Shifting the Facebook Objective

February 17, 2012
By AshleyGoodwin SILVER, Jamison, Pennsylvania
AshleyGoodwin SILVER, Jamison, Pennsylvania
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid"

Some time ago I had considered giving up my Facebook completely. I felt like I was spending too much time in this alternate online universe, while the real world was passing me by. Why did I care so much about the lives other people were living? Why did I need to know, really who that guy I once sat next to in 10th grade biology was in a relationship with? Why did I care to view pictures of the fun spring break extraveganza of some girl I vaguely knew from high school? I found the whole thing to be a mindless waste, not to mention an excuse for people to feel bad about their not-as-exciting lives (statistics show that the more a person spends on Facebook, the more likely they are to develop depression!) I wanted to boycott it all, and go back to only paying attention to my own life.

I mean think about it, really. Our generation is completely unique from every generation that has preceded us. When my parents graduated from high school, they may have stayed in touch with a few close friends, but in general, their classmates eventually became only obscure memories. High school reunions, for example, were originally intended to catch up after many years of absence, but for my generation, everyone will already know what everyone’s been up to all these years due to social networking sites such as Facebook. Where’s the fun in that?

Though, I just couldn’t bring myself to delete it. These days, if you don’t have a Facebook, you virtually do not exist, unfortunately. And I suppose I still wanted to feel like a part of modern society.

Then I came to realize that I could go back to enjoying Facebook - I had just been using it for all the wrong reasons. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m someone who cherishes her privacy, so I never felt as strongly as others when it came to posting personal information on my site. Likewise, I didn’t like the fact that I knew so much about people that I didn’t really talk to in real life. So, rather than using Facebook as an ‘alternate universe’ which spewed out gossip and drama regarding people I really do not care about, I re-designed it to be simply a convenient extension of my real life. I deleted about half of my Facebook friends, leaving only those I’d easily choose to keep in touch with sometime in the future. Random people I met once? Deleted. People I really wasn’t friends with in high school? Deleted. Ex friends and flames I have no intention of speaking to again? Goodbye. As I look at those who have 1000+ “friends” I wonder if they even think about how unsettling it is that so many people have the ability to be completely informed about their personal life. Remember the days when your parents used to warn you against putting your real name online?

It’s also strangely refreshing to have the power to “delete” people from your life. Really, try it.

Resist the urge to simply look at others’ fun party pics, and start really networking instead! The beauty of this day and age is that the ability to get in contact with anyone is just a click away! Use this to your advantage and share your cool ideas with those who care about what you have to say, rather than just to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’ If you still choose to be a die-hard Facebook stalker, at least keep up with those people who care what you’re doing as well. No need to be a total creep.

Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a fantastic invention. Can you even imagine life without it anymore? I just feel that many people use its qualities to brag, stalk and hide behind a screen when they should really focus their attention on the fact that it’s a very effective communication tool.

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