Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Has Facebook Become a Legitimate Presence in Our Everyday Lives?

Today it was announced that the social-networking site Facebook had more hits than Google, the mega search engine. Am I surprised? Yes, but I do not find that hard to believe. What people often describe as an addiction, what students (grad students for sure) describe as the ultimate procrastination tool, Facebook has somehow become a legitimately functional part of our lives. I for one am not the Facebook's biggest fan. I believe the social-networking site has single handedly undermined the privacy of the average person everywhere. It has taken the high school bathroom wall to the worldwide web. And what was once a scotched-taped Polaroid and dirty words written on the bathroom wall is now a jpg. file and a video captured by ones iPhone for the whole world to see. And God-forbid someone actually tags you.

Facebook blurs the lines of impropriety as my students find no issues with sending me friend requests. I mean, would you ask your teacher for their cell phone number so you can send them texts later? Facebook transforms your life into a glass house visible for those merely passing by. Details of your summer vacation or office party are available for those you wouldn't call up on the weekend to tell. Past relationships are suddenly and surprisingly current, even with those in which it is probably best to lose touch.

I have had a Facebook account for 5 out of the 6 years of its existence. Of course the level and nature of content has changed over the past 5 years. There are a number of events that are forever present because of the connective nature of the site. I can't simply delete photos. By best friend begged me to tag her. And it seems that no one believes in email anymore. Instead people send Facebook messages, which I am quite hesitant to check. Privacy settings change constantly making it almost impossible to conceal yourself, without taking yourself out all together. Which I have done before.

Most concerning is that Gmail and Pandora are blocked in my workplace, but Facebook conspicuously is not. Google powers my life; I use Gmail, Google chat, Google maps, Google Calendar. I have the G-1, the first Google phone. The idea that an invasive procrastination tool is more valuable in the work place than personal email (most likely the account used on your resume!!!) and visited more than the site that is the vehicle to answering all of your most random inquiries is disturbing to me, at the very least.
Has Facebook Become a Legitimate Presence in Our Everyday Lives?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


  1. They had to unblock FB at my office because the company has a FB page! So, that's why we get to use it.

  2. LOL your company having a Facebook page further proves my point. Facebook, has become a rash that seems to now give us "character."

  3. What's even funnier is that my "company" is a branch of the US Government.


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