On the direction Facebook is going

Today, Facebook become something different. No, it didn't go from being a 60-pound gorilla to being a butterfly. It is still a gorilla, but now it has more defined muscles, a harder head, and I suspect... fangs.

Too much? Perhaps. But it was just an image. For those who prefer a more prosaic approach to defining what Facebook is and may become, suffice it to say that Facebook is still on its way to becoming some manner of "one true network" -- a unified solution for all things on the web. I am, in general, suspicious of all things that want to be or claim to be the ultimate and one true solution. I like diversity, and in web terms that means many neat little single-purpose applications that I can use and discard whenever I like. We are told Facebook makes life easier but it doesn't. Facebook takes the "doing" out of your online life and emphasises the "being".

Facebook stopped being about sharing a long time ago. Once upon a time, one had to type things up and click on the post button. Now a lot of things don't need to be expressly shared, they just fall into your timeline the moment you do them. Unlike Twitter or blogging, there is no deliberation associated with the act of sharing. I draw a very strict line between "being" and "doing" online. I am mostly about the "doing" aspect when I am on the web. I write, I share items of interest, I comment etc. My being rarely ever gets online. I don't write about my personal life except when I need to make a reference to an actual event in order to make a point.

To me, blogging of any kind (tweeting, Facebook status sharing, Tumblogging) is about self expression. Expression consists of both saying things and choosing what not to say. It is what brings coherence to messages. When you start sharing everything, what you give up is coherence of your narrative. With every step that Facebook takes towards "making it easier to share things with your friends", it becomes more about being and less about doing.