Yoela Palkin

Faceless Facebook=The New Social Divider

Posted on October 29 2010 10:00 am
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Does Facebook ruin our sense of reality?

I know I have become notorious for my posts about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. So let me set the record straight by saying that I do not hate Zuckerberg or find Facebook to be an evil social networking site. Although their privacy settings and handling of hate speech needs to altered, I still remain an active member of Facebook. The only purpose I use this social network is for sharing my thoughts and opinions on different political matters while occasionally watching for hate groups and antisemitic slurs. After watching The Social Network, a movie depicting the story about Mark Zuckerberg’s “creation” of Facebook”, I have come to the realization that it was created to distract people from reality.

Think about it.

We don’t have to see people, make an effort to communicate, or even deal with our relationship complications face to face.

According to Guy Thompson, an internet blogger and author of Facebook: Good or Bad for Communication says,

“Mass electronic communication may lead to a lower quality of social interaction due to the sheer number of participants; the background level of gossip is likely to be higher than in face to face interactions. There’s also the inference that online information has less value somehow than real world information, although the same could be said of water cooler office gossip.”

With Facebook, face to face communication is unnecessary. Anyone can find out what is going on in a certain’s friends life by going onto their individual page and looking at their activity. The amount of information published on most of my “friends'” Facebook pages is far beyond what people usually admit during a first introduction which has lead many employers to hire based on a certain’s candidate’s Facebook profile. According to an article published in the Oregon Business Report,
“Forty-five percent of employers reported in a recent CareerBuilder survey that they use social networking sites to research job candidates, a big jump from 22 percent last year. Another 11 percent plan to start using social networking sites for screening. More than 2,600 hiring managers participated in the survey, which was completed in June 2009.”

This shows us how social networking is taking away from real old fashioned communication. If employers are judging a person based on their Facebook profile, this means that all the information they are looking for can be found on a certain person’s Facebook  page.

Do we realize that our profile identifies us as individuals?

Social media has been taking away from our realities ever since it’s creation. It’s great for networking but causes us to forget about traditional methods of communication.

Anyone can go onto their facebooks and write a friendly message to a person they dislike, but a problem arises when you cannot communicate with that certain person face to face.

What will the future look like if we cannot confront people without first sending them an email or message?

Writing a comment or email is far easier than looking a person in the eyes and having a normal conversation. That is something social media takes away.

According to a recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive:

“87% of online Americans use social media.  Of those, 44% say that, in general, they prefer to interact with acquaintances using social media rather than face-to-face;  23% say the same about interacting with friends and 19% say so about interacting with family.”

If almost half of internet users say they prefer communicating with people online, have our views on communication changed in the past decade? This is where social media has brought us. In the real world, people communicate face to face and work together to achieve certain goals. You do not get the same benefit through online social networking.

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