More Facebook?

Facebook’s initial public offering of stock is likely to make a lot of developers and designers of the site very wealthy. But for many users, frequent Facebooking may not be so beneficial.” — Stephanie Pappas

The Facebook debates are heating up this week, thanks, in part, to the announcement that Mark Zuckerberg filed an IPO for the world’s largest social network. Some are peeved by Zuck’s greed; others are justifiably worried about some thorny new privacy issues.

My own post about quitting Facebook (Jan.24) had nothing to do with the IPO. It was, essentially, about my efforts to spend fewer hours online and to reclaim some quiet space in my overbooked life. (Part of my New Year’s resolution was to live a more “examined” life, which also meant I had to start questioning my online habits and routines.) In other words, my FB piece really wasn’t “anti-Facebook” — nor was it a criticism of the wonderful people on my Facebook friend list.

In any event, the piece was syndicated on BlogHer.com. As of today, it earned close to 23,000 “reads,” which is a lot more traffic than I’m used to — at least for a blog post. On Monday, I was quoted in “Now is the Time to Quit Facebook,” by Chicago journalist Alicia Eller.

Readers’ comments following Eler’s post are fascinating. Among my favorites: “I wasn’t on Facebook before it was cool to not be on Facebook.”

Apparently the topic is so hot that Eler posted another piece on ReadWriteWeb titled “It’s True: You Have Too Many Facebook Friends.”  This article offers some fresh analysis on why it’s probably not healthy to spend too much time on Facebook — and why it’s really not cool to have too many Facebook friends. (Hint: It makes you appear insecure.)

In another interesting post, LiveScience journalist Stephanie Pappas discusses new studies on our emotional reactions to Facebook. Check out “Facebook Takes a Toll on Your Mental Health.”

If you’re fascinated by the culture of narcissism and social media addictions, don’t miss these thought-provoking pieces. — CL