We've Got Issues
In some respects, Facebook is a godsend. With more than 200 million active users worldwide (Facebook census updated in late May), Facebook has transcended the scope of global communication. The founder himself, Mark Zuckerberg, who launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room, has said that his mission for Facebook is to be used by everyone in the world to share information easily. Today, more people are familiar with the commercial context of Facebook.
The problem lies in that Americans have become increasingly dependent on Facebook for what could be the wrong reasons, we are in a constant state of checking profiles and changing statuses. Facebook, especially texting, give the world less of an opportunity to speak aloud and use what English grammar skills we have mastered and disregard them at that. Could Facebook be teaching us to be lazy and superficial?
You can have asked your friend to go to the movies with you next week and have gotten a "yes" without ever saying a word and typing everything in lowercases and ending with a nice thoughtful smiley face. Sometimes, facebook profiles are a strange rendition of a person. The pictures they post, the statuses they share, and the friends they add may not be the most flattering or accurate portraits of the person in question.
One Kimberley Swann found herself fired and stumped when she lost her job in the UK from Ivell Marketing & Logistics, after posting on her Facebook profile that her office administration job was boring. She was 16 and used the most common adjective in teenage hood diction and it cost her her first job. Despite this story's comedic flair, because at some point or another every person finds their job boring to some degree (except for me, I love my job, it's great, lol) and the basis for her dismissal is absurd, there are valid instances when people have to be weary of what they post.
On Facebook, people can be bold. Suddenly, they can talk to people that they might not otherwise talk to, they can confront an ex (although, this is not a suggested form of communication, please do not do this) Sometimes, the quick and efficient aspect of Facebook can be its most detrimental application. Not to mention when you start to think of life in terms of statuses. For example, right now, I am "Amor Yates is trying to meet her deadline in complete angst."
While social networking sites like Friendster, Myspace, and the ubiquitous Facebook, "[give] people the power to share and make the world more open and connected," they are addictive and a fundamental example of a waste of time.
While people are under the impression that they are rekindling friendships, are they really? Can a substantial friendship be forged virtually, even when internet lingo gets in the way to reassure tone? We are a society intent on pragmatism. Myspace made virtual interaction practical. Facebook has introduced a new level of sophistication to go hand-in-hand with virtual interaction. Now, Facebook users can share personal views, team up on political movements, and play Mafia Wars (as well as other Facebook games).
These social networking sites reflect a culture that has dissipated many of the prejudices based on race, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds (though, there is an age limit), your mom, your dad, and your teacher can all have Facebooks. They can be connected. But what we need to ask ourselves, is if whether or not that is any kind of real connection at all? Over the course of writing this, I have checked my Facebook a whole six times.