Seminar in Composition A blog for Annette Vee's section of Pitt's SC


Facebook: procrastination or helpful?

Many people would say that " social networks" has many different meanings. Ever since my freshman year in high school I have been an avid facebook member, using it to my benefit and disadvantages at times. Throughout my high school years I had found it to be strictly a time where I can get away from my work and look at other people's pages to see what they were up to. I would even use facebook to chat with my friends as we would talk about how much we didn't want to do our homework. In college, I feel the same way, except the researching has changed into seeing how all my friends from home are doing at college. I caught myself on facebook many times, when I should have been studying. I sometimes think that if I wasn't on facebook, I would have known that one more question on my test, because putting things into perspective, my  future depends on my grades not how well I could navigate through facebook pages.

Browsing through the internet, I found an interesting site addressing this same question of whether or not facebook and other social networking sites where helpful or distracting.This site talks about these social networking sites in the work fields and how people use them. I find it interesting to see how I can relate with those people in businesses who face the same problems too. Many businesses use these sites for advertisement purposes, which in the long run is a great tool for the future of the business. Yet does the fact that employees using facebook for advertisement purposes allow them to use the site for other purposes throughout the day?

Where would we be without Facebook today -- nobody knows. Or maybe we do, but it would be so incredibly different from what the world is like now. We depend on Facebook to take our stresses away, our advertisement purposes, our way of communicating with friends. What would people do without it? Is there any limitations that corporations should set with their employers regarding their usage of Facebook with advertisements and personal use? Do you think Facebook takes time away from the bigger things in life? Do you think Facebook has changed our values as well?

Posted by jul5

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  1. While there’s no easy way to determine if Facebook negatively affects the “bigger things,” it’s fairly obvious that it has changed our frame of reference. Facebook focuses on keeping us connected with people, but “keeping in touch” has turned into checking a webpage instead of picking up a telephone or chatting over lunch. The New York Times’ Megan Daum offers an explanation of why that’s not necessarily good: a study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychiatry Bulletin found that social networking sites such as Facebook contribute to lower overall happiness levels because people “consistently overestimate how much fun others are having and underestimate their unhappiness.” If all the world’s a stage, Facebook is the sensational movie trailer, the glossy Technicolor billboard advertisement showing only the best parts. Pictures of flowers from “the best boyfriend ever” are quick to appear online, but how often do you see status updates about failed tests, underage drinking citations, or parents getting divorced? When we substitute a quick update from Facebook for a true conversation, we miss the opportunity to truly connect with someone, to laugh at jokes, listen to struggles, and complain about parents or professors. If the “bigger things in life” in any way include people, then Facebook should supplement relationships, not comprise the entirety of them.

    Daum’s article, “Do you suffer from Facebook envy?”

  2. Without Facebook, people would be much less connected. When people go to college now, they rely on Facebook to keep in touch with their friends at other schools. I know personally that–aside from my closest friends–I would grow apart naturally from my other friends. If I were to run into them on the street I would of course greet them but other than that I would probably just shift friend groups to the friends I know at college. Of course, this was the original reason for Facebook, for keeping friends connected and to help you get to know new friends better. Facebook still serves that purpose today, however, as the poster mentioned it also serves as a major distractor for people, myself included. Without Facebook people would defer to texting presumably. But it is much more socially acceptable to “poke” someone you don’t know too personally on Facebook rather than to ask for their number in person and then text them.

    Companies that allow access to Facebook for advertising have to expect that their employees will also use it for time wasting and socializing. You can try to enact regulations on Facebook use, but enforcing it would be difficult without some sort of automatic shutdown on their computers.

    I think Facebook has the potential to take time away from the bigger things in our lives. For teenages especially, this effect is quite evident. For adults, however, I think that the more pressing matters in their lives take priority as they should.

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