the village idiot in HS or college etc tehy will go away eventually. You should see how much havoc you can cause for your neighbors farms. Can you buy napalm or maybe virtual grow medicinal herbs? Could be fun!
Posted by ridgeback on
Facebook is not only a complete waste of time - it is the biggest source of identity theft in the world. (Source: RCMP Commercial Crime Squad, Metropolitan Police Fraud Division, FBI).

Make your own call.

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