Facing the Facebook Generation

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My Facebook profile. Do the notifications excite you? They do for most people.

I won’t preach to you all; I’ll just tell you my personal experiences with Facebook.

I held out for as long as I could in high school without succumbing. I didn’t want to get addicted, or be a part of those secretive conversations about who did what to whom. Nevertheless, because the (student) editor of our newspaper only communicated via Facebook, I succumbed. And have regretted it many a time.

Yes, it’s a great communication tool, for all the family scattered abroad and the classmates we haven’t talked to in years and that person we never had a relationship with. But unless you’re a supernatural wizard, and pathways are not reinforced by neurotransmitters in your brain, you’ve probably spent many a night looking people up you’ve never even met and perusing their photos. 

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More times than I care to acknowledge, I’ve seen someone walking down the street and felt a pang of familiarity. After I’ve wracked my brain to figure out how I know them, it hits me: I’ve seen their Facebook profile. Or how about when you meet someone and you tell them you’ve met before, but you don’t remember where? They don’t remember you. And then it hits you: Facebook. Caught red-handed. 

How about those beautiful bright red notifications that confirm people think you’re as funny, smart, or witty as you think you are? Or when your profile alerts the public that you’ve gone to an event? Tells everyone that you do, in fact, do worthwhile and fun things with your time with other people that are equally as popular? 

Oooh. Friends. Now that is a touchy subject. I know people who literally have 3,000+ Facebook friends. Now really, what’s the point? I’m not a perpetual friender, so I only have around 180 friends.

Only.

Should I feel sad and friendless? Or should I just feel sorry for the people unable to differentiate between their real friends and fake ones? Do they friend every single person that they meet? It’s the only answer I can possibly fathom to be remotely accurate.

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How about when people tag you in photos so you don’t have to upload them yourself like all the other losers out there? Really, now. You’re above the uploading stage. (Fake it ’til you make it, anyway.)

 I have so many college friends who constantly upload drunk party photos of themselves. Why is that? Because they look good for these events on the weekends and they want their other school friends to see they can look decent if they put in the effort? Is it because they want to show how many “real life” friends they have and how these people like them enough to get drunk with them?

Well, after all that, I’m still here and kickin’. An active Facebook community member. I still have my account. I nearly deactivated it in the summer, but held onto it because it was just too d*** useful. We’ve all claimed that we want to deactivate our accounts. Been there, done that, I know. I’m not unique in that regard. My account has come in handy several times in the past few weeks, from contacting people about spring classes to finding out about events to even crowdsourcing for a class assignment. I’ve told myself after college I’m done. Deleting my account. But I’m going into PR, and I’ll be hard-pressed to remain social-media-less. So it seems I’m screwed for now, and also for the long term. At least I have one thing going for me:

Twitter will have to wait. 

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