Facebook is preparing to launch Gifts, a service which will allow you to send real-life gifts to your friends. The system is pretty simple – you choose a gift, pay for it (can be done later, when the recipient confirms that he or she actually wants to get a gift) and Facebook will notify your friend that the gift is on the way. Once your friend approves it, Facebook will dispatch the gift.
Of course, you can choose the time and the occasion for sending a gift – Facebook won’t mind. But if these gifts really pick up – our real-life social interaction just might hit the rock bottom.
I Don’t Want To Buy You Things
The main concern here is that people might stop going out and actually spending some time to get you a real gift, something you saw in a local store. Picking a gift from Facebook’s store will get you dozens of random, non-rememberable fluffy, heart shaped gifts or stuffed teddy bears. All the best, right? Not really. Personally, I’d rather get a randomly selected item from a local store from my friends, at a party I’m about to invite them to celebrate me getting older – than a silly, emotionless gifts picked in front of a computer.
Another point of view – are we that lazy? I mean, Facebook reminds us of our friends’ birthdays and each year you get probably more than 200 “Happy Birthday” notes on your wall, right? It’s hard to admit it, especially if it’s your special day, but 60-70% of those people wrote something just because of the notification. Giving them the option of buying you a gift as well – you might get swamped by gifts from people that don’t actually care about you, nor do you care about them.
Let’s Get Back To Reality
Congratulating birthdays isn’t what it used to be anymore – thanks to Facebook. You might remember when your closest friends and family members have birthdays, but let’s face it – you don’t have a clue for 80% of your Facebook friends. And even if you’re truly happy for someone’s birthday, saying “HB” (literally, only two letters) won’t leave the impression you want. Buying Facebook gifts won’t say “Oh, you’re my best friend and I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart!” – it will say something like “dude. it’s your b-day. awesome! cheers! here’s a stuffed puppy for you, couldn’t find anything more appropriate.”
Think about it – Facebook is great and the possibilities that the technology provides us are endless and respectful, however – don’t turn into an online geek; remember to get out with friends and hang out with them as well. I mean, you still can’t get cake via Facebook, right?