Friday, September 16, 2011

Our Obsession With Social Media


Our generation has become obsessed by social networking sites, and sadly, I am part of it. For those with smart phones, it is so incredibly easy to click on the app, and spend hours wasting your life reading about other people’s lives. I know that on my Facebook app, I spend a ridiculous amount of time refreshing my pages and notifications, as if someone liking my picture or status will mean I’m “cool” or noticed. And spending time reading about complete nonsense that has no effect on my life whatsoever. I often find myself reading statuses for hours, and finally thinking to myself “do I really care if such a person is eating a sandwich, or this random person I have never met is counting down the days to something?”. That something is NEVER even revealed. I see statuses all the time saying “TEN DAYS!! <3” and they don’t even explain. It drives me mad, and yet I can’t seem to stop or give up my Facebook account. So, I’ve decided to stop using Facebook for two whole days. It sounds so easy, but to the obsessive teenager, it might be difficult. I will document my “test” over the next few days and see how it goes!


4 Hours: I’ve been keeping myself busy, checking Twitter and email, and going to the gym. So far it hasn’t bothered me, or seemed like a gaping hole. I have been more aware of who is on Facebook lately too. I now see how many people would be socializing with each other at school if their app wasn’t up on their phone or computer screen. I have seen teachers discreetly coming to student’s desks and asking them to get off Facebook. Somehow the Facebook generation has turned into an obsessive and dismissive group of teenagers.

6 Hours and Counting: I have noticed, in the last 6 hours, that every website connects to Facebook somehow, usually with a like button to like their page to promote their business. The link is very tempting…which is exactly why businesses do it, right? They want to promote their business through one of the most used websites at the moment. I’ve also noticed that Twitter links are becoming a lot more common now. I’ve heard stirrings that Twitter will take over and Facebook will be left in the dust just like MySpace. I have both Twitter and Facebook, but I don’t think Twitter is as addictive as Facebook because you can’t do so many things: Like, post on someone’s wall, comment, tag, message, the whole shebang.

24 Hours and Counting: Over the past day, I have realized that school uses Facebook a lot now. At first it was just email, then texting teachers and texting games in class, but now, sports and clubs have pages. One of my classes has a Facebook page and we get grades for liking and commenting on posts. I didn’t realize how much I would be missing by not using the social networking site. Although, I have found that by not using Facebook, I have been reading more and conversing with actual people. If I was waiting around at school, usually I’d be on my phone, but I have been chatting and getting to know people, which is nice. As for the books, I hadn’t noticed how much time I spent online. I read a book in the time I haven’t been on the website.

48 Hours: It’s now been two days since I checked my Facebook page. In a few minutes, I will be back online. I know I have learned a lot from this “experiment” and yet the inevitable will happen, I will go back to the social networking. However, after being so aware of Facebook and how it’s affecting us, I think I will be more sensitive to when I check it. Sorry for rambling :) What do you think of Facebook?

4 comments:

  1. Great post, Eliza! I think Facebook can definitely be beneficial when it comes to communicating with friends who live in other states or countries. Still, it's easy to become addicted. The biggest problem Facebook presents is that it sucks teenagers in and practically consumes their lives!

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  2. You've been tagged! :)

    http://www.thereadingaddict.com/2011/09/ive-been-tagged.html

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  3. Great post. I think social networking is a necessary way to contact people these days, but I haven't bought in to the phone with all the bells and whistles and probably spend more time blogging than using Facebook.
    Ann

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  4. I try not to get caught up in the whole social networking thing and rarely look at my Facebook page and have a pay as you go phone so that I don't get distracted. I'm sure it's a lot harder the younger you are. I've found that blogging is addictive for me though and tend to hop around blogs a lot.
    Ann

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