Thursday, November 19, 2009

Facebook & Its Implications On Our Generation

Have you ever realized how big of a part of our lives facebook has become?

It first struck me(more than a year ago) when I tried tagging a friend in a picture, and I got this:


It's almost scary how electronic we've become. Our interactions, our networking, etc. Everything can now be done through an online personas or account that we maintain (it's even questionable to say whether it's really "us"). People don't even chop for numbers any more...they chop for facebooks. Call me a traditionalist, but it doesn't seem right. Whatever happened to real-life interaction? We've got lava life, eharmony, and even facebook for hooking up with people. Have we really lost the backbone to just approach people? In a city like Toronto, it shouldn't be that hard to find someone that you get along with.

Every now and then, I feel the need to get off facebook. Why? Because it's so far from the real world, that it's almost scary. People maintain friendships through online posting when it's convenient for them, or when they have "nothing better to do". I'm sorry, but that isn't how I choose friendships.

Out of all the friends you have added, how many can you truly say were really friends at one point? I can honestly say that that about 50 are for networking, 2 are models which were just so damn hot that I couldn't NOT add them (:D), and about 20-30 are acquaintances.

I suppose being on my/having my blackberry on me all the time isn't much better - but at least it's closer to "real" than Facebook will probably ever be. I also suppose I'm guilty of maintaining friendships via phone...but I do try to see friends when I can find the time. What makes this a little bit more legitimate for me is that people answer as soon as they can, not as soon as they're bored.

With the introduction of facebook comes the intrusion of your privacy rights. Do a google search for lawsuits against facebook, and you'll see many examples. Have you guys taken the time to read the agreement (probably not...who does that, anyways?! Right?). You're exlusively signing over your information to them. When you delete your account, your information doesn't actually get deleted. In fact, there's actually no way to delete your account, unless you do it manually. Meaning: when you deactivate your account, all of your information stays on there. The only way to get rid of the information is to manually delete everything (your wall posts, your notes, your pictures, etc.) you've ever done, said, or posted. And who knows...maybe after all the manual deleting, it still might be there. A bit fishy, isn't it?

Who's to say that it isn't some tool to keep tabs on the population? Cops do have access to facebook, and I wouldn't be surprised if your network/privacy settings were by-passed by authorities. Students have gotten expelled, suspended, or charged based on information & pictures found on facebook. Cops in Toronto have facebook accounts (although they're HORRIBLE at trying to act like normal people...which reminds me of that time when there were undercover constables on the bus, but we all knew it was them. The TTC bus was a chartered bus ONLY for uniformed Neil students...and we look over and see 2 plain-clothed, grown-ass men sitting, trying to play it off like they belong there. Seriously? Who comes up with such witty strategies?! I wonder if they do stake-outs with their uniforms on too...)

BUT It goes to show that you should be careful what you put on there. A picture of you smokin' a big fat doobie might be taken into consideration when your employer 10 years down the road decides to do a background check on you. The picture of you passed out posted on the day you called in sick might end up screwing you over, too. So will the picture of you using "X's" body as a jungle gym at a jam 'cause everyone's drunk and trying to get their grind on. The possibilities are endless. It's not even about caring what people think about's more about how it WILL affect you.

There's no denying that facebook has had implications on us students. Next time you go to a lecture, see how many screens are lit up with people perusing on facebook (nothing wrong with that; to each their own). I've used it to keep in touch. When I was doing the music thing & networking, I've managed to get in touch with people I would've never gotten in touch with. I've gotten in touch with lots of childhood friends that I lost contact with. I've even used the forums on facebook for Philosophy discussions (RIP original ATP). But, it's also distracted me way too much.

It has its draw-backs, but it also certainly has some good things with it, too. But on a larger scale, I urge you guys to think about how Facebook has changed society, or even just people you know.

For anyone who cares: I'm off it until probably around April (I think this would be an appropriate time to randomly yell out "FUCK THE SYSTEM!" & run around drawing anarchy signs everywhere).


- knowledge


  1. It's scary how true this is.

    ...Anyway I know this is completely off topic, but today I was asked a question that really stumped me. I wanted to know how you'd answer it. It was: "Would you rather have someone completely obsessed with you? Or Would you rather be completely obsessed with yourself?"

    Keep Bloggin'

  2. @ Ton:

    Sorry for the late reply...I've been swamped with work & stuff to do. But the good side is that I was able to give it a couple days of thought. I'd rather have someone obsessed with me, but not for the reasons you'd expect. It would be because: No one likes a just doesn't work out well for any one. A love of self is healthy, but an excessive amount doesn't do anyone any justice.

    BUT, what if the person obsessed was attractive & just a great person in general...that wouldn't be so bad.

    - knowledge

  3. A. Gaelz = Still bloggin'.
    Had to come check this out after a while. Hope everything is going well with school.

    Anyway, this is crazy true especially at Rye, everyone's got a laptop and eveyrone I meet in my program basically asks "SO DO YOU HAVE FACEBOOK" along with the cellphone number and ryerson email. I hate it but, gotta get through it. :P

    signing out a.gaelz!
    p.s. if you still had time, it would be cool if we could still have our "sessions." my philsophy class is killer, i just have too many flaws in my writing and arguements. I'm trying though, but we'll see :)

    All the best in school and hope your family is well! Take care.

  4. I was on my facebook account for the 39th time today when i realized you had mentioned a post about facebook on your blog, and i had to check it out.

    I have my own problems with cyber-societies, mainly that they are becoming the only real interaction we have these days with other people. These societies of course arent just social networking sites like facebook or myspace, but also devices we use to contact each other without using legitimate social interactions, such as text messaging or instant messengers.

    I guarantee that 100% of the people reading this blog have facebook and/or instant message people on a regular basis (probably both). The fact is, our social interactions have become penetrated by the mass media to such a point that i would theorize we no longer have any original social interactions.

    Our emotions are becoming increasingly controlled by mass media and corporations in charge of them. We're students, we often hold down part time jobs to get by, many of which are in the service industry. How many times have you said, "thank you, have a nice day" to some asshole you normally wouldn't even hold a door open for if you weren't being paid to be nice?

    Our generation is being encouraged to conform to social norms more than anyone else previously, its a miracle we dont just start calling each other by number rather than name. Teenagers need Blackberries so they can always stay in touch with other, at all hours. I cant tell you how many times ive been studying in the library and looked over at the person in the next study carrel to see them thumbing away their next BBM. Keeping in constant communication is now a ritual, we can't escape it. If we do we are called outcasts, we just dont fit in. FACEBOOK ENCOURAGES THIS by having "events" which you wont be invited to if you dont have facebook. How can you be popular and expect people to hang out with you if you dont keep in constant communication?

    I can go on forever about this, there are so many things wrong about our generations take on social interactions, i feel the need to escape into the woods sometimes. To hell with social interactions. Fuck cell phones, Fuck msn and Fuck facebook. the funny thing is, i know people will read that last sentence and think, "what a loser", and thats the point. if you think im a loser or a freak for wanting to abandon all my friends and live in the wilderness, you really need to think hard about who the "freak" really is.

    Anyways, i agree completely with you Knowledge. hopefully someone else realizes how fucked our social lives have become and endeavours to do something about it, even leaving facebook for a few months is a good place to start!

    Congrats on the success and original ideas of the blog, take it easy.



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