Facebook: Social Network or Social Disaster

Topics: Sociology, Social network service, EBSCO Industries Pages: 5 (1807 words) Published: December 5, 2010
Facebook: Social Network or Social Disaster
Your busy day is done. You head home open up your laptop or head over to your desktop and turn it on. After impatiently waiting for everything to load on your computer you open up your web browser. You go to the top of the page and type in www.face and arrow down in the drop box to http://www.facebook.com/. As the website loads you wait in anticipation. When the blue bar at the top of the page loads you immediately look to the left hand corner of that bar. You glance over the first icon which is a silhouette of two people. Any friend requests? You then skim over to the next icon, a picture of two message bubbles. They remind you of the ones you would see in a cartoon. Any messages? You then proceed to direct your eyes over to the last icon, the world icon. Any Notifications? You click on these icons and with that click you begin a social interaction with someone.

For many people, what I described above is an action they do everyday. “Over 500 million people worldwide live their lives on Facebook.” (Fletcher and Ford, 32) After reading this quote I asked myself one question, “Is it the communication aspect of facebook that causes everyone to be addicted to facebook or is there more to this addiction?” I know I go on Facebook almost everyday without fail but why? Do I go on to communicate and use Facebook as a social network or do I go on it mainly to get the dirt on others and what is going on in their lives? I came to the conclusion that Facebook is definitely a good place to keep in communication with people, however, in many ways, Facebook has definitely been misused and become gossip central.

When you think about Facebook what is the first thing that comes to your mind? The first thing for me is friends. Right now I have 933 friends on Facebook and friends are a very important part of everyone’s lives. Facebook, like any other social network, gives you the ability to communicate with friends, coworkers, family members, and people from all over the world. You request to be their friend and wait for them to accept that request. There are so many people on Facebook today it would be rare to turn next to the person that sits next to you in math class and for them not to have a Facebook account. It is a very easy way to get in contact with those whom you may not have seen in a while. Old friends that over the years have become acquaintances or even friends that you can’t talk to on a regular basis because they live in a completely different country then you. For many of my high school years I went on missions trips to Mexico to help out at an orphanage down there. I met many different people and as the years went by I looked forward to seeing my long lost friends. Because of Facebook, I no longer have to call them my long lost friends because I can keep in contact with them through Facebook. I think it is great that so many of my friends are on Facebook and this is another way that I can communicate with them.

However, one danger of having friends on Facebook is that some of the friends you accept may be quite superficial. (Muise, Christofides, Desmarais, 442). I have almost a thousand friends on Facebook do you really think that I am as close to all of them as I am with my best friend? No, that is ridiculous. However, because Facebook is such an open social network and give us many different ways to communicate with others it has a tendency to give us a more open look at life so people tend to share more intimate aspects on life over their facebook status’. It has changed our social DNA, and made us more accustom to openness (Fletcher and Ford, 33). When we share these intimate aspects we are not necessarily thinking, “I hope everyone sees this.” We are just thinking about the friends we usually interact with on facebook, but the problem is anyone that you have accepted as a friend can see that status change. For example, I am friends with my mother on Facebook and when...
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