Friday, April 23, 2010

Facebook – Love it or loathe it?

Most people I know, including myself, have a facebook account. In theory, you can keep intouch with your friends, see their pictures and comment on them. How did we cope before this phenomenom? How did our parents, or their parents live without facebook, yahoo messenger or mobile phones? Well, I can't answer those questions, but when on Thursday I found myself about to deactivate my account, I weighed up the pros and cons with a stalemate ensuing. The only reason I still have an account is that I had to enter countless passwords to close it down, and being a little short on time, I decided, for now, to still be facebookable.

Now, I think I have a more legitimate claim to use facebook than most. I live overseas, and have friends all over the world. It's difficult to keep intouch with everyone as timezones and the expense of calling or texting people would soon mount up. I would say that most facebook users send messages to people that they see everyday, text everyday or speak to on a regular basis. So what's the point of FB? Surely we could say most of these things face to face or over the phone like the good old days.

I guess most of my problem with FB is that I spend too much time on it. When I wake up the first thing I do (after checking the BBC Sport Website) is log onto my FB account to check that nobody has left me a message. Then I check to see if there's anybody I want to talk to on FB chat and then, if I have nothing to do, I sit and wait for someone to contact me. How exciting I am! One would think I'd have better things to do with my time, but I'd like to see how many sad people there are out there like me who have fallen into FB's trap!

Facebook does have it's uses. It's great for stalking people. You can find out who's dating who, what people have been up to and see if the hottest girl/guy from secondary school is still stunning or whether they've let themselves go. Some people I know have even used FB for dating. Meeting people online isn't really my cup of tea, but having another option in the game of finding 'the one' has surely got to be a good thing. You can also show people how popular you are with your friend count! I think mine currently stands at about 440. How many of them do I talk to or message? Probably about 20.

Ironically, I'm going to use FB to try to get people to read my blog but that's not the point. I use my FB status to make pointless comments or to wish my students good luck in their exams! I've been fortunate that so far FB hasn't got me in trouble! I know of some people who have had to explain, perfectly innocent, pictures to their gf/bf. Furthermore some companies use FB to spy on their employees! I've also heard rumours that some HR departments even use FB to research job applicants.

How long I'll stay on FB is open for debate. So far today my account has been logged on for 7 hours. I've spoken to about 5 people and the rest of the time it's been on in the background while I've been watching Dvds and sitcoms! The facebook curse has infected me. I just hope that I recover soon!!

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