In the past ten years, the breakthroughs of the Internet have lead to the creation of online social networks. Founded in 2004, Facebook has become the most popular social network in the past few years. It has created a new way for people to communicate and socialize. Either by “posting” on their friends’ “walls” or by videoconferencing, users can leave them a message. However, the nonstop use of Facebook is becoming a discussed issue among our society. Youth are using Facebook to procrastinate on their daily tasks. Checking their Facebook profile is now part of their daily lives. This issue may cause them to get distracted constantly, consume golden time, lose privacy, change their daily habits, and, sometimes, even damage their computer’s operating system. This paper discusses the positive and the negative effects that the excessive use of Facebook may cause to our young generation.
Keywords: social network, Facebook, negative effects, young people, logged in
I’ll “Facebook” You Later: The Effects of Facebook in Young People’s Lives During 2008, I remember talking to my friend Patricia and she told me: “Hey Cynthia, nobody is using MySpace now. They’re all moving to Facebook; it’s kind of the same thing, but I’m just letting you know that you need to get on the trend.” Trusting her, I visited the Facebook website and created my own profile. My first “post” was a picture of my dad and me at the Giants Stadium in New Jersey. But Facebook’s interface seemed to be very boring and I never logged in again. The following year, unexpectedly, Facebook’s popularity increased. Facebook had arrived, and this time to stay. The new social network seemed to be more organized and easier to use than MySpace. The idea of becoming a fan of something you like by making one single click was interesting for many people around the world. Nowadays, Facebook is the most popular social network by allowing people from everywhere around the world to stay connected. Today, if you don’t have a Facebook profile, you are off-trend. However, being the “owner” of a Facebook profile has its responsibilities, and therefore, its pros and cons. The renowned social network has become such an addiction among young people that they don’t even ask what your name is anymore, but whether you are on Facebook. Youth spend tons of hours on Facebook, either logged in using their cell phones or from their laptops; they often feel the need to posting what their next activity will be, but is Facebook really worth the time? As mentioned in their own website, “Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment” (Facebook.com, 2011). Itodo Daniel Sule, a journalist from the Nigeria Daily Trust, added in his article “Youths and Social Network Obsession”, “As at July 2011 it is said that Facebook has more than 750 million active users. The number of Facebook fans must have grown astronomically since then. Users may create personal profiles, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile” (2011). Facebook allows its users to share with their friends their thoughts, feelings, favorite songs, and/or pictures. The “Newsfeed” is the first thing that will appear in your screen when logged in; on it, you can see what your friends are up to and you can catch up with what your friends will be doing next weekend. It is also an...