On the day before Mark Zuckerberg's big IPO, Salon features people who are saying "no thanks" to Facebook. We're not among its 901 million users worldwide (of which the under-35 crowd has a 50% daily participation rate) and are proud to be dubbed "the resisters."
But if Facebook is to live up to its pre-IPO hype and reward the investors who are clamoring for its stock this week, it needs to convince some of the resisters to join. Two out of every five American adults have not joined Facebook, according to a recent Associated Press-CNBC poll. Among those who are not on Facebook, a third cited a lack of interest or need.
One holdout remarked:
"I do not want more distractions," he says. "As it is, I am deluged with email. My friends and colleagues have ready access to me and I don't really want another service that I would feel obliged to check into on a frequent basis."
That tracks rather well with my own attitude toward Facebook: despite its potential utility, I just don't have time--there's nothing I'm willing to give up to spend time curating a Facebook identity. That sentiment is expanded here:
Steve Jones, a professor who studies online culture and communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says many resisters consider Facebook to be too much of a chore.
"We've added social networking to our lives. We haven't added any hours to our days," Jones says. "The decision to be online on Facebook is simultaneously a decision not to be doing something else."