facebook_chat.pngJeez, I feel like I should carry about a pack of roller towel with me when I read about Facebook Chat with all the slobber coming from the blogs raving about it. Before I continue I’ll just point out that when I think about Facebook I have a slightly queasy sensation in my stomach. I’m not sure why, maybe it is the vaguely perceptible Microsoft influence (I have been allergic to Microsoft since the OOXML debacle recently) even though I continue to build my network on Facebook and occasionally visit the site.

A number of bloggers have said that Facebook Chat isn’t meant to replace your IM services, it is “about connecting with people in realtime”. Yeah, sure, that is exactly what is supposed to happen. People are going to use their IM client, Skype and Facebook Chat … for sure … eyes rolling. My favourite quote from what I have read so far is from the marvellous Stii (I say this sincerely despite my generally sarcastic tone):

Now, Facebook chat raised the bar significantly. I can now connect with people in real time. I no longer have to send the messages and wait for them to respond in a couple of hours or more. I can chat to them then and there. No other social network, as far as my knowledge goes, can say that. That is quite significant! Others are bound to follow, Iā€™m sure, as it is quite a handy feature.

So basically Facebook is coming to terms with the trend away from email and similar messaging towards IM. So now what is happening is that Facebook owns you in yet another space – IM (yes, whether you describe it as IM or chat, it doesn’t change what it is). It already has your social network and how you keep in contact with that network via more traditional messaging. So now you are going to spend even more time on Facebook chatting, messaging, posting photos and sending out vampiric zombie pirate fight club application invites. Your day is so screwed and you’ll be lucky if you have time to think about getting some work done, never mind experiencing that increasingly rare phenomenon us older fogies like to call “physical contact” or “face to face interaction”. One thing is for sure, if your company wasn’t blocking Facebook before, kiss that blue logo goodbye cause its gone baby!

So you say you are going to be using Facebook even more now? That is great, I am really happy for you. What does it all mean for me? Not much except for the fact that I will probably not be seeing my wife anytime soon … what with Scrabulous, friends’ changing profiles and now Chat. How do I explain this to my baby? How do I explain to him that he hasn’t seen his mommy because of Facebook? Damn you Facebook!!

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