I hate how Facebook makes things complicated. How a semicolon and a closed parenthesis can make me leery. How a relationship status of pixels can be almost as important as the real thing. How an unnecessary ease of access and level of informality emboldens the otherwise unconnected and unwanted. I hate that it matters.
And no matter what some may say, it does matter. It matters in love, work, and friendships. Facebook can strain an otherwise sound relationship (Why would he wink at this girl in his comment?!) or sweeten it to a syrupy mess (Because everyone is dying to see your sickening comments to each other all over their news feeds). Professionally, particularly for education students, Facebook can lead to a sort of unsettling paranoia. When you’ve got a drink in your hand, innocent friends with a point-and-shoot can feel more invasive than paparazzi. Not to mention your profile has more privacy locks on it than your bank account.
And how did people even make friends before Facebook? Before you could just look them up after a five minute conversation at a party the night before and forge a bond that lets you see their favorite movies, last summer’s vacation, and 25 things no one ever knew about them. How did we do it?
Facebook also presents problems one is unlikely to find elsewhere in life. For example, there is a certain conundrum that comes with, say, skirting an acquaintance’s request for a lunch date. Facebook notifies you that they left the comment, so you can’t say you missed it. Facebook also notifies all your friends of all your other activities, so unless you stay off Facebook forever, you can’t say you haven’t been on. And unless you’ve had the forethought to hide the status, Facebook can also tell that person if you’re single, so you can’t say “Sorry, I have a boyfriend.”
Heaven forbid we have to tell people the truth that we just don’t want to go and have no desire to see them in person ever again. Forget the lost arts of conversation and long walks. Everyone now needs to learn the art of Facebook.
Nicole DeGuzman, Junior English Education major