Sunday, November 28, 2010

Facebook is Taking Over the World...One E-mail At a Time

What is it about Facebook that draws its nearly 500 million users back to it every day? Basically, for those who don't know, it gives you a front row seat into your friends' personal lives. I've heard it is comforting to some to log on and see status updates galore, birthdays and upcoming events neatly laid out on the side panel, and silly games like FarmVille and FishWorld that keep you entertained for hours. Admit it, you get excited if you log in and see a message or notification waiting for you. Kids as young as eight years old are using Facebook, and are constantly going on their phones and computers to check it. Have you noticed that no one reads on the train anymore? Instead, everyone is playing with their phones. But how much is too much? Just when you think Facebook couldn't get any more popular, founder Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the launch of Facebook e-mail. It is a new messaging system that will include chat, text, status updates and, for the first time, e-mail. Zuckerberg, who is just 26 years old, said he got the idea after talking with teenagers a few years ago, although it "makes him feel really old" to do so.

In my opinion, having something new like this will definitely overwhelm users and create even more chaos. Facebook has had many problems in the past with security issues, and who wants to have to deal with that when it comes to e-mail? E-mail is still alive and well even in the midst of Facebook domination, because it is a formal way to reach out to people on a professional level. I don't think e-mailing your doctor or teacher from Facebook will ever be a good idea. They will not take you seriously for having such an e-mail address, and who knows what else they might be able to see about you without your knowledge. Combining these two worlds, while providing convenience to some, will no doubt spell out disaster for others. Teenagers will obviously find this appealing, since most barely use their e-mail accounts to begin with. Adults, however, may have a hard time having all of their eggs in one basket. Isn't it enough that we have most of these abilities on our cell phones already? What more do we really need? If Facebook e-mail accounts are this alarming to some, imagine what they will think of next.

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