Facebook: The Culture Changing Phenomenon
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It’s been almost eight years, since Mark Zuckerburg founded the worldwide internet phenomenon known as Facebook. Since February of 2004, Facebook has gained billions of active users that access their account every day to update their status, post pictures, and interact with their Facebook friends. With discovering Facebook, our culture has shifted due to the social changes that are made due to more people using this social network service. More than anything, our social interactions with our peers and other people have been greatly impacted from the creation of Facebook in a more positive direction. It makes us wonder if Zuckerburg ever thought of having such an impact in our culture with his great creation.
When we open Facebook, the first thing we see is the different posts that our peers have updated to get a glimpse of their lives, acting as a type of indirect interaction we have with our friends. Facebook has created a whole new different meaning of communicating and socializing with our friends and families. This social phenomenon was created to bring friends together and help share the thoughts of users on the internet. In my own case, Facebook has also helped rekindle my old friendship with someone who I was particularly close to in fourth grade. We lost touch quickly after he moved to Texas after fourth grade, but three years ago, he was able to find me on Facebook. It seems like our friendship was matched together by this website, and I am forever grateful for that. Who knows when we would ever reconnect if it weren’t for Facebook? I personally find this one concept of Facebook to have made a more positive influence on this generation’s social interactions, especially when I know that I can’t be the only one who has used Facebook to patch up an old friendship or even keep a long-distance friendship going.
It has helped many people from all over the world connect with their friends and families and freely communicate with them with much ease. Through Facebook, people can easily chat with someone who might be miles away with a simple click of their name in the messenger. Not only is this convenient, but it is helping this generation reach out to more people and people more often, because generally, people are less shy on the internet. This generally lack of shyness over the internet helps us open up to our peers and potentially get closer to certain people that we may have not known that well, especially with the fairly recent feature of “webcaming.” All these feature of Facebook has changed the way we interact with one and another, in which people are generally socializing more because of the creation of Facebook. It creates more opportunities for the user to meet new people fairly easy, join communities with common interests, as well as keeping contact of those love ones that we all cherish.
Even with all the positive influence that Facebook might have, there are some negative factors that been brought up by others. As much as it helped to influence social interaction positively, it can be the opposite. Like my one friend, Dave, stated, “Interactions through Facebook may be seen as less personal, and people are losing more person-to-person interactions as they spend more time on Facebook talking instead.” In a sense, I can agree with him; however, it’s up to the individual if they are losing more in-person interaction time. I can say for many of my friends, they are both outgoing and talkative over Facebook and in person, that they don’t lose that social aspect of interacting with others in person.
They are still very social in person and are still open to meeting new people, despite how often they do spend on Facebook updating and “stalking” their friends. Generally, Facebook acts as the middle man to help guide friends and family together and enables them to talk freely to one and another at their convenience; however, it should not interfere with our everyday in-person social interactions and how we communicate. We may be shyer to talk openly in person, but it should not get worse if users have Facebook. However, certain extreme cases, such as an addiction or obsession, can lead to distancing of the user from the real world and personal social interactions, but in general, people display the same characteristics and personality traits whether it is on Facebook or not. So, I do somewhat agree that Facebook has caused some negative social impact, in turns of having less in-person interactions, but I believe that it is all based on each individual and how they develop their communication and social skills.