Sophie Heawood: I'm having fun. They're coining it. Fine by me

To think how we used to joke about the dreariness of looking at our neighbours' holiday snaps

Related Topics

With Facebook apparently readying its initial public offering papers this week, we will soon have some idea of what we are worth. Our flatteringly angled photos, our witty status updates, our angsty relationship changes. The noisy natter of us typing our lives into little boxes, documenting the days. Facebook's stock is not expected to make its market debut until late spring, but the IPO will give a hint at investor demand, and it's expected to raise several billion dollars, leading to many more.

Sadly, despite all of our hard and selfless work, it's not all of us who are going to see the money. Indeed, the idea is that now we have told Facebook what we like, where we go and who we know, the data will be used to help us to part with even more of our cash. This is why Facebook is worth so much moolah – because it knows so much about us. Social networking will henceforth affect the marketing of pretty much everything.

If that worries you – well, maybe it shouldn't. Yes, there are privacy concerns, and Facebook's track record with this is not wholly impressive. But the targeted adverts mean that if your profile lists you as a vegan who frequently checks in to organic macrobiotic restaurants, the pork pie advertising lobby won't be wasting its piggy pounds on your page. And, as for us, we can find out all we need about each other – before it's too late.

As a friend who got to know her future boyfriend via Facebook said to me: "With the old online dating websites, you'd desperately be trying to work out what the bloke was like from a couple of misleading photos, an invented username, and some ticked boxes about whether they 'liked music.' I mean, come on – everybody 'likes music'. Which kind? But with Facebook, it's like you've been given the keys to their house."

To think how we used to joke about the dreariness of being made to look at our next-door-neighbour's holiday snaps, and now we willingly waste whole evenings clicking through the holiday snaps of somebody our next-door-neighbour once introduced us to at a 50th birthday party at a Wetherspoons in Bridlington. We do this because, weirdly, it is fun.

And sometimes social networking is deeply lovely. You upload a picture of your baby and you leave it there, and when you come back 10 people have liked it and it leaves you with a little glow. These little ticks of approval from your friends mean a lot. Plus somebody has written how good it is now that the baby's put on a bit of weight, somebody has said they really must come round with a present, and somebody else has said no no Sophie you are quite wrong she doesn't look a BIT like Ian Hislop.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul falls: Talk of Iraq retaking the town, held by IS since June, is unconvincing  

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth

Patrick Cockburn
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk