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Facebook IPO lawsuit, privacy concerns may end the love affair

facebooklogo040912_optBY GINA G. SCALA
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Say it isn’t so; the love affair with Facebook is coming undone for more than 30 percent of users recently polled.

The poll, conducted by Reuters last month, showed 34 percent of Facebook members are spending less time on the social networking site than they did six months ago. Only 20 percent of those polled said they were spending more time on Facebook.

How did a society so obsessed with Facebook become disenchanted with the social networking site that inspired a hit Hollywood movie? Was it the way so many members shared way too much information (if you have to stop to ask whether you are guilty of that; you are)? Or the surly way you can “defriend” someone.

Then there’s the case of reconnecting with old friends, who sometimes were more than that. More than 80 percent of U.S. lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported an increase in cases using social networking, SmartMoney said.

“I see Facebook issues breaking up marriages all the time,” Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Conn, told SmartMoney. Of the 15 cases he handles per year where computer history, texts and emails are admitted as evidence, 60 percent exclusively involve Facebook, he said.

It hasn’t all been bad, though. Facebook has made it seamless for friends and families to stay connected even when thousands of miles apart. And the ability to raise social awareness in a variety of ways and situations has benefitted some.

On the other hand, “mean girls” and boys, too, took their bullying tactics to cyberspace by using Facebook to spout their hate. In the U.K., the social network company will not contest a court order to reveal both the relevant IP addresses and basic information regarding the accounts of those accused in tormenting a teenage girl, Digital Trends reported.

There’s no shortage of reasons Face book’s popularity is waning with some of its 900 million members. Last week, a class action lawsuit stemming from the disastrous IPO was filed by disenchanted investors who laid blame with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s feet. And this week, the company came under scrutiny as it contemplates allowing children under 13 to join.

A personal favorite: It’s the American way. Our society loves a success story until the point that we no longer do; watching the downfall is almost as good as the NY Giants beating the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl, and the comeback is just as good.

The “Social Network” movie poster was to the point: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

 

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