By Sam Larson The other night I was working on homework when it hit me. It had been about three minutes since I had checked my Facebook page. I rushed down to my basement and hopped on the computer. Had anything changed? Well, someone went from single to “it’s complicated.” Below that was another post
By Sam Larson
The other night I was working on homework when it hit me. It had been about three minutes since I had checked my Facebook page. I rushed down to my basement and hopped on the computer. Had anything changed? Well, someone went from single to “it’s complicated.” Below that was another post about a friend who was now “single.” Twelve comments then followed as people had written things like, “ummm?” or “what?” or “so are you free on Saturday.”
So the world was fine. Nothing crazy had happened in the last three minutes (that is if you don’t count a friend of mine becoming a fan of “brushing your teeth”). No one had written on my wall, I was still ranked #4 best companion on a dessert island, and the side bar was still trying to get me to go on a college visit to some school in Vermont.
So why do people have this reliance and obsession of Facebook? Why do we feel the need to find out when friends are “off to the movies” or “procrastinating doing homework” or joined the group “save the pandas!” Why do we stalk people’s wall posts? Why have countries such as China gone so far as to ban our dear social networking site?
What’s wrong with talking on the phone or talking face to face, or even that Stone Age concept of hand writing letters to people you know and care about?
In early January there was a 62 year-old veteran who appeared on American Idol where he sang his original song “Pants on the Ground.” According to the Boston Phoenix, it only took two hours for the newly made facebook group of “Pants on the Ground” to reach 45 thousand members. The group soon grew to 300 thousand and as of January 28th it stands at 2.8 million members strong. That means that 2.8 million facebook users took time away from their days to search “pants on the ground,” join the group, check out the lyrics, and probably look at all the uploaded pictures. To be fare, I must admit that I am one of those people.
Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “Pants on the Ground” is a catchy song. But is all of Facebook just leading to fun and games? According to a study done by CyberPsychology & Behavior Journal, it’s not.
The study asked participants simple questions like, “How likely are you to monitor your partner’s activities on Facebook? and “How likely are you to become jealous after your partner has added an unknown member of the opposite sex?” “How likely are you to monitor your partner’s activities on Facebook?” The results were (in a nutshell) that even the smallest things that a person does on Facebook often cause their partner to become jealous. It also showed that people “stalk” their partners on Facebook just to make sure that nothing is going on with any other fish in the pond.
But it doesn’t just stop with relationships. Hubpages.com recently published an article titled “10 Ways to Ruin Your Employment Through Social Networking Sites.” This tells how many jobs have been lost through facebook in various situations.
We now live in a world where there are about 6.8 billion people, 315 million of them American, and over 300 million of them have facebook accounts. We’ve come a long ways since those dark times in 2004 when we used to talk with our friends and families face to face. Facebook has improved our lives in many ways. It has brought old friends together and helped long distance relationships work. I just urge you to remember the people in your life. Spend more time with them then on facebook. Go for a walk with a sibling, learn to bake a cake, and remember, don’t sag your pants, because someone might write a song and make a group of nearly 3 million to unite against you.