Monday, February 25, 2013

in defense of Facebook

I am fascinated by the Facebook culture.

And I read Facebook statuses (statii?) a lot.

And I love them. I even love the ones that most people think are annoying like people who take pictures of quinoa salad or post an "accidental pic"of their biceps. Or the offensively and hilariously long hashtags? I can't get enough.

I may not agree with it. I may even find it offensive.  I may not comment on it. I may never have the guts to post it myself,

But I appreciate it.

I like that we can build such HUGE communities now through Facebook and social networking. I think Facebook taps into and capitalizes on our human longing for connection. Some people may go about it wayyyyyyy differently than I would. But, who cares?

The internet is such a big, scary, crazy, amazing thing. Sure, it has its drawbacks. They say that the  younger generation will be less confident with face-to-face or even phone conversations, but which generations haven't had their obstacles? I mean, really. Name one.

I see Facebook users get a lot of abuse for their hashtags or their political beliefs or the pictures of their dogs in clothes or the selfies they take, and I guess I want to come to their defense. It's America, people! You have the right to unfriend or block whomever you want.

That's the way I see it.

How do you use or view Facebook? Isn't it such an interesting phenomenon?




  1. A friend once said Facebook satisfies our inner voyeur - which I think totally hits the nail on the head.

    What I don't like about it is how some people use it to argue their extreme points of view over and over and over all day long. People who will jump in and attack strangers because they don't share the same beliefs.

    I don't agree that poor communication skills are an 'obstacle' nor do I think the internet is solely to blame for that - I think texting and cell phones are more responsible for that. As a 40-something who has worked and shared offices with recent college graduates, I've seen first hand that they don't have basic communication and people skills away from a screen.

  2. Hi, Becky! Thanks for your comment. I can see how Facebook can satisfy one's inner "voyeur" if it's used in a certain way, by certain people. I don't think that every facebook user would fall under than category, though.

    I one hundred percent agree about those folks who use Facebook as a means of being being hateful and extreme for being hateful and extreme's sake.

    You don't think poor communication skills are an obstacle? What would you call it? Hm. I definitely do--one that they MUST overcome. Agreed that the internet isn't solely to blame, but that IS what most young people are doing on their phones---facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. I have no doubt that you've experienced some college students who struggle with communication and people skills. But can we place blame on them? I mean, one of the reasons why this poor communication is an obstacle is because SO MUCH is digital now. Heck, my doctor's office only schedules my appts via website portal now...

  3. I love me some Facebook! I love reconnecting with people, looking at cute babies, and drooling over people's quinoa salads ;)

    I don't like that many people will say things on Facebook they'd never dare say in real life, though (myself included). It seems that when we can hide behind a computer screen, we suddenly think we're invincible and need to SAY ALL THE THINGS! And we sometimes forget we are talking to a REAL person on the other side, someone with feelings and thoughts and fears.

    I agree that poor communication skills are a huge obstacle (I mean, I teach high school and have seen for myself what social media in general has doen to this generation). These kids have had cell phones for YEARS. All they do is tweet, put pics on Instagram, and update Facebook statuses (and play the occasional game). Their spelling is horrendous; I actually recently read an article about how texting and social media has contributed to the decline of proper spelling/grammar usage.

    Summary: I love Facebook if used appropriately, but I can't deny its detrimental effects on the generation I teach.

    1. Christine. I totally get what you're saying about the "boldness" (or is it cowardice?) that some folks get when they sit behind a computer screen. ESPECIALLY when the "anonymity" that one can have doing it. You can post anonymously almost anywhere now. Ugh. OWN YOUR THOUGHTS!

      And yes, absolutely. I can see it myself even though I'm not a teacher. You must see it all day every day!

  4. I totally agree with Becky! haha I've found so many different schools of thought on Facebook. I have a Facebook account and I subscribe to the theory that people only post things on Facebook to get attention. It could be, like you said, a picture of quinoa or a shot of your engagement ring (which I HATE by the way, and I'm engaged). When you dig deep to see the WHY of why people post things, it's always attention. And the worst part, it's attention from people who we're not even REALLY friends with! I agree with the other commenter about the voyeur aspect. We all have a few "friends" on Facebook who, lets just say, we're not really their friends. Admit it! haha We all do! Even if it's just one. But we love reading their statuses or looking at their pictures because they're ridiculous.

    And I agree with Becky, poor communication skills aren't an obstacle. An obstacle is losing your job and having to figure out how to pay rent. Or having a bad experience and trying to figure out how to cope with it. Sitting at dinner with your family and constantly checking your phone for Facebook and text updates is just immaturity. It grinds my gears when people do that! haha

    Anyways, I like this blog! Thanks for the insight.

  5. Thanks for the comment, Jewel! So do you not post on FB, or are you saying that, when you so, it's for attention?

    "Grinds my gears" is a good phrase for how I feel when someone can't go through a meal without texting or checking FB. Did you know there are restaurants now who will give you 10% off an entree of you "check" your phone at the door? Cool. And sad.

    I see what you're saying about "obstacle" not being a strong enough word. What should we call it?

    1. OH yeah! I totally do it for attention. I admit it. I don't post that much but when I do, it's basically so that I can get attention haha. Like I think the last post I did was for my blog. I wanted people to read it. I could have just emailed it to my closest friends and family members, but I posted it. And a picture of my cat---I wanted people to comment on how cute he is hahaha Or my sister: she totally posts stuff for attention! I think her exact words at her birthday dinner were: "I want to make people jealous on Instagram because I'm eating gnocchi." :-/ lol Yep. Of course, we're just two people.