Facebook and Networking for the Young and Not-so-Young

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Facebook is the buzz of the media world right now, with older users and professionals jumping on board. Alice Mathias, 2007 Dartmouth Graduate, says it's all just online community social theater. We ask her why. We also talk to Matthew Goldstein, founder of


Matthew Goldstein and Alice Mathias

Comments [11]


There is another website that launched recently called Neighborology ( that offers everything that offers and more for free. I think they started in Charlotte, NC but it looks like they are setup for the US.

Oct. 29 2007 09:15 PM
Terence from NYC

There is a huge aspect to Facebook that entails play. But the point of play is that it can be both fun and useful. Elements of play should infuse our home and work lives, especially since digital tools now enable us to blur the lines between work and home.

As of May 2007, 39% of unique Facebook users are over 35—the largest and seemingly most unlikely demographic. They didn't grow up with it and didn't use it in college. But they are using it now and in growing numbers, and it's likely they're using it to keep in touch with friends, family, and business contacts, all at the same time.

Ms. Mathias ignores these statistics, probably because they don't fit within her experience. That's the danger of social media: it convinces those who use it uncritically that they are at the center of everything, it's about them. And with the publication of Ms. Mathias's op-ed we can pinpoint the coming of age of the Facebook generation.

Oct. 25 2007 01:21 PM
Kelley from Brooklyn

Would you use LifeAt if it were in your building?

Oct. 25 2007 09:55 AM
iFaqeer from Silicon Valley, California

It's not an either-or (F2F vs. Online). And it's not just theater--unless you take that in the Shakespearean sense.

My father recently passed away half way around the world--literally--and while I was planning to board a flight within hours, I changed my status on FB via my cell phone. That's how a lot of my closest friends found out. If I'd wanted, I could have set up meetings with people enroute, in the Middle East, and even a pick up in Karachi (as I just did for my second trip).


Oct. 24 2007 02:31 PM
tomdickvijayali from ny

dear brian,

is officer sawyer being given a free pass on this shooting. other than an off duty cop it would be very rare for a new yorker to be legally armed with a handgun. this pass to carry a firearm carries with it extra responsibility. a person seated in a car who merely claims he has a gun is in my opinion not a situation of self defence. no gun was visible and a mere saying "i've a gun" does not give a person the right to kill another. only a cop would normally carry a gun. if sawyer did not have a service revolver would on the mere word of a gun he have the right to say strangle this other person? the release of sawyer on self defence explanation seems suspicious. especially given his leaving the scene for 19 hours.

always a good show...tomdickvijayali

Oct. 24 2007 11:24 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

Shouldn't the real question be why do people find meeting and dealing with others on a face-to-face basis so difficult? Your guest talks about "being responsible in making an effort". Is physical human interaction that much of a ordeal for everybody? And if so, why?

Oct. 24 2007 11:00 AM
World's Toughest Milkman from the_C_train

Seems to me that people are loosing those initial personal interaction skills and honing their "shopping/research" skills. And after all who's to say who's telling the truth or lying, we're all hiding and seeking on the internet. The internet has helped for so many different reasons but to me the biggest downfall is the isolation it builds as everyone rushes home to spend time on these personal network sites.

Oct. 24 2007 10:58 AM
Susan from West Village

Couldn't disagree with your young guest more -- or at the very least, I think she only represents one perspective. I LOVE having a light-hearted place to connect with my friends, fact from fiction totally obvious. I've worked in Thailand, lived all over the world and Facebook has been an incredibly fun way to reconnect with tons of people from my past.

I'll also say that it is less and less just for 'young' people -- I'm 41 and can assure you that before facebook, I would have never been able to maintain my connections employing "old school" means.

I would also add a word of caution to my young friends on these sites. For beter or worse, they do serve as personal marketing tools. Remember that potential employers, dates, etc., may be sizing you up here -- so hundreds of drunk and demeaning photos may not be the best way to market yourself.

Oct. 24 2007 10:52 AM
Matt from NJ

Check out this article:

Might be relevant to the discussion...

Oct. 24 2007 10:49 AM
Allen from Manhattan

Do you hear the sound of millions changing the station? This is uninteresting and the guest is incoherent in her thoughts.

Oct. 24 2007 10:49 AM
georges from Toronto, ON

Facebook is the social glue of Toronto. It has become so pervasive that if you are not on Facebook you are not invited to parties, events, or any other social events. So, in that sense, it is a very valuable thing to be a part of and definitely promotes social interaction.

Oct. 24 2007 10:49 AM

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