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

Share
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.

www.sophieheawood.com

React Now

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

Business Development Manager (District Heating)

£55000 Per Annum plus company car and bonus scheme: The Green Recruitment Comp...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The daily catch-up: knitting, why Ed wants to be PM and a colloquium of Indy-pedants

John Rentoul
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial  

It would be wrong to compare brave Tulisa’s ordeal with phone hacking. It’s much worse than that

Matthew Norman
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn