Many former regular Interlac contributors spend a lot of time on Facebook. It seems like glorified and more superficial e-mail to me, so I don't understand it. They don't e-mail as frequently, either, so Facebook has clearly replaced both writing for an apa and writing e-mail.
I went to a panel on social networking at Arisia this past January (2010). There were five panelists, two of whom are not active on social networking sites. So it was a good basis for a lot of discussion, especially at Arisia where the audience participates so much (which I like, though I met someone after one of Jim Freund's WBAI science fiction shows who is very angry that the audience participates TOO much).
The people in the room who are active on Facebook and LiveJournal and places like that can't understand those who aren't and vice versa. Then, as the discussion brought in the audience, we started noticing that couples who are made of an extrovert and an introvert are also made up of one who is active on social networking sites and one who is not (there were a lot of those types of couples; this "opposites attract" thing is more prevalent than I thought). In every case, it was the introvert who was active on those sites. There were many people in the room in such couples and the age range and whether the male or female was the introvert didn't make a difference. I was surprised at first, but on thinking about it, it made sense.
But I didn't understand the attraction of those sites after the panel any more than I did before. I asked some of the people in the room about it, I've asked friends who are Facebook, (and even looked over their shoulders as they were on) and no one can seem to explain the appeal. Is it simply that Facebook is the new e-mail? I certainly get a lot of e-mail, but I do realize more of it is from lists and less is of a personal nature, so maybe it's that simple.
In the early days of Interlac, making a long distance phone call was a big deal. Now, there's very little one-on-one conversation.
I invite your comments, E-mail me