facebook experiment

Someday I’ll join the group of normal people using Facebook.  But it seems that whenever I seriously consider it, Facebook pops up in tech news, typically either about someone losing a job or privacy issues.

I did a quick Google experiment for kicks:

count(“Facebook got me hired”):  zero

count(“Facebook got me fired”):  20,200

Honestly I didn’t expect the results to come out like that!  If I were a different person, I not think further, but there are several potential factors:

  • “got fired” feels like a more natural expression than “got hired”.  Another quick Google experiment shows 1,040,000 for “got fired” and 163,000 for “got hired”.  If I wanted to know for sure, I’d include other phrasings, like “found/lost my job”
  • Which is more likely to lead to a forum/blog post?  extreme anger (getting fired) or relief (getting hired)?  From my experience with gaming forums, you tend to see the angry minority posting rather than the (mostly) satisfied majority.  This also extends somewhat to the news – probably news outlets won’t cover the newest Facebook feature, but are happy to cover privacy concerns.

Additionally, the issue really has nothing to do with Facebook; you usually can’t “unpost” anything from the Internet, even if you can remove it from a cursory Google search.  As a side topic, I wonder whether more people posting to the Internet will “hold their tongue”, or whether more hiring committees will view things as “oh, they were still young and naïve X years ago”.

Also, Facebook reminds me of the days of MySpace, accurately illustrated by xkcd.  And I prefer IM anyway.  Eventually I’ll take the plunge though.

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