There seem to be 2 schools of thought regarding social networks, in particular facebook.
Facebook is seen by the masses as the same thing as linkedin, but simply for informal contacts, with a messenger built into the site. People round here don't use MSN, ICQ, AIM, or any of that anymore, really. It all goes on on facebook or via texting.
Personally, I have a few acquaintances on there, who are stuck in a list of acquaintances, and that list has no access to much about me, nor can they chat with me, meaning I can let people add me who I don't really know very well, nor do I want to, but don't actually dislike, without a care in the world.
You don't post your resume up there. Trouble is many people go about adding people they only really know as an acquaintance or are "friendly" with them whenever they rarely meet IRL. Kids are the worst for this, because they look at it, and are simple enough to just go "lol my friends". Perhaps Friend will one day change meaning, and the kids saying this know that most of their 500 "friends" aren't close to them, but I dunno.
Twitter etc however seems mildly pointless unless you've actually got something interesting to say. I personally use one to keep watch over a few people who post interesting/amusing/useful things, but very rarely say anything myself. The internet does not care, and to be frank, most people don't use Twitter for keeping in contact with their friends. It's a giant bulletin board, not a place for true discussion.
Many people view Facebook as this horrible invasion of privacy and a place for people to spam out pointless shit that not even their friends care about, to their network of people they know. The latter part of this is only true for a minority, most people genuinely do stick to posting about things which engage the people they know. Sure for instance you get a lot of spam about doing revision etc etc, but it's not to the level that it's irritating, and it's most likely the rest of your friends are thinking it too.
People pay attention to that kind of thing, hence the "like" button, "like" if you agree. Essentially it's a rather dehumanised way of showing some empathy, but it's comforting for us humans, and actually, while people say it's killing real social interaction... I'd say it's actually making real social interaction even more valuable and more to the point -appreciated- by people.
As for the invasion of privacy part, sure maybe. But personally I really couldn't give a damn if the entire world knows who I am, what I do, where I live. It's not like I go posting what I get up to in the bedroom on Facebook now is it? "Oh no an advertising company knows how to target ads at me, which wont even work because I never pay attention to ads!". This is a problem to people?
If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about, just use some basic common sense and don't put GENUINELY private details onto the internet. Phone numbers etc. Sure people can get them anyway -eventually-, but they could even without hacking some website which stores information on a load of people.
Now, back to the OP. If your friends are going onto facebook and screwing around, unless they're all doing it as some kind of group activity and going "hey look at this!" blah blah blah: They're just being plain rude and should l2socialise.
Now then, inb4 the tl;dr of some git.
This post has been edited by Cloud: 06 January 2011 - 06:49 PM