Friday, April 20, 2012

“Facebook Official” or Officially Addicted to Facebook?

“Facebook has some decided benefits, but it can also, apparently, mess with our minds, drawing us into dependence and luring us to make unhealthy comparisons between ourselves and others”  - Alice Walton, April 2012

Since the launch of Facebook in 2004, it has transformed from a college networking sight to a major part of everyday life.  With user numbers in the two hundred million range and growing every day, Facebook has shown the world that it can be both harmful and harmless.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Facebook is a social networking site that launched in February of 2004.  It was founded by college student Mark Zuckerberg and fellow Harvard students.  The initial intentions were to make a site for only Harvard students with the sole purpose of meeting other college students.  As it became more and more popular, Facebook was opened up to Ivy League schools, followed by any student that had a college email that ended in .edu. By 2005, high school students were allowed to join, and by 2006 anyone over the age of 13 could create an account.

I personally, have been an avid Facebook user since 2005 and can fill you in on some key parts.  The first thing: It’s not official, until its Facebook official.  Meaning that whether you are in a relationship, engaged, married or divorced; it is not official until your relationship status changes on your profile. The next important term to know is “status.”  The status is where most women vent, and men talk about how epic their men’s night was.  Some people rarely fill this out, and some fill theirs out way too often.  And the third important term being the “like button.”  This is the button you push when you like someone’s photo, status, or comment.  Unfortunately, Facebook has not invented a dislike button yet.

As you see Facebook is very simple, yet complicated.  As it has become increasingly popular, it has started to develop harmful effects.  “Facebook has some decided benefits, but it can also, apparently, mess with our minds, drawing us into dependence and luring us to make unhealthy comparisons between ourselves and others” says Alice Walton, April 2012. In the same article Walton explains that women spend 30% more time on the web than men, and the avid female users were more likely to be less happy and less content with their lives than others.  Danielle Pelkey, of North Jefferson News April 2012, explains that "people can take anything to the extreme and make it a bad thing.  The thought of going a whole day without getting on their social network is almost paralyzing to some.”   I could continue to go on about the side effects of Facebook, but they aren’t all bad.

Pelkey also states that “like anything, when used wrongly, it can be dangerous and hurtful, but when used correctly, it can be insightful and uplifting.”
I like to use Facebook as a networking site for my business.  I think of every one of my “friends” as a potential sale or a prospect to refer a potential sale to me. I have considered deleting my account on numerous occasions, and that is the one thing that has always held me back. It is also nice to stay in touch with old friends and family.   

My 4 tips for Facebook users or potential Facebook users:
1.       Don’t stay up all night “creeping” on other profiles.
2.       Don’t Facebook stalk your ex’s new lover.
3.       Don’t let yourself get distracted from what needs to be done.
4.       Restrict yourself from checking your phone or computer every 5 minutes to see if you have any “notifications.” 

Happy Facebooking!

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