Question the value of Facebook


With ever-emerging social media sites that supposedly link people together, I’ve forgotten why I still have a Facebook account. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a Facebook account for years now and, at first, all you want to do is try to add as many friends as you can. It was exhilarating watching my friend count continuously rise while joining different Facebook groups and playing games that take up all your time. It’s true that Facebook does have its advantages over other social media sites: you are able to use your real name, set privacy settings to your liking and it has the highest percentage of users of any media site. There is a huge chance that your friends and coworkers have an account, which greatly facilitates interaction.

I admit it’s also a great way to connect with relatives all around the world. You are able to share pictures, have conversations through Facebook chat and keep in touch in general. As well, as an avid user of the events page, I advocate using it when creating events in order to easily keep up with the logistics of those attending.

However, it is safe to say that there are many cons associated with this form of social media. Firstly, my greatest pet peeve is the use of Facebook updates to vent out feelings people have at every moment of the day. I don’t understand the reason why individuals must always express their opinions through these updates. The last time I took a psychology class was in high school but even I can see that the purpose of expressing every single feeling one has on Facebook is to garner attention and try to get someone to boost them up or sympathize. People, if you want to do that, get Twitter. Then whoever wants to follow your roller coaster of emotions, can.

Another Facebook-causing dilemma is when you see a person who you disliked in high school appear in “friends you may know.” Do you add him/her as a friend on Facebook just because you know them? This underlies another con associated with Facebook: the concept of a “friend.” I don’t know when or how a “friend” became someone you met once at a party or had a short conversation with a few years ago. It’s true that not everyone adds friends so frivolously, but it still brings up the point that the idea of how Facebook has changed the idea of what being a “friend” entails.

However, do you really need to meet someone initially to become their friend on Facebook? It seems that this site has supposedly answered this question through the act of “poking.” I can’t fully express how many times I’ve come home and checked my account to find a notification informing me that I have been “poked” by someone I’ve never met. Seriously, am I the only one who finds that kind of creepy? My real question is why, among the millions of users of Facebook, did they decide to randomly “poke” me? It’s just one of the many questions life has to offer.

Lastly, the most important disadvantage of Facebook or maybe just social-media sites in general, is the fact that no matter how much we hate to admit it, these sites have become the go-to method of social interaction. No longer do we need to speak to each other face-to-face or through a phone, just go on Facebook chat or similar programs. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always preferred hearing someone’s voice over reading words that don’t convey the emotion behind it. I hate trying to decipher the meaning behind “….”

When did “lol” become the go-to word of every situation, no matter how tense? It has a tendency to follow sarcastic, angry and even sad comments. Without a doubt, these sites facilitate the concept of hiding your true emotions through word play without effectively dealing with the deep-seated issue. In the end, this method adds a sense of detachment which is fundamentally just a veil separating you from your problems.

Love it or hate it, there is no doubt Facebook is here to stay. However, during the exam period, I hope that students try to limit their usage in the likelihood they use their time more productively. We all know how addictive Facebook can be; we can tell from the status updates.

Leave a Reply

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.