Facebook is one of the most popular websites on the internet. In one month people spend over 700 billion minutes on Facebook. That's almost 120 billion hours, 5 billion days, or 1.3 million years of time. Yet, these numbers represent the world. In just the United States there are 150 million Facebook accounts, which is equal to half the population of the country (5). Facebook has impacted the future of our country. More specifically it has impacted a generation. According to a 2010 study of students at the University of New Hampshire, 96% use Facebook daily (6). Many have tried to define what this dominant trend of not only Facebook, but all social media sites, means for the generation they are raising. Some say it promotes procrastination, some that it spurs revolution, but I think that the approach is wrong. Instead of asking 'What do these sites do?', I ask 'What do they teach us?'. Social media websites have shaped a generation into a quickly mobilized, highly communicative, and globally interconnected network.
In the past couple years there has been a spur of revolution around the world and news outlets in America were quick to point out the use of social media sites in aiding with the cause. Unfortunately, I do not think that there was a 'Twitter Revolution' in Moldova or Iran in 2009, but that journalists were too eager to find a story. A journalist for Foreign Policy wrote, "Through it all, no one seemed to wonder why people trying to coordinate protests in Iran would be writing in any language other than Farsi" (7). The error found here is one of over-attribution; not every modern mobilization can be credited to Facebook or Twitter, but this does not make the point moot.
An example from the United States: Just one year ago a high-school senior from Bergen County, New Jersey created a Facebook event for a walk-out protest of the proposed educational budget cuts. She invited only her friends, but in 26 days the 'Attending' tab on the event exceeded...
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