When Facebook finally goes public it'll be a big moment for Silicon Valley, not only because it may be the biggest tech IPO ever but also because it will validate the social network's staggering growth to date. When I joined, it was a barebones college-only online community where we could talk about courses, dorm life, and stalk that one hot classmate in East Asian History. Now it's the Internet site people spend the most time on, with 800 million active users from ages 13 up uploading 250 milion photos a day.
In the U.S., the average user spends eight hours a month on Facebook; the self-admitted addict I am likely clocks that much in a week. To quote myself, Facebook eventually became "a way of life -- a heady, nonstop road I've traveled along for years, where street signs are replaced with dynamic real-time news feeds, and my fragile ego can be crushed or swelled with pride depending on the number of people who deign to like or, even better, comment on my posts." Heck, for many Facebook practically is the Internet.
在这个过程中，我习惯了标注“喜欢”，期待朋友们也能这样做；习惯了在上传“我的照片”前进行修片，在看到我不上相的照片时则移除标签。（现在，我大多数时候也这么干。） 最糟糕的是，我花了大量时间结交“你可能认识的朋友”，建起了多达1,325人的朋友圈和11,370名订户。有些人确实是朋友，有些可能只是我在工作中遇到的、一起上过学、约会过或曾经希望能约会的人。还有些人可能是《财富》杂志（Fortune）的读者，当然对于这些人我心存感激。因此，可以说是 Facebook唤醒、同时也助长了我内心强烈的自恋情结。
I used to "Like" statuses hoping friends returned the favor, retouch "Photos of Me" before they went up, untag those that didn't portray me in a petroleum-slathered, soft light. (For the most part, I still do.) Worst of all, I spent hours crawling "Friends You May Know," building up a legion of 1,325 friends and 11,370 subscribers. Some of these people really are friends. Some are people I may have come across at work, gone to school with, dated or wished I'd dated. Others still are likely Fortune readers, to whom I am grateful. So it's safe to say Facebook awakened and armed a narcissistic beast in me.
Then a few months ago, my relationship with Facebook hit bottom. The compulsion to log on reached a point where I checked Facebook incessantly at home, on the train, and at work. When for some reason I couldn't sign on, I became frustrated. It was only when I found myself refreshing the News Feed on my phone between crunches at the gym that I realized the extent of my addiction. Would it be a big deal if I waited until afterwards to check? Well, of course not. But try telling that to me as I cursed my phone reception atop the sit-up bench.
如果出现冲突，我想理由可不只是“健身房怒火”（gym rage）那么简单。以Facebook当前的架构，如果不能时不时地关注一下这个社交网站上的各种信息，就会感到要落伍了。曾经相对简单的操控界面如今已有点像游戏魔兽世界（World of Warcraft）的繁忙屏幕。消息推送（News Feed）将各种更新分为头条消息（Top Stories）和最新消息（Recent Stories），我从来也用不上这项功能。而直播栏实时记录下朋友们的每个举动。这理论上听起来很棒，但事实上更多地会分散视觉注意力。
I like to think there's a reason for that incident beyond a mild case of "gym rage." The way Facebook is structured now, you feel like if you don't dip your toes into the social network's stream of information for a second here, a minute there, you will miss out. The dashboard, once a study in relative simplicity, vaguely resembles a busy screen from World of Warcraft. The News Feed breaks up updates by Top and Recent Stories, a distinction I've never needed. And the live ticker chronicles the minute moves of friends as they happen, which sounds great in theory, but is more a visual distraction in practice.
Privacy wasn't an issue (for me) until lately. Facebook's charm once lay in the feeling of exclusivity it projected, a closed off virtual playground open only to a smallish group of friends where I could communicate without second thought. Now when I do so, I edit myself. To some extent, my profile and updates are visible to extended family, colleagues, professional connections, and a large number of others, so I post rather benign messages, images and links aimed at the largest common denominator. Sure, I could create different groups of Facebook friends and select who can and can't see my updates, but organizing and maintaining those groups is too much work.
2012-02-02 13:16 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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