The Facebook ‘Fix’: Good or Bad? …Survey Says…

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Education, Entertainment/Media
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Re-posted after the inclusion of additional resources at the bottom of post…

The following thoughts were inspired upon me after reading an article on Yahoo! Canada by Live Science columnist Jennifer Welsh.  You can check out Welsh’s article here.  From my vantage point, there seems to be three camps that exist in the ever-popular debate as to whether or not Facebook is beneficial to young social net-workers. 

Camp #1– these folks LOVE facebook, and would likely have some sort of nervous or mental breakdown if they were grounded from facebook…or worse yet…if the recent rumors are true of hackers attempting to sabotage the social network super giant in the fall!  This crowd will post pretty much anything and everything online (pics, info, daily ‘what’s going on?‘ avatars), and probably have their smartphones synched for daily updates all day, no matter where they are (home, school, work).  Those that reside in Camp #1 have probably spend 5+ hours daily engaged directly/indirectly with facebook, and are constantly consumed with updating their own face ‘tweets’, or getting the moment-by-moment updates of their friend’s status.  People in this group have something to say…and they want to share it with the world…or at least the ‘world’ they are surrounded by…and believe what’s on their mind is of importance to everyone within ear-shot.  Becoming a ‘friend’ is a level of status you attain by being invited by other online ‘friends’ to be part of their ‘community.’  The more ‘friends’ you have, means (in some minds) the more popular you are, and having more than 1000 ‘friends’ is a sign of ‘arriving’ on the social network scene!

Camp #2– this is the polar opposite of camp #1…this is the anti-facebook crowd who mock those who use it and succumb to the pressures of ‘crackbook.’  Many of these campers are likely in the 40+ age-range, and aren’t likely to use any social networking sites.  When these folks want to update their ‘status’, they either inform people in-person or on the phone, and don’t care to share with the world that they are “going shopping with my crew“…or “just saw Captain America…it rawked!” or “omg…Stevie is soooo retarded…why are boys such lame-o’s?”  This group generally subscribe to the belief that social media (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Myspace) is just an outlet that fosters and fuels narcissism among Camp #1, and promotes isolation from real friendships/relationships and family.  In opposite to Camp #1, these campers would think that the more ‘friends’ you have on FB would likely mean the more disconnected you are from ‘real life’, and that most of your FB ‘friends’ are likely people who hardly even know (or even know at all!).

Camp #3– These folks either don’t use FB at all, or might have an account purely for the purpose of proving to the social arena of life that they are indeed alive!  This crew uses FB for limited personal interaction, and might largely use it for advertising or promotional purposes, or to start some kind of group.  A general belief here would be that facebook is great for ‘catching up’ with old friends and the occasional friend search to check out a resume or verify a ‘rumor’.  But it would certainly not be the end of the world if FB no longer existed.  The notion here would be that FB is a good resource…but only in healthy and manageable doses, and as soon as it interferes with real social interaction, school grades, behavior, it should find its place at the back of the social agenda line.

For me personally, I would subscribe more to Camp #3…as I find FB useful, but for the most part it consumes a lot of time that would be much better spent elsewhere!  I use it quite often for ministry and personal use, but I think it brings out a bit of the narcissist in me (blogging can also do that…that’s why I’m working on a post titled: Why I Never Used to Blog, and Why I Started).

So What are your thoughts about facebook…and social media outlets in general?

**Bonus articles and resources re: Facebook & Social Media/Networking


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