Internet - Facebook
by Jerneja Lojen, 2011
Facebook, the most popular and used social network, is known all over the world. For some people using it or not is not even a question - it is so self-evident that they are a part of it. On the contrary we have those, who are strictly against it, and then there is the happy medium - people who might have an account but perhaps actually take a second to think about what they’re doing.
Like other social networks Facebook, too, has its good and bad sides. The vast majority of them is, however, closely akin to good and bad sides of other social networks, e.g. the risk of having one’s private data abused, addiction danger, possible health problems, the dilemma about what to publish and who sees it ..., and it only goes on and on and on. But some more specific things are related with it, too.
If you’re not in, you don’t exist
Facebook being the most widely spread social network, most people - especially young - with internet access have a fb account. But there are also those, even though in minority, who doesn’t. What does that mean for them in real life?
The consequences vary from minor things to things that influence one’s life much stronger. Not knowing who is drinking a cup of coffee in a moment or searching for a puppy is really not of life importance. The first complications may appear when people plan their free time and private meetings via Facebook, automatically leaving out the person without the account. If the agreements are school- or possibly even job-related, they can cause serious misunderstandings or influence one’s career or, in the worst case scenario, even lead to a loss of a job. Among younger people Facebook can be seen as a status symbol, a "must have", and not having it may cause various reactions, from teasing to serious social isolation, which can cause various psychical problems, like depression. In most cases, though, such a person is still accepted like everyone else.
Dislike, like, love?
Typical Facebook thing - "likes". One can "like" various things; posts, pictures, videos, links, sites ... an (un)famous sites containing countless "likes", from quotes to opinions to jokes. Everyone can "like" whatever they want, everyone can post whatever they want. Perfectly fine, or is it?
Many "likes" are good or funny and in general easy to relate to. They offer a possibility for people to express their feelings and show others their beliefs and opinions.
On the contrary, some "likes" simply suck. Since everyone can post a "like" that enables people to write nonessential or absurd things, boring stuff like "I love xyz", and even get disrespectful or insulting. One of such disturbing things is copying someone’s "like", adding a mean critique to it, and then posting it anew. Such and any other copying leads to creation of many, many sides with the very same "likes" and so a person can "like" the same thing on more sites - intentionally or not - which doesn’t make any sense.
The situation of "likes" could be improved by creating only one "like-site" instead of the current immense amount of it, on which "likes" should be approved as non-offensive or abusing in any way.
These are just two of Facebook-related issues or options available on Facebook. There are many more, each of them having good and bad sides, and it’s up to the individual to consider them and find out how to get the best out of it.
So, what about using Facebook or not? We say it’s good to be a part of it under the condition one is aware of their own and Facebook´s limitations and manages to decide which of the available options to use. And knows where the "log out" button is.
Written by Pia Keršič and Jerneja Lojen