27 October 2010
The Attack of Facebook: the negative effects it has on its users In 2004 Mark Zuckerberg created a social network called Facebook that would affect the lives of millions. A social network is defined according to Danah M. Boyd, a PhD candidate in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and author of Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship as a “web-based service that allows individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system” (Boyd). Facebook, however, goes above and beyond your average social network. So it is not a surprise to know that as of 2010 “half a billion people worldwide use Facebook—more than three times the number of Twitter users, the second-most-popular social networking site” (Clemmitt). Facebook consists of constant statuses such as: Janet Johnson: Good morning facebook…aaaaaah what a crazy night…i had a blast with my bestie Shana TooSexy4ya Smith… even though she was a mess. Smh. I still luv her tho =) It allows also its users to add or block “friends”, join groups, ‘like’ comments, pictures, statuses, and statements, instant message friends for quick communication, play games that get posted on a user’s wall, and so much more. Facebook has redefined social networking: schools have used it to communicate important events to students, employers have used it as a way to post job listings, and it has connected people from all over the world. Yet as wonderful as Facebook may seem it comes with negative effects. In the “The Facebook: Discover the Connection,” written by Kyle Hanagami, he states that these effects include addiction, procrastination, a decrease in face-to-face communication, stalking, invasion of privacy, legal issues, and even [the rare] suicide (Hanagami). Clearly there are many draw backs and benefits to Facebook. It is a great social networking site but also a site that can bring many problems to one’s life. When used occasionally and appropriately it works, but when used obsessively and improperly Facebook becomes a problem.
To begin with, even though there are many negative effects of Facebook there are still some benefits to using the social network. One of the benefits is connecting long-lost friends. A user can do a search for old friends from childhood or whenever and reconnect with them. If they live in the same area they could potentially get together and catch up. Another connection Facebook has is finding family members. Not just distant relatives but there have been cases where Amber Alerts were put on via Facebook and were successful. One of the reasons Facebook was created, other than connecting people, was for people to go on for their own pleasure. User’s need to have control over their time spent on Facebook so things like addiction and procrastination does not occur. There have not been any studies stating that Facebook is addicting and causes people to procrastinate. Therefore, people who stay on Facebook all day can only blame themselves and not Facebook. Although there are many issues regarding privacy on Facebook, it still can be considered private. People are in charge of what goes on their page. They make the choice to put personal information on the internet; the makers of Facebook do not force its users to put anything up. But with all that being said, the negative effects out-weigh the positive effects of Facebook. I know when I first open up a window for Internet Explore it is not to go on Facebook. Sometimes I will need to go on Google. Other times I will need to check my email. But almost always after I click into the address bar my fingers so effortlessly type in Facebook.com. There it is, the home page of Facebook—the site I did not plan on going on but...