Facebook is a trap. I’ve never loved and hated something so much simultaneously before. At the beginning you visit it occasionally. Before you know it, it sucks you in and you’re spending the majority of your spare time scrolling aimlessly through its content. Even as I wrote these first three sentences, I found myself flipping to Facebook to check for new notifications. Big surprise, I had none.
In reality, no one really needs Facebook. Some have come to rely on it far too much, and yet I know many people who either don’t have a Facebook at all or rarely go on the one they do have. My peers talk about how they would have no social life without it and there would be no way to get the word out about upcoming parties and events. This is completely untrue. Before the invention of Facebook, which was only a short while ago, the world somehow managed to get by just fine. Admittedly, it does make getting the word out quickly and effectively very easy. I just find it a little unsettling how reliant we have all become on the tool.
Most of the tools Facebook has to offer can be found on various other websites on the Internet. Rather than writing on someone’s wall or sending them a Facebook message, why not just e-mail them? Rather than chatting on Facebook, why not go on Skype or MSN? The games offered on Facebook are never nearly as good as the games offered on websites that are entirely dedicated to that sort of thing. While there are some useful things, like the group setting where you can easily coordinate with a group of friends, or the events option, which makes it very easy to plan events, for the most part, Facebook is unoriginal.
Another thing that irks me about Facebook is the option to write on people’s walls. Writing on someone’s wall is simply an excuse for your conversation with that person to be seen by the whole world. If you want to prove that you have friends, and that you talk about exciting, fascinating things, what better way to show the world than to post on their wall for everyone to see?
My most recent problem with Facebook is the sites never-ending need to update and change its content. In order to stay up to date and trendy, Facebook has taken to adding useless changes every so often so its users have to spend a month relearning how to use the site and therefore will not grow bored with it, as many did with MySpace.
The problem is, the changes are never good. There was the addition of games, which are completely unnecessary, as well as the addition of a mini-news feed, which I suppose some particularly creepy people utilize. Most recently, Facebook has introduced its newest change, timeline. The site has decided its original layout is no longer satisfactory and has completely revamped what people’s profiles look like. Too bad the new version is confusing and difficult to navigate. Not to mention, I don’t particularly like the appearance of timeline. I have resisted the change, and still have my Facebook set to the old profile set up, but I know soon, Facebook will force timeline on me, just like it’s forced all of its past idiotic changes on me.
Overall, I have very mixed feelings towards Facebook. There’s no denying that I’m completely addicted to the site. I log on every morning, eagerly waiting for new notifications, which I only receive half of the time, sadly. I spend the day checking in periodically to see if people have posted on my wall. I’m embarrassed to admit that I even have the app on my phone, in case I get bored during a particularly long car ride. I do realize its faults though, and find myself judging some of the more ridiculous users. Take my roommates for example, they have taken to sitting in the same room, only a few feet apart, posting videos and comments on each others walls as they giggle to themselves. My only reaction to this is, why? The only plausible explanation I can think of is that they want their interactions to be seen by others. So, essentially to them, Facebook is an easy tool to say to others, “Hey, look! I have friends!” because no one really has to know you’re sitting right next to each other as you post on the other’s wall.