21 Reasons to Love and Hate Facebook
Welcome to Facebook
I love Facebook, but only on days ending in the letter y. On the other days, I hate it. While there is no doubt that Facebook does an amazing job of keeping us connected to our loved-ones, it also does a great job of wasting our otherwise productive time. For years now, creator Mark Zuckerberg has been sneaking doses of Facebook into the world's internet diet, and now we're all addicted. So what is there to love about Facebook? What is there to hate? I believe there are 21 different reasons for both.
Reasons to Love Facebook
It's funny: I have some strange friends. These strange friends often find strange things on the internet, then post them on Facebook. It is usually a comment, video or news article. Now, thanks to my friends on Facebook who share stuff that makes them laugh, I get a good laugh too.
It keeps us connected: Facebook has allowed for us to stay in touch with one another on a larger and more convenient scale than ever before. Orphans have sought out their biological parents, highschool flames have reunited, one-night stands from that bachelor party in Las Vegas have come back with a baby in their arms. But best of all, you can easily stay in touch with good friends from your past.
Mark Zuckerberg feels both "trapped and liberated" by Facebook
Party invitations: For the college student, this is truly one of Facebook's most lovable features. With Facebook, it is incredibly simple to host a party and/or be invited to one. In less than one minute, you can invite 800+ friends to a party. It also allows you to give additional information like the address, date, time, what to bring, who is attending and the dress code.
Chat: I remember how easy AOL Instant Messenger made it for me to ask girls out in the 5th grade. A lot has changed since my youth and I now use Facebook chat to ask girls out. It's a simple, quick, and convenient way to talk with friends who happen to be online while you are.
Getting creepy: I am joking, but not really. Let me explain: Facebook is great for "scoping the scene." There is no such thing as a blind date anymore if you can see photos and learn his/her interests, work history, DOB, and even favorite books beforehand. It is also a good way to remember a friends birthday or stalk your exes without breaking and entering.
Photographs: This my number one reason why I love Facebook. Many Facebook users upload photos like it's their job. Whether of a recent backpacking trip around Europe or a best friends wedding, give it one week and you will have photos of it. Just tell your friends to 'tag' you and photos from a range of quality, perspectives and angles will start to pour in. It is the simplest way to receive and post photos online.
Business: As the biggest social networking site in the world, there is no surprise why Facebook is good for business. In order to succeed in today's business economy, social networking is essential. If you own a small business, or are trying to promote a new product, Facebook is a great way to get the word out, develop a following, keep your customers connected, and better your business.
Nostalgia: Facebook is an online library of your photographs and friends. Reliving old memories or contacting old friends can bring back some warm fuzzy feelings.
Strange status updates: I would much rather hear a strange status update like, "farted in my car on the way to work and almost lost my breakfast" than a sad or mundane update about what you ate for breakfast.
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Reasons to Hate Facebook
Emotional status updates: If you update your status, I would prefer it to be either insightful, funny, useful, or as I previously mentioned, straight up strange. If you are fishing for compliments with updates like "feel fat, going to the gym" or seeking help with "life sucks right now," then please go somewhere else. You are fat and life doesn't suck.
It's addictive: Nicotine, alcohol, heroin, Facebook...same thing. If you feel like Facebook has you trapped under a frozen lake, without a hole for air, you might be addicted. In a generation marked by shorter attention spans, Mark Zuckerberg has provided a quick form of entertainment where you and your friends are the subject matter. Now, with features like Facebook mobile, you can get your fix anytime, anywhere.
It gives a false sense of community: "The lack of social contact, the lack of sense of community, may be the most pressing social problem of the new millennium" says Robin Dunbar, professor of psychology from the University of Liverpool states. And it's true, the world would be a better place with a strong global sense of community. While this was one of Mr. Zuckerberg's initial intentions with Facebook, it has backfired. Yes Facebook does help to create bonds between people worldwide, but it is still a much weaker, superficial bond than good-ol face-to-face communication.
Mom and dad are on Facebook: As a young adult, the last thing you want Mom and Dad to know is everything you're up to, complete with photographs to look at and comments to read. In the beginning years, Facebook was strictly for college students. Today, grandma can sign up and check out what kind of shenanigans her 16 year old granddaughter is up to. Uh oh grandma.
Compare and contrast: It's a horrible, but undeniable trait among the modern human. We constantly judge, compare and analyze ourselves and one another. Facebook provides a platform for you to do that. The fight in order to 'keep up' with the Jones' can be detrimental to your mental health, and Facebook can easily facilitate the desire to do so. My only advice is to be yourself and do your own thing. 100%
Waste of time: "Holy crap, I just spent an hour on Facebook." I don't know how, but Mark Zuckerberg has discovered a time warp. Facebook has the ability to suck hours out of our potentially productive day, without our realizing it. I believe our time indoors and online should be limited, and our time outside and free from our devices, increased.
The Facebook over-user: You know who you are: crowding up the mini-feed with comments, stupid cat videos, hourly status updates on what you're feeling and otherwise mindless jabber. Have some respect. Don't do that.
Friend suggestions: This is a fairly recent and quite pesky feature. Facebook will allow you to send or receive messages offering friend suggestions. Facebook also provides a tool that creates a list of people it thinks you should be friends with. Who are you, computer, to tell me who to be friends with? That is annoying, and what's more annoying is that there isn't a physical, tangible being that I can blame and/or tell to piss off.
Loss of privacy: I know, it's my fault. Anything you post on the internet, including on Facebook, can potentially be accessed by anyone in the world. That is weird to me. Additionally, people you have not seen in years can know a lot about you: the last vacation you went on, who your friends are, how many tattoos you have, your relationship status, work experience, education history and more. Do our life experiences and achievements become invalid unless the entire internet world knows about them? Is this real life? Where am I? Are you my dad? Uhhhh...
Groups, causes and fan pages: Outside the world of Facebook, these have no relevance. None. If you join a cause on Facebook, it means you are doing nothing more than sitting in your armchair and saying you care with a 'click'. You will never cure cancer or save the seals from your laptop. Furthermore, joining the group "If 1,000,000 people join this group, I will name my first born son Frankenstein" is funny, I agree. But unless I personally get to hang out with Frankenstein, coach his T-ball team, and go for pizza afterwards, then I don't care. Name the poor boy Timmy so he doesn't grow up blaming his failures on the fact that his dead-head parents named him Frankenstein.
Unknown friend requests: I don't understand this. No random person on the street has ever approached me and asked me to be their friend. Why then, does this happen all the time on Facebook? If I'm not friends with you in real life, I'm not going to be friends with you on the internet.
Relationship status updates: It is a big step in the modern relationship. But today, the time to DTR (define the relationship) may come via a Facebook message. Be careful how you respond. "Susan changed her relationship status to: in a relationship with Jason." Meanwhile, Jason is unaware of this. He's on spring break 2008, downing blue jello shots and making out with drunk girls on the dance floor of Senor Frogs in Cabo San Lucas. It's a beautiful thing... a relationship, but choosing to update it on Facebook first could be a mistake if done without proper consent. "Susan changed her relationship status to: it's complicated with Jason."
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