Since the soft launch of Facebook's "Graph" search engine, there is more and more speculation about what this tool may or may not do. The Facebook Graph Search allows users to look up their individual friends to see what they are up to, what they like, what pictures of food they have posted for no reason and their latest uneducated diatribe about the new immigration proposals. It's having the ability to find out the most detailed minutia of your 500 closest friends at your fingertips.
Its usefulness is two-fold. For one, you can find out about things or businesses that your friends have discussed. Maybe you are on the hunt for a good pizza place, you can "graph" all of the places your friends have been talking about and find yourself a new spot to eat. The second, more likely use for this tool, is stalking, naturally.
But that's not why Facebook got in the search game; they got in to compete with Google in the two companies' never ending fight for world domination. What's funny is that Facebook Graph comes from the mind of a previous Google employee, Lars Rasmussen. Rasmussen, according to a Newsweek interview, along with his brother, was the mind behind Google Maps and the eventual lemon Google Wave. Rasmussen jumped ship and went to work with Zuckerberg and Facebook and now has the social media company moving into the search game.
Obviously, if you are Facebook having a Google employee puts you at an advantage. Are there secrets that came along for the ride?
There are two end results that I see from Facebook trying to horn in on Google's search territory. 1. World Wide War or 2. Joining forces in the dark side.
If Google and Facebook join forces, we are all going to be very, very sorry.
Everything About You Will Be Searchable Forget about just being paranoid that your mother finds a protected photo of you on Facebook doing shots at the local pub, now she'll have the convenience of putting it in her Google search bar, which she understands much better than Facebook anyway. Imagine what the autofills on your name will be: Abby doing.... Car bombs/cartwheels poorly/blow. The possibilities are endless and based on other people's searches; imagine how horrible the number one result could be.
Privacy Will No Longer Exist Privacy? What will that mean anymore? If all information about you is up for grabs then everyone will know everything about you. If you e-mail your best friend about your recent bout with the runs, it could wind up as a post on your Facebook page. Yuck. The advertisements that you will begin to receive will be so personal, you'll swear there were cameras in your room (there probably are).
The concept of data mining will be taken to an entirely new level because they won't just be mining you, they'll be mining your friends and family and making suggestions of stuff you should buy based on it. "Oh your mom has a history of depression, you should probably start taking Cymbalta before you wind up just like your mother!"
Trust Will Be a Joke My husband and I had a weird encounter with our Tom Tom once where it kept leading us to an Olive Garden no matter how much we tried to get it to redirect. Imagine if Google Maps and Facebook were in charge of your driving directions together? You'll be constantly redirected to your latest "likes" or whatever advertiser paid the most per keyword - and you won't be lucky enough to have that company be Olive Garden all the time, I'm sure.
How can you trust anything that you are told when if it comes from a place dictated by SEO and your friends' thumbs up? I don't trust my friends' opinions in real life, let alone the crap that they like on Facebook (a good friend just told me to give 1600 Penn another chance, as if I gave it one to begin with).
I like a lot of things on Facebook that I would never be caught dead around in real life, like your band; I was trying to be nice.
Computers Will Become Self-aware and They Will Destroy Us with Our Own Secrets There she goes again with the Terminator references. No, screw you. When Google and Facebook combine forces they will be Skynet and then they will take over the world. Google knows your every move, every time you look something up it takes a mental note and will be able to use that information against you on Facebook. When Googlebook becomes self-aware it won't kill us with guns and bombs and hot chicks made of metal; it will kill us with pure, unadulterated seventh grade embarrassment.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Shudder in horror as all of your most awkward Google searches are put out for all to see. "How you get rid of ear wax, is it normal that my tongue has white stuff on it, how do you know if you're dumb, is it weird that my boyfriend doesn't like porn, when to use 'then' or 'than', what is plastic made of, how do you cook an egg, do I have cancer, will my toe fall off" - all of it will be out there for the world to see.
You Will Never Have to Remember Anyone's Name The only positive thing that can happen from a Google/Facebook combine is that you will never have to remember a name. If I can just Google, "that guy eating a taco over there," and Google knows, because it's tracking your every move of course, and Facebook can tell me your name, your favorite quote and the last event you went to, introductions will be rendered meaningless. We will all already know each other and you will never be forced into an awkward place where you've forgotten somebody's name that you've met multiple times. You won't even know who you have met before and who you haven't.
With this line of thinking, you will never have to face-to-face converse again either. When I Google you, surely I will get your phone number, so rather than going over to you, I'll just text you. Eventually we will all speak in emojis and no one will remember what language sounds like or their own voices. It will be a silent, sad world where only the sound of Facebook post notifications will fill our lives.
Let's keep these two companies far, far away from each other.