Facebook- the next best thing or the end of our social lives: become a fan

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Facebook: a social networking site designed solely to connect people with friends and allow them to see whats going on in the world without even having to leave the comfort of home. In the last year, there has been a 61 million person increase of Facebook members from the United States alone. As its popularity escalates, the fatal flaws of Facebook begin to show themselves, but is it really as bad as our parents make it out to be?

It certainly is not perfect. Although Facebook is promoted as a social networking site, to be used in addition to visiting with one's friends, it seems to actually be creating more and more antisocial children and teenagers. Through Facebook, people can “stalk” their friend's profiles without actually having to interact with them, thus entering into a vicious cycle. While it would seem that reducing the amount of time people spend with their friends would be beneficial and allow the person to use that time and energy to do something productive, the majority of these people spend this extra time back on Facebook. Sooner rather than later, they are "addicted" and spend every free moment browsing the day's top news.

Before they know it, they are spending time on Facebook while they should be working. Slowly, their grades drop, or their work just isn’t getting done anymore. Statistics show that the average user spends 55 minutes a day on Facebook. That’s almost an hour spent doing virtually nothing. On the other hand, some argue that Facebook allows them to take a breather and relieve stress. A group of scientists have even found that taking a break and spending a few minutes online can help increase productivity, because it allows a person to clear their mind and go back to their task with a fresh perspective. It seems like Facebook is not harmful, and perhaps even advantageous, in moderation. However, according to an Ohio State University study, Facebook users had GPAs a full grade lower than non-users. Facebook users also studied on average one to five hours a week, compared to 11 to 15 hours for non-users.

And while it can be fun to visit with friends that you may not see much, or talk to your cousin in China, or reconnect with your old friend from elementary school who moved away, or even just see what your friends that you see every day are up to, Facebook’s harmless facade is fallacy. First of all, online network sites and the internet in general have made it so much easier for stalkers and child molesters, etc. to take advantage of people. All they have to do is create a profile masquerading as a young girl and take pictures and information from some random unsuspecting person and they can get close to just about anyone without anyone even suspecting that the one behind the computer is a scraggly fifty year old man looking for a new affair. And though most everyone who hears this says “no, that could never happen to me. I wouldn’t fall for that”, a surprising number of people do. Additionally, pictures that people post are getting to be more and more inappropriate or give out too much personal information. It is generally assumed that if something happens, a picture can just be deleted. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. Once something is out there, it’s out there. The internet is a scary place. Moreover, you can’t control what people say or do on Facebook. As technology advances, businesses are starting to check up on their applicants online before they even consider hiring anyone. More people than ever are starting to delete their accounts because they are afraid that their employers will see their friend’s profiles, comments, or pictures.

But is it really as damaging as they say? It appears that Facebook is one of those good things that you can have too much of. Moderation is the key. Facebook can reconnect friends and strengthen relationships that would be otherwise weak. This fact cannot be overlooked, but one must always travel with caution and familiarize themselves with the thorns that come with all roses, and just remember, “Whatever you do, do in moderation.” -proverb





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mary_blue356 said...
May 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm
Another great article from a great writer! I learned so many things from this. I agree with everything you stated. I don't really spend too much time in Facebook from now on. I really got nothing to do there.
 
mary_blue356 replied...
May 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm
Five stars for you!
 
imrighthereyouknow said...
May 9, 2010 at 10:31 am
i agree, i mean, i have a fb, but i don't spend all my time on it. I only go on if I have nothing (literally) to do
 
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