/ Technology

Could you live without Facebook?

Facebook worldwide social network image

More than a million Facebook users are thought to have fallen for a hoax claiming that the social network was about to close its doors. Facebook was quick to put the record straight, but what if the rumour was true?

Without Facebook there’d be no more friend requests, no more status updates, no more virtual gardens or farms…

Arguably many people wouldn’t miss them. Three quarters of those who voted in a Which? Conversation poll thought Facebook was a ‘waste of time’. The rest said they were a fan of the social networking site since it helped them ‘stay in touch with friends’.

Despite having previously sung Facebook’s praises, I have to confess I’m torn.

Without Facebook I’d lose touch

On the one hand Facebook provides a quick and easy way to keep in touch with ‘friends’.

My list of Facebook friends is an eclectic mix of people. It includes old school friends I haven’t seen or spoken to for several years – something which Friendsreunited.co.uk did for me before. This gives me a link to my past, which I find a strange source of comfort.

Other Facebook friends are those I still see and call regularly. Though I’ve arguably fallen into the bad habit of lazily ‘Facebooking’ them, rather than picking up the phone.

Then there are the ‘friends’ I’ve never met in so-called ‘real life’ after finding them online through other websites, like the writer’s forum Authonomy www.authonomy.com.

A post-Facebook world

While I wouldn’t choose to delete my Facebook account, I’d survive if it were to disappear overnight. Being kicked-off the website wouldn’t make me lose touch with my ‘real’ friends and it may even give me more time to see or speak to them.

Plus, as Al Warman argued in his Conversation ‘Why I’m fed up with Facebook‘, the social network does pose a potential privacy risk. It’s all too easy to post your personal information, and then there’s the various applications, like Facebook Places, that could give away more data than you’d like.

Sure, I’d miss Facebook, but just as it stole the lead from FriendsReunited and MySpace, I suspect it wouldn’t be too long before another site came along and plugged the gap.


Yes I could live without Facebook but I would miss it. I’m an older person and was very hesitent when a friend recommended I join; I’m now very pleased I did. I’ve made contact with people from my past that I would not have done so otherwise, and enjoy hearing regular news from them. I’ve also been able to follow sporting interests and sports celebrities, and enjoy chatting with people from all over the world.

There are risks, but if one is careful, for me the benefit outweigh the risks.

Incidently, the hoex was wasted on me because I did not know of it!

Wotan says:
11 January 2011

Have never joined facebook and can’t see any point in it. There are plenty of other media that fulfil my needs much better. Close it down and it would be no loss.

Though I did join Facebook – I never use it – like you I have plenty of other methods to fulfil my needs better.

I *would* miss Facebook, if it were to be closed down.

I have moved away from several hubs of friends and facebook has proven to be a boon for quickly organising social events etc.

I also enjoy it for its ‘news’ facilities.
My friends and I have many similar interests and if there’s something going on that’s likely to be of interest to me, I can be fairly confident someone will post a link about it.
Furthermore and just as much fun are my friends who have DIFFERENT interests – because I know & like these people, this often means I’ll be curious about what has caught their attention & that will broaden my knowledge & interests.

I did register on Facebook out of curiosity, but I’ve never used the service. Then I became aware of the criticism of social networks and started to receive emails from Facebook about people with unfamiliar names wanting to make contact.

It’s nice to speak to people, either face-to-face or on the phone. There are plenty of interesting discussion forums, like this one, and email is a perfectly good way of exchanging written information, photos and other files.

You can have Facebook et al. but I don’t want to have anything to do with it.

Peter says:
25 January 2012

Yes I can and do live very happily without facebook – the problem with facebook is the people who use it 🙂

I am receiving an increasing number of emails suggesting I should look at information on Facebook. Generally this requires me to log in, but I cannot do this because I do not have an account and do not want one. It is as stupid and inconsiderate as sending an email attachment without establishing that the the recipient has the software needed to open it.

At least anyone can read Twitterers’ tweetings.