As Facebook Aims at Millions of Users, Some Are Content to Sit Out - Jenna Wortham via NYTimes.com ⇢
Jenna Wortham pokes at the superficial reasons why a small number of wallflowers opt not to use Facebook, but there’s not much new information here.
Although I found the descriptions of the social pressure to get the ‘unfaced’ to use Facebook interesting:
Will Brennan, a 26-year-old Brooklyn resident, said he had “heard too many horror stories” about the privacy pitfalls of Facebook. But he said friends are not always sympathetic to his anti-social-media stance.
“I get asked to sign up at least twice a month,” Mr. Brennan said. “I get harangued for ruining their plans by not being on Facebook.”
And whether there is haranguing involved or not, the rebels say their no-Facebook status tends to be a hot topic of conversation — much as a decision not to own a television might have been in an earlier media era.
“People always raise an eyebrow,” said Chris Munns, 29, who works as a systems administrator in New York. “But my life has gone on just fine without it. I’m not a shut-in. I have friends and quite an enjoyable life in Manhattan, so I can’t say it makes me feel like I’m missing out on life at all.”
But the peer pressure is only going to increase. Susan Etlinger, an analyst at the Altimeter Group, said society was adopting new behaviors and expectations in response to the near-ubiquity of Facebook and other social networks.
“People may start to ask the question that, if you aren’t on social channels, why not? Are you hiding something?” she said. “The norms are shifting.”
This kind of thinking cuts both ways for the Facebook holdouts. Mr. Munns said his dating life had benefited from his lack of an online dossier: “They haven’t had a chance to dig up your entire life on Facebook before you meet.”
But Ms. Gable said such background checks were the one thing she needed Facebook for.
“If I have a crush on a guy, I’ll make my friends look him up for me,” Ms. Gable said. “But that’s as far as it goes.”