Sunday, April 17, 2011

The facebook "Contract"?!

"Hey, why don't you have a facebook account?" a friend asked me the other day.
"Just the time factor," I replied. "I know I am in a small minority of people who are not on facebook."
"Well, if you do get an account, don't sign that contract," he said.
"Contract? There's no contract when you get an account with facebook." I was pretty sure.
"Some people do sign a contract," he said and sounded sure too.
"What kind of a contract is it?" I asked.
"Where you promise facebook to put up pictures and details of wherever you went, whatever you do," he said.
"Are you sure? I don't think there is anything like that." Or was there? Now I was having doubts.
"But then why would some folks put up pictures of where ever they go? And sometimes while they are still at that party or place!"
I thought for an instant. I had heard of people putting up pictures and details of almost everything they do...but not because they had to, its because they want to.
"That's not because of a contract! That's just because they want to share with friends," I said.
"But their friends are with them at all these places," my friend said.
"I think its for those 'friends' who are not there. I 'm sure there's no contract. They just want to share the fun they had," I replied.
"Hmm. If there is no contract, then its more like showing their 'friends' rather than sharing with them. That's 'targeted sharing'," he said.
"Targeted Sharing!' I almost laughed out loud. "I've heard of 'Targeted Advertising'....but you do have something there. Showmanship is a part of our lives and culture."

He made a great point. I think facebook is a revolutionary innovation of our times. People have found long lost friends and connected to folks all around the globe. But some do take it too far. Posting everything (often with extra spice!) about what we are doing on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis is a bit of a stretch. The inherent brilliance of a person is a direct reflection of his or her simplicity, without the the extra showmanship and glitter.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!" ~ Leonardo Da Vinci