By Katie Spiro, Gardner-Webb Media Student
It is a frosty, mid-Saturday December morning. I reluctantly drag out of bed, power-on the coffee pot, and slug to my favorite lounge couch. I reach for my link to the world and begin the day by browsing neglected e-mails, launching Pandora radio, and surfing my favorited sites. As I scroll through, my stomach drops. Sultry, mid-lit pictures overflow my news feed and reveal a bonfire I never received an invitation for. It’s Facebook official– my-ex has moved on.
Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a “social utility
that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and
coworkers,” while developing technologies that facilitate the “sharing of
information through the social graph.” With this technology, who needs daily conversation or lunch break coffee chats when status updates are to the minute and share greater intimacy with acquainted strangers than the cute guy who has worked next to you for the past year?
With over 800 million active users, 70 available languages, and 3,000 employees, the
Facebook craze has reached nearly every corner of the globe. With these figures and capabilitites, I can not only stalk my ex, but also his best friends, co-workers, and even foreign grandparents. On average, a Facebook data center receives 250
million new photos, 20 million app requests, and over 400 million logins–per day. Talk about a stressful day job for founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg; talk about a full-time occupation for the modern college student.
As the ultimate social medium between individuals and 800
million of their closest friends, Facebook allows people to view their friend’s
latest activities, status updates, and even current relationships titles. But whatever
happened to those face to face conversations or lunch break coffee chats? With a mask of virtual
socialization, anyone can avoid the social consequences of the actual world, but where are the boundaries of ‘friendship’ drawn? Are we friends because we take the same metro every morning and share in the same hatred for our bosses? Or are we not friends because you havn’t added me on Facebook?
The art of conversation, seduction, and even perception has significantly changed thanks to Facebook and other social media sites. Who needs a spontaneous coffee date or free movie ticket when you can virtually “poke” that Mr. Right instead? With the lack of a ‘rejection’ button, awkward looks and uncomfortable dialogue are completely avoidable. Why take the chance, right?
Wrong. As with letters, phone calls, and e-mails, these media sites can
be excellent ways to keep in touch with friendships abroad, military
loved-ones, and college parents—but where is the line drawn? How much is too
much and where do these mediums become accurate excuses of a real relationship?
What started in a Harvard dorm room has swept the nation and world into a pile of comments, photos, and chat sessions. It time to take out the trash, not keep sweeping it under the rug.
I stand for akwardness. I stand for chance. I stand for reality and I stand for time spent with a group of people who make a life, not make a profile.